This tour focuses on the key Christian sites in the Ephesus area, and your visit to the site of Ephesus itself will have a particular focus on Christian history.
Highlights: Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Basilica of St John
Tour Starts: Kusadasi, Selcuk or Izmir
Tour Finishes: Kusadasi, Selcuk or Izmir
Duration: Approximately 6 hours
Ephesus played an important role in Christianity. St John lived here, St Paul lived and preached here for at least two years, preaching and attempting to convert the local population to Christianity. It is also believed that the Virgin Mary spent her last days in this area.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi, the port of Kusadasi or Izmir or Izmir airport. We drive firstly to Ephesus where we will tour this ancient city. As you walk the ancient streets you will be able to picture what life was like back in ancient times and you will hear about the struggles of the early Christians in the area. The Ephesus component of the tour will include an option for you to visit the Terrace Houses which were the homes of the wealthy Ephesians.
After lunch we will visit the House of Virgin Mary. Situated high on a hill overlooking the ruins of Ephesus, and with amazing views out to the Aegean sea, is a tiny house, believed to be the place where Mary was brought by St John, and where she lived her last days. Although there is not enough evidence for the Vatican to declare this as a residence of Mary, three Popes have visited the site and blessed it. Here, visitors can make a wish and place it on the wishing wall, drink from the spring that runs under the house and generally enjoy the serenity of this site which is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims alike.
Our final visit will be to the Basilica of St John – built by Justinian I, this former basilica of Ephesus stands over what is believed to be the last burial site of St John who lived and preached in Ephesus for many years. It is believed that St John travelled here from Jerusalem, and lived the rest of his years in Ephesus, save for a brief period of exile on the island of Patmos.
After we conclude our tour you will be dropped back to the port, your hotel, the airport or bus station.