The best way to see local sites is to avoid cruise ship guides and hire your own. After checking a number of websites, we contacted Ephesus Travel Guide and were extremely explicit about our special needs (we are classical historians and museum guides). After a few emails fine-tuning our itinerary we agreed on the day's sites and a price and were, as promised, met by an excellent guide who added value in myriad ways to our visit to Ephesus, the Terrace Houses, several local sites and respected our request to eat at a restaurant we had heard raves about that served local Turkish food that was the highlight (THE highlight) of our 30 days in the region (see separate posting). Our suspicion is that Denizhan is extremely good at choosing the right guide in his 'stable' for each group so our recommendation is to be as specific as possible about what you want to see, what the group's background is, and what your objectives are. On the pricing side, they have our utmost respect as we booked for two, arrived as a group of three, and were not charged for the extra person as the car was 'comfortable' for two, not three...that is customer service and professional behaviour. They have our highest recommendation. You can go with a cruise ship guide or go with one of Denizhan's; it's night and day in terms of what you will get out of your visit to incredible Ephesus.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.