Ephesus Tours?

Hello! My husband and I will be taking our honeymoon to Europe in July and August. Part of the trip is a cruise that stops in Kusadasi, Turkey. We have heard that Ephasus is amazing and not to be missed. My question is, should we book through the cruise ship, or find a local tour guide? Thank you so much for the help!

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3403 posts

When we were there a number of years ago we just toured it ourselves, guide book in hand.

Posted by Rick
Chicago, IL, USA
468 posts

There are quite a number of guides at the entrance that you can hire. Just make sure that you hire an official guide. They will have an ID card, with their photo, hanging around their neck. About 2/3 of the way through Ephesus, there is an extra exhibit, of the homes of the well-to-do of Ephesus. It costs extra and is about the same as the regular admission, but it's WELL worth it. Also, make sure that you buy some water before you go into Ephesus. You'll need it.

Posted by Marie
Huntington Beach, CA, US
8 posts

Thank you! I am anticipating some hot weather. But being a teacher, summer is the only time I can take this much time to vacation...

Posted by Charlene
Lewis, WV, US
178 posts

How long should we plan for a tour of Ephesus? Our stop on our cruise is only from 2-7 pm. Will there be taxis or vans waiting when we get off the cruise ship? We would rather do it on our own as to do the cruise line tour.

Posted by MAC
Ricksville
9 posts

Question: How long should we plan for a tour of Ephesus? Our stop on our cruise is only from 2-7 pm. Will there be taxis or vans waiting when we get off the cruise ship? We would rather do it on our own as to do the cruise line tour.

Answer: If you book a tour of Ephesus through your cruise line, buses will be waiting for you. If you prefer to tour Ephesus on your own, you'll need to go by public transportation.....either taxi or dolmus. If you go by taxi, you can catch a taxi right at the port entrance. By dolmus, you'll need to do some research and find out which one will take you there. With limited time, I'd spend the money for the taxi. Ephesus is about 30-45 minutes from Kusadasi near the city of Selçuk. The dolmus will let you out on the road by the harbor entrance to Ephesus and you'll need to walk the short distance to the gate. A taxi will take you to the lower gate. You can find taxis waiting once you finish your tour of Ephesus. For the dolmus, you'll need to walk back down to the road and flag the dolmus down to get back to Kusadasi.

Posted by MAC
Ricksville
9 posts

Comment: There are quite a number of guides at the entrance that you can hire. Just make sure that you hire an official guide. They will have an ID card, with their photo, hanging around their neck. About 2/3 of the way through Ephesus, there is an extra exhibit, of the homes of the well-to-do of Ephesus. It costs extra and is about the same as the regular admission, but it's WELL worth it. Also, make sure that you buy some water before you go into Ephesus. You'll need it.

Additional comment: The “houses” referred to above are the “slope houses”, which have been excavated in the last 10 years and are located near the library in Ephesus. It is worth the extra cost to see the wonderful mosaics and frescos that decorated these residences.

You may find water for sale near the library in Ephesus. However, restrooms are only located at the upper and lower gates in Ephesus. There are none along the route between the gates. So use the rest rooms before you enter the upper gate, or wait and use the ones near the lower gate. By the way, the cost to use the facilities in Ephesus is probably the highest you’ll find in Turkey.

Posted by MAC
Ricksville
9 posts

Question: Hello! My husband and I will be taking our honeymoon to Europe in July and August. Part of the trip is a cruise that stops in Kusadasi, Turkey. We have heard that Ephesus is amazing and not to be missed. My question is, should we book through the cruise ship, or find a local tour guide? Thank you so much for the help!

Answer: If you want to book your own guide, I’d do some research in advance and have your guide lined up. Your guide may also be able to meet you at the ship and take you to Ephesus and return you back to Kusadasi when finished. Check out http://www.srmtravel.com/ for suggestions. These are the nice folks who provide logistics for Rick Steves tours.

In my experience, cruise ship tours of Ephesus “roller skate” through the site. You’ll benefit from having more time. But do your Ephesus visit as early in the day as possible before it gets unbearably hot. Wear sunscreen and hats.

