Without doubt a must see if in Turkey. One of the best experiences and something we’ll value forever. The sheer scale and range of well preserved monuments is at most times overwhelming. Already so huge and magnificent, it is hard to image this is less than a quarter of the original site.
Once one of the largest and most important cities in the Mediterranean, these ruins now are one of the best preserved ancient Greco-Roman sites in the world. From the ruins that are visible you gain an insight into the city's original grandeur and evoke images of how once life would have been in this bustling port city.
We organised a private tour for the two of us with No Frills. From our initial enquiry we found them to be very responsive, answering all emails in a timely fashion. Our guide Deniz was fantastic. His knowledge and experience was apparent right from our morning pick up when he advised that due to the heat and large number of cruise ships in port, we would be starting our tour at the lower entrance of the ancient site of Ephesus and then visit the House of the Virgin Mary and St John’s Basilica in the afternoon. We were so grateful for this towards the end when were leaving and struggling against all the crowds. He was a great guide. We didn’t feel rushed at all, he allowed us to explore at our leisure while providing informative commentary, with humour and anecdotes which brought the past to life for us.
The spectacular landscape of Ephesus includes a stadium, temples, theatres, markets, fountains, marble lined streets and other public buildings.
The Terrace Houses were included in our tour, it is an additional cost but well worth the small fee. These were the houses of the rich Ephesians and from remaining frescoes, mosaics and other artefacts provide a fabulous insight into how they lived. The wall paintings and mosaics are colourful and varied. Archaeologists are continuing to painstakingly piece these back together, with shards of marble laid out like an awaiting jigsaw puzzle.
We selected this tour as there were quite a few sites included, including entrance to the Terrace Houses. This was also the only tour we could find that didn’t include the obligatory visits to carpet or leather outlets. Everything was well organised and we would thoroughly recommend them.