One of the passengers on our cruise ship arranged through Cruise Critic Roll Call Board for 25 of us, in two groups, to visit Ephesus and Sirince Village from Izmir. This was a great day thanks to our guide Yusel (Joseph) and our expert driver in a comfortable van.
Joseph was very patient in answering all our questions, negotiated the itinerary (none of us wanted to go to a carpet factory so we visited a ceramic workshop later in the day, which was interesting with no pressure to buy), and struck the right balance at Ephesus of providing background information and giving us time to explore on our own.
Ephesus and the Terrace Houses are fascinating and not to be missed, and neither is the town of Sirince where we toured authentic markets and had a great lunch at a local restaurant recommended by Joseph who also helped us with the menu and ordering. We still had time to visit the Temple of Artemis and the ceramic workshop before returning to Izmir in time for the "all aboard". It was a great day and much better value than the ship's tours with more flexibility and a personalized itinerary. One of our group wanted baklava which wasn't available so Joseph even stopped at a bakery on the way back and bought baklava for the group. Great way to end the day. Payment can me made on the day using a credit card (as can the deposit) which is always convenient.
I strongly recommend using Samyeli Travel when touring from Izmir and Kuradasi. I'll write a separate review of our excellent tour with this company in Istanbul.