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“Enjoyable Afternoon, Excellent Guide”

Ephesus Deluxe Tours
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Half-Day, Small-Group Tour From Kusadasi Port to Ephesus
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Deluxe Ephesus: Full Day Semi-Private Tour
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Private Half-Day Tour to Ephesus From Kusadasi Port
Ranked #2 of 32 Tours in Izmir
Attraction details
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Afternoon, Excellent Guide”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

We booked a private tour for four from the port of Kusadasi to Ephesus. We were met at the boat by our guide, Gizem Cakirgoz, and driver. Gizem was delightful and extremely knowledgeable. On the drive to Ephesus, she began by explaining modern day Turkey - geography, culture and problems. Very interesting and helpful. We started at The House of the Virgin Mary, then proceeded to tour Ephesus and the Terrace Houses. Her guided narration along the way was excellent. The day was hot, so we merely stopped at a spot where we could view The Temple of Artemis and St. John's Basilica from the comfort of the air conditioned bus. We ended the day at lunch at the government sponsored carpet co-op. While I didn't realize this would be part of the tour, we enjoyed seeing the demonstrations and viewing the rugs for sale. I hadn't intended to come home from Turkey with a rug, but did in fact buy a runner. It was a low pressure sales situation that I was comfortable with. I believe this stop added to the pleasure of the tour experience.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank hmbkatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

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English first
Lisbellaw, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
218 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Value for money but cut out the rugs”
Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

We were met by our guide, Mert, at the port of kusadasi, and very quickly he located our minibus. It was very comfortable for the 12 people on the trip, our driver was excellent, but the air conditioning was not great. The microphone also did not work but Mert did a great job of explaining everything to us.
First we were taken to the site at Ephesus, entrance was easy, and Mert steered us through the ruins and avoided the crowds by finding places of shade to brief us. The highlights were the terraced houses, the library, and also the huge amphitheatre. Despite warnings about the steepness and smoothness of the steps, I managed to slip and take the skin of my elbow
Next, we were taken to a ceramics shop for a restroom break. Here we got a free drink, a pottery demonstration, and the opportunity to buy local pottery - no hard see here
Next, we climbed the mountain in the van to the House of the Virgin Mary. I would have preferred to have seen the view instead of the site as I found it to be a disappointment - the contrast of a house of prayer and a wishing wall just makes no sense to me at all
Next, Mert, took us to a Turkish Delight shop and this was a great surprise. Many of the varieties could be tasted and sampled, and the costs for a box was only 4 euro. Probably everyone bought something here, and again there was no hard sell
Finally, it was lunchtime, and we were taken to the Rug Store. We had a nice 2 course lunch followed by an excellent demonstration on how hand made rugs were made. However, we were then ushered into a large room were 2 men unfolded somewhere between 50-70 rugs of different shapes, sizes, and quality, and the pressure was on. Next we were given a free drink so that we could consider which one we wanted to buy. I immediately left the room to wait for the others. After 25 mins some of the others began to appear, with one couple saying that their small purchase had got the rest of us off the hook. Eventually we left but it had left its mark on everyone.
Instead of running to the ship for 3pm, it was nearer 5pm.
It was definitely a good value tour. For 40 euros I got a great guide, entrance to Ephesus and the terraced houses, a nice lunch, etc.. But the rug stop I could well do without. I will never agree to a rug stop again.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Ashley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great company and guide!”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

I had pre-booked the 7 hour Ephesus tour online before leaving on our cruise. I had been looking for a company that would show us the sights that we wanted without the shopping that's usually included on the ship's excursions. I sent emails to the company manager, Denis, several times and always received a prompt reply. I was assured that the tour would leave on time and that we would have a modern bus with AC that could seat 18 but he would only have 14 maximum in our group. I had recruited some fellow passengers to join the tour and the price was very reasonable considering the length of the tour, the sights to be covered and also it included an authentic Turkish lunch.
The guide, Gizem, met us right on time and she was a lovely girl. Very well spoken and intelligent and it was obvious she knew her stuff! We were disappointed that we had been assigned a group of 21, instead of the promised smaller group of 14 and thus needed a larger vehicle on which the AC and speaker system needed some updating. Those in the back had a harder time hearing until adjustments were made to the bus system. Gizem did a great job covering the sights and between points of interest she gave us background info and prepared us for what we would see. Lunch was at a carpet factory co-operative and the meal was delicious...lots of tasty food and you only had to pay for beverages. After the meal, we had the carpet demo, which wasn't in my original itinerary but was definitely interesting until the big sell. There was no obligation to stay so at that point I wandered outdoors to enjoy the breeze!
Although it was a long day and the weather was pretty hot, Gizem made the tour and sights interesting and did her best to answer any and all questions. I would definitely recommend this company again although if you're looking for a small group experience you need to stress that more strongly than I obviously did....luckily everyone in our group got along really well and we had a great time!

Visited June 2014
Thank BarwickCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Ephesus 4 hour tour was perfect”
Reviewed June 24, 2014

Zafer gave us an excellent tour in well-spoken English. I purposely signed up for the 4 hour Ephesus tour, which included the Temple of Artemis and Terrace Houses. We visited Kusadasi as part of a Mediterranean cruise, so I knew we would be seeing a LOT of ruins and I thought this shorter tour fit our interest level better. The price ($40 USD per person) was excellent for a small bus - 13 on our tour - and semi-private group.

Only 2 complaints, which were minor in the long run: 1. there was some confusion at the port terminal about two groups leaving at the same time with Ephesus Deluxe. Not sure what the deal was, but it delayed our start a bit while the guides sorted it out. 2. The mini-bus A/C was not super cool towards the back seats.

Again, these were small as I think back on the excellent information and amazing sites we saw through this tour. Zafer had a good pace, keeping us moving along and stopping at key points along the way. I noticed other tour groups were stopping and hearing more from the guide more frequently, but then again, I didn't want an 8 hour tour! We got enough information, time for pictures, an excellent overview of the site, and plenty of time after that we shopped in Kusadasi on our own.

I had heard that Ephesus gets very hot and was a little concerned about our family - traveling with my 70+ year old parents (in good health, but still...) and my 11 year old. But the 4 hour tour worked very well for all of us and because we kept moving, it didn't feel as hot as it had a few days before in Pompeii.

Zafer did offer us the option of stopping to see carpets being made or other shopping, but everyone wanted to get back and do their own thing. Zafer was agreeable - there was no pressure or guilt about our choice. I will warn you though, that not everyone in Turkey is as laid back! I was surprised while we visited the Temple of Artemis that "salespeople" and gypsies pushed their way through our group, selling guidebooks, postcards, and the like. Once we entered Ephesus itself they were gone until we exited the gate again.

Visited June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Satellite Beach, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2014

Great tour. This tour allowed us to see everything we wanted in the region. Our guide, Mystery, was very informative. Ephesus is simply incredible. Pompeii often gets more hype because of the way it ended, but Ephesus is more impressive. And only 10% has been uncovered. The supposed house of the Virgin Mary was nice, but honestly, it doesn't have much credibility to it. Their top source for confirming its location was visions from a German nun. The lunch was pretty good at a rug making place. I'm really glad we got to see how much time and effort was put into making these special rugs. I would recommend this tour for sure.

Visited June 2014
Thank Hazlettfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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