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“Ephisus Shuttle Tour - Must do trip!”

Ephesus Shuttle Day Tours
Ranked #3 of 107 Tours in Kusadasi
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Ephesus Shuttle is founded by Fevzi Turhan who is one of the first private shore excursion operator in Turkey Ports ( Kusadasi, Istanbul , Izmir ) since 1992.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We arrived at the port of Katakolon being on a cruise and were met with Melih and his driver. There were 6 of us and we were a private tour. The Mercedes bus was superb and just what we needed after walking in the heat of the ancient site. Our guide Melih was very knwledgableand passionate in his work and he structured our time (4.5 hours) in such a way to include some shopping for our adult children!
It was a fantastic trip and a huge discount on the trip that the Cruise company would have offered and without the irritation of the usual large party of 40+.

3  Thank Travlin_Boab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 17, 2013

My wife and I went on a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary. One of the stops was Kusadasi Turkey. We had never considered Kusadasi, or Ephesus. Wow!! We feel like amateur travel newbies that it wasn't on our bucket list. It's a definite must-see. Our private tour guide, Emre, was waiting for us first thing in the morning as we got off the ship. He greeted us so warmly, as if we were long-lost friends. We hit it off right away. We walked about 100 yards and got into a comfortable, air-conditioned van with a private driver. Emre sat in the back with us and confirmed what he thought we wanted to do for the day, and asked if there were any additions or changes we wanted to make. We felt completely at ease. The only request we made as an addition/change to our schedule was that we wanted him to take us to a place for lunch that was genuine turkish cuisine. We didn't want tourist food...just a local place where the average Turk would eat lunch (more on that later.)

Our first stop was the home of the Virgin Mary. It is where she is believed to have lived during the latter years of her life, brought there by the apostle John. The home is reconstructed on what was believed to have been the foundation of the original home. It is a beautifully manicured site, with trees and plants. The home is reverent, and silent respect is expected of the visitors, Because we had booked our tour so early in the morning we were among the first to arrive, and had the additional benefit of very few people around. I highly recommend getting an early start to your day in Ephesus. Not just to avoid the heat, but to be well ahead of the crowds. It made all the difference, and allowed Emre to take time to explain the history, and other aspects of the site. Take a few sheets of paper and an empty water bottle. There is a wall of wishes where you can write a wish and attach it to a wall. Also take an empty water bottle to collect water from the three sacred fountains. Whether or not you believe in this sort of thing is irrelevant...it is, at the very least, something fun to do that adds interest to the site.

Our next stop was the upper gate of Ephesus (start there because it is an easier walk. If you begin at the lower gate you will walk uphill the entire way. By using the upper gate it is a downhill walk on a very mild grade, which made it a very comfortable walk through the sites.) In Ephesus you will be amazed by the original plan and architecture of what was once a vast and modern (in ancient terms) city of ~250,000 people. Work is well underway to restore the site. The difference between Ephesus and many other ancient cities is that it was not destroyed by war. It was abandoned due to the river dropping so much silt that it pushed the harbor too far away to make the city viable for trading and commerce. The city was eventually abandoned, but the structures were taken down by weather, and other elements. So most of the parts are available to archaelogists to do the work of restoration.

Following Ephesus we visited St. John's Basilica. This is the site where St. John is believed to have lived, and where he wrote the Gospel of John. Later the basilica was built in his honor. It is broken down, but the foundational structure is in place and allows you to see the layout of the site. It is on a hill that allows sweeping views of Ephesus and other landmarks.

Lunch - we had asked for an authentic turkish meal. Emre took us to a place where original turkish rugs are hand-woven. They do everything from silk production to weaving. They also use cotton and wool, but silk is by far the most interesting process, where you see the silk cocoons being unwound into thread, the dying process with rich colors, and the weaving process. By the way, a primary purpose of this site (besides rug making and money-making) is to provide training and a safe work environment for women who are often the victims of unhealthy marriages resulting from some of the male-dominated traditions of the culture. Prior to our tour of the rug-making process we sat under a gazebo where we were served authentic turkish food. Heavy on perfectly cooked vegetables of various types, meatballs and chicken skewers. Fresh cut watermelon was served to finish the meal. We paid US$10 per person for that meal, which was well worth twice that amount.

On our way back to the port I asked Emre if we could stop into a traditional turkish grocery store (my job in the states is the Consumer Products industry and I love seeing grocery stores in foreign countries.) He immediately instructed the driver where to go, and we were able to see a very modern store that appeared to be very clean and well-managed. Emre walked through the store with us and answered any questions we had.

It was finally time to return to the port to walk through the make-shift bazaar, common to many cruise ports, before returning to our ship. Emre and the driver dropped us off and we went our way.

We met Emre at 8:00am, and were back onboard the ship by 3:00pm. We felt like we had a very full day, and accomplished all that we had hoped and more. We didn't feel rushed, or overly tired. Emre managed the pace very well.

Included in the cost of the trip is tickets to enter each of the sites. Emre had taken care of those details which allowed immediate entry as we arrived at each site. Again, partly due to being ahead of the crowds, but also due to Emre being prepared to make the day perfect for us.

A little more about Emre. He has never been outside of Turkey, but is so well educated that his knowledge of local and global cultures is extraordinary. He speaks perfect english with a very slight accent, so it was never difficult to understand him. He spoke to us like we were friends, which we had quickly become.

5+ stars for Ephesus Shuttle. Emre is a great ambassador for his country and his company.

4  Thank tkwitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Our guide, Selcuk did a superb job on the tour. He gave us lots of good information about Turkey in general and about the Ephesus site in particular. He kept the tour at a very doable pace and was responsive to our group's needs and questions. I would certainly recommend him and the tour. The price of the tour was very reasonable ($54/person) and it gave a lot of color to Ephesus.

3  Thank Limin8tor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Ephesus was, probably, the port that we knew the least about before our cruise. And, afterward, it may have been our favorite. Since I knew nothing about Turkey, I relied on the TripAdvisor reviews. And, I can definitely say that the reviews of Ephesus Shuttle were correct. We had four in our group (2 adults and 2 teenagers). Since we arrived on a cruise, our tour began with a pickup at the port, which was easy and seemless. Then it was off to Ephesus. Our guide recommended that we go there first and the House of the Vigrin Mary last. This way, we reversed the boat excursions and avoided the crowds. As for the tour itself, I cannot say enough about the tour and our guide. In a word, she was fantastic. She was obviously knowledgeable, but, the key was being able to present everything in a way that was informative and entertaining. I would definely use them again and highly recommend them to everyone.

4  Thank JBLaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2013

The four of us arrived early at the port to make sure we reached the places of attraction early. Suprisingly, our guide(along with many others) was already waiting for us. The name of our guide was Gul. However, I cannot remember our driver's name. We booked Tour 10 for our day trip.

The first stop was the house of Virgin Mary. As we arrived reasonable early, the queue was still short so we waited only a short while before entering. By the time we left, there was a VERY long queue so it was a smart decision to head there early. Visits to the rest of the attractions were also well explained.

After the end of the attractions, we were brought to purchase Turkish delights and other snacks. We were also brought to a leather factory outlet but we did not buy anything.

We were in no way forced to purchase anything from anywhere which was a really good thing. We also did not visit any carpet factories by request.

If you have just a day in Ephesus, Ephesus shuttle is definitely a choice to consider. =)

2  Thank Joel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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