Ephesus from a cruise ship

We want to visit Ephesus while on a cruise in April and have a few questions. We prefer to travel independently and wonder if this can be done easily. A few people have written about private tours from the pork of Kusadasi and they highly recommended certain companies. We read one account of public transportation from the port, but it said one had to switch buses three times to arrive at Ephesus. Is it possible to get transportation directly from the ship to Ephesus and be on your own while touring the site. The recommended private tours sound nice and perhaps it would work for us, but we usually enjoy seeing a place on our own with a good guide book. For those who have taken a private tour, were you able to walk around at leisure enjoying the site or was it a bit rushed like the typical tour? Thanks for any advice you can offer us.
Richard and Piret

Posted by Christine
Philadelphia, PA, USA
61 posts

We visited Ephesus during a cruise in May of 2011. We did a private tour, which we found to be very enjoyable. The tour company we used was Ephesus Shuttle. They provided transportation from the port (which included a very comfortable van and driver), a tour guide, and entry tickets to all of the stops we made (including Ephesus). We were able to set up our own itinerary, so you can really spend as much time as you want based on the number of hours you will be in port. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable. It was a also a big advantage to have our entry tickets to Ephesus pre-purchased, as we were able to skip the lines and crowds and go right in.

Posted by Lee
1897 posts

Why not rent a car in Kusadasi and drive yourselves there? That, or hire a taxi to take you there. If you DIY, be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required.

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
733 posts

There is advice on this from Tripadvisor forums, but it's from 2011. Very possible that it would still work...you just have to research a little. A "dolmus" is a shared taxi and they are a very easy way to get around...they will have the destination printed right on the windshield (they drive fixed routes and can be flagged anywhere along the route - the only downside, if any, is that the driver will wait until one is full before taking off. I would think there will be lots of demand for Ephesus for folks in your situation) http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g297972-i1664-k4222511-Ephesus_by_dolmus_from_Kusadasi-Kusadasi_Turkish_Aegean_Coast.html PS. The dolmus would probably only go to Selcuk and then you'd have to walk a little or take a very short taxi.

Posted by Lee
1897 posts

Regarding Agnes' information: When I was in Turkey I noticed that signs sometimes used different phonetic English spellings than what you might expect, so if you decide to use the dolmus to get to Ephesus look for the possible alternative spelling for Ephesus, EFES.

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

There is information in the Rick Steves Cruise Ports book on how to get there on your own. Although Ephesus is one of the places he advises getting a tour. Depending on how much time you have in port, you could use up a lot of your sightseeing time just on transportation. Check out the pors of call section of the Cruise Critic messageboards. You can do a search and might find directions from someone else who has recently don it.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8647 posts

As mentioned by Dina, please check out the cruisecritics.com forums, they are simply the best forum for all things cruising... I like cruising, only done 6 , but sorry I don't go on "regular" forums for cruise info, on cruisecritics the other members are far more aware of the logistics of visiting ports and time limits. And I have learned some really great secret side trips, even to walking through empty parking lots to find local boats to take me to seclude beaches.. etc.. On cruisecritics they have separate forums for most ports, most cruiselines, and they are a busy forum so lots of "fresh" answers. Ironically on this forum a few years ago asking cruise type questions often had folks come on saying things like "why even take a cruise" etc.. but now that Rick has started writing about cruising its been deemed an ok alternative here for some people. Go to cruisecritics.. Rick has cruised once or twice, some people on other forums have been hundreds of times..