Posted by Sally
Cincinnati, ohio, usa
40 posts

Marie-
My husband & I just got back from Ephesus last week on a cruise which stopped at Kusadasi. We went through www.ekoltravel.com. They come with great reviews and are very reasonable. The awesome guide's name was Ali. Ali picked us up at 9:30 and we returned around 4:30. We had a private guide along with a driver.

They were less expensive than the ship's excursions and you didn't feel like you were in a heard of cattle going to this place. After much research, many tour guides want to take at least 4 or more people. This company will take just two people and only charge you for two. My husband & I really enjoyed the day - 1st class treatment. We did the Ephesus tour, the terrace houses and a trip up to Sirince village where we had an authentic Turkey lunch. This small village is up in the hills with a very beautiful ride. I would go with a private guide - for sure!

Also, the terrace houses are a must. It really lets you see how they lived at that time.

Many guides want to take you to a rug dealer. If you like that then go - we told them no rugs and they respected out wishes.

E-mail me with any questions that you might have. I did lots of research which helped when we got into ports. We did most of the ports on our own but felt that we needed a guide for Ephesus. We just got back last week with doing an 11 Med. cruise and it was fantastic!

Posted by Gokhan
Izmir, izmir, Turkey
84 posts

Hi
This is Gokhan from Izmir city,
(very close to kosadasi ~45 minutes)
There will be no problem in any case,, distances are very close and every where is full fill guides etd.. also Turkish people/public wellcomes you with very high hospitality :) ;
I recommend you Ephessus (EFES), Virgin Mary House (MERYEM ANA) and if you have time SIRINCE KOYU village, it is a small greek style original village in Selcuk...
Anyhow you can write/ask me incase of any detailed question if you have, Celebrations in advance nad have a beatifull honeymoon "BALAYI" :)
I wish you could have much more time in Turkey :)
Regards,

Posted by Charlene
Lewis, WV, US
178 posts

Marie, we just returned from the Ephasus tour. We, too, departed the cruise ship, and you will have time to visit Ephasus. As you leave the port, there will be taxis. There were others from the cruise ship drop there asking for a taxi. We may not have gotten the most fantastic deal but eight of us went in a van type taxi for one hundred EUROS. If you want to do a local bus, you have to make several changes. He dropped us off, we hired a very nice and interesting offical guide, went through Ephasus, and the driver met us at the end. Everyone in the Aegean islands were very nice, helpful, and we felt safe at all times. Just always be alert, and you won't have any problems.

Afterward he asked if we wanted to make stops at the local shops. ex. pottery, leather, etc. If you are not interested just say so, and the driver will be accomodating.

Everyone on this website helped us tremendously before our trip. We knew exactly what to expect.

Posted by Roger
EDMONTON
1 posts

My wife and I are takiing cruise in May. Venice to Athens. Any suggestions re shore excursions. Have you useD Rick Steves Audio Tours? We stop in Venice,Kopor Dubrovnik,Kotor,Corfu,Monemvasia,Santorini,Ephesus & stay 2 days in Athens.
Thanks Roger

Posted by Mimi
Morrison, CO, USA
332 posts

A few years ago we used Levent Solmaz for our tour of Ephesus. I had gone on cruisecritic.com and hooked up with a few other people who were going to be on our sailing. One of the gals had used him before and she arranged it. No prepayment, we paid at the end and he was so good my husband tipped him generously. He has lived in the states. His English is excellent and he was informative and interesting, not boring and not just memorized. he met us at the port with a van and driver and then returned us to the port. I would tour with him again in a heartbeat. Have a great trip!

Posted by Christine
Philadelphia, PA, USA
44 posts

Marie - We went on a cruise in May of 2011 that stopped in Kusadasi. I would definitely recommend a private tour guide. I found that the cost to hire a private tour guide was not that much more than the cost of the ship excursion. I used Ephesus Shuttle (you can Google them and find their website). They picked us up right at the ship in a nice van. We had a driver and a tour guide. We saw the house of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus, stopped in a really cute local restaurant for lunch, stopped in Sirince, and still had time to stop at a carpet factory on the way back to the ship. You will be able to see a lot more if you hire a local guide. Not only can you focus in on the things you want to see, but she was able to get us to the front of the line everywhere we went. If we would have tried to do those things on our own, we would have stood in line with all of the other tourists and school groups and wasted most of our time. Particularly in the middle of summer, I think "jumping the line" will be a big advantage.