House of the Virgin Mary You will visit the shrine thought to be the House of the Virgin Mary. Tradition states that Mary, accompanied by John the Apostle, came to Ephesus at the end of her life. In 1967, Pope Paul VI claimed the site authentic and each year a traditional service, celebrated by Orthodox and Muslim clergy, honors Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
Ephesus Enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. Your route takes you past the Odeon, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. The theater had seating for 25,000, which was the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and is used today for a local spring festival.
You will stop for a traditional Turkish open-air lunch just outside of Ephesus before continuing the tour.
Archeological Museum you will be escorted through the nine exhibits tracing the religious and chronological history of the ancient city. Filled with attractively displayed mosaics, statuary, and other artifacts, the museum exhibits several marble statues of the Mother Goddess Artemis, goddess of nature, childbirth, and the harvest. Combining the Information at the Open Air Museum and the Archeology Museum will give you a very fulfilling idea of the city of Ephesus and its importance in the ancient times.
St. John s Basilica a once great church built on a 2nd century tomb thought to hold the remains of St. John. While the church is now in ruins, many frescoes, mosaics and graceful columns attest to the glory that marked the place where St. John, the Evangelist, lived and died. The site requires stair climbing at the entrance and walking over uneven dirt, stones and gravel walkways. The site has some fallen ruins and some light climbing will be required. There will be time for browsing and shopping once back in Kusadasi or you can return directly to the ship.
WHAT YOU SEE ALONG THE WAY
From Kusadasi, you travel north to Ephesus, passing the Byzantine fortress at Selcuk and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis. The drive to the House of the Virgin Mary is long and winding but with great vistas of the valley.Archealogical museum where findings of Ephesus exhibits. Basilica of st. John After your tour, return to Kusadasi, where you may either choose to take in a carpet exhibition, or shop on your own in the bazaars.
Guests must be able to walk approximately 2.5 miles over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, inclines and 10 - 30 steps. Comfortable shoes, a hat and plenty of sunscreen are recommended. The order of the tour itinerary may vary in order to avoid congestion. Guests should watch their step at all times in order to avoid injuries. Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommended for guests with walkers or wheelchairs. Bring sunscreen and a hat, as shade is limited. Expect dense crowding and congestion at the sites.
Lunch, featuring a selection of Turkish cuisine
DURATION: Approximately 7 hours