Ephesus: 7 hour tour or 4 hour tour + shopping

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#1
191 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Hi,

We're trying to decide if we should take a 7 hour tour which will visit:Can you please give some advice?
- Temple of Artemis
- Ancient Ephesus
- Terrace Houses
- The Basilica of St. John
- The Virgin Mary's House


or a 4 hour tour which skip the last 2 sites, but give us some time to shopping and walk around the port area.


Are the last 2 a must-see for first time traveler?


Thanks,
April
#2
Florida West Coast
137 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by aprilsp88
Hi,


We're trying to decide if we should take a 7 hour tour which will visit:Can you please give some advice?
- Temple of Artemis

- Ancient Ephesus

- Terrace Houses


- The Basilica of St. John

- The Virgin Mary's House



or a 4 hour tour which skip the last 2 sites, but give us some time to shopping and walk around the port area.



Are the last 2 a must-see for first time traveler?


Thanks,
April


I have only been to Ephasus, Basilica of St. John, and the House of the Virgin Mary. I am going back this summer and will re-visit Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary. I was not impressed by the Basilica of St. John (you do realize he is not buried there?). These boards have been very complementary on the Terrace Houses. I wouldn't mind seeing the Temple of Artemis.....maybe someday. Ephesus is great for achelogical and religious history. IMO the House of the Virgin Mary is a very spiritual place and I wouldn't miss it for anything. I am sure you will enjoy any of the sites you select.
#3
19,778 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think the answer largely depends on whether you are more of a sightseer or a shopper.

Personally, I'd opt for the longer tour. Kusadasi isn't really that much of a "charming" town -- it has largely been built up for tourists. I really enjoyed seeing the Basilica of St. John, but then there are few ancient ruins that don't intrigue me.

On the other hand, if you are a shopper, there are some interesting things to purchase and there are also some good restaurants in Kusadasi if you want to try some Turkish food.
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#4
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,221 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by aprilsp88
Hi,

We're trying to decide if we should take a 7 hour tour which will visit:Can you please give some advice?
- Temple of Artemis
- Ancient Ephesus
- Terrace Houses
- The Basilica of St. John
- The Virgin Mary's House


or a 4 hour tour which skip the last 2 sites, but give us some time to shopping and walk around the port area.




Thanks,
April
We were in Ephesus in July 2010 and did the 6 hour tour without the Terrace Houses. It was good, but