At 7:00am, you will meet with our English speaking escort at the hotel lobby, then you will transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Izmir on TK#2316 departing at 9:00am. Arrive in Izmir at 10:05am you will meet with your professional local guide at the airport and drive to Ephesus for 1 full day of sightseeing with the major sites. (approximately 1 hour)
First, you will visit the House of the Virgin Mary which is located on the top of the Bulbul Mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with St. John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Paul VI was the first pope to visit this site in the 1960's. Later, in the 1980's, during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of Virgin Mary has a pilgrimage place for Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass there in 2006.
Lunch is recommended at Selcuk Koftecisi where you can enjoy local meatballs.
After your lunch, you will visit Ephesus, famous throughout the ancient world for its Temple of Artemis. You will first visit Odeon Theatre where the state affairs used to be held. Then, view The Temple of Hadrian which is one of the main attractions at Ephesus, with a beautiful arch on the front facade and interesting reliefs of Medusa. According to the belief of Ephesians, the Medusa head on the porch, would protect the city from its enemies.
Next, you will visit the newly excavated spectacular Terrace Houses on the Curetes street belonged to the wealthy people of Ephesus. Many of the homes were three-storied and had peristyles surrounded by rooms without windows but included frescoes and mosaics of mythological scenes. Some of the frescoes were scenes from the comedies of Menander and the tragedies of Euripides. They were luxuriously furnished private houses with fountains and central heating. Between the street and houses was a portico with a mosaic floor, behind which were shops.
Proceed to The Celsus Library a Roman mausoleum and library built in the early 2nd century AD. The Library of Celsus was comissioned by Julius as a mausoleum for his father, the Roman governor of the Asian Provinces. It is one of the most beautifully reconstructed buildings in Ephesus, it has become an icon of the ancient city.
The Great Theatre, dates back to the Hellenistic period. It is one of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus which has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The theatre was used for concerts, plays and religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights. Marble Road, runs between the Library of Celsus and the theater and is a part of the sacred walk way.
Last, you will see the Basilica of St.John, where John and the Virgin Mary went between 42 and 48 AD and lived. Three hundred years after the death of Saint John, a small chapel on the Ayasuluk Hill was constructed over his grave in the 4th century AD. This church was replaced in the 6th century AD by a huge basilica built by the Emperor Justinian, the impressive ruins of which are still visible.
At the end of your visit, approximately at 4:00pm, you will transfer to Izmir airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul on TK#2329 departing at 6:00pm, arrive in Istanbul at 7:05pm you will meet with your English speaking escort outside of the luggage claim area with name a sign at the airport and transfer to your hotel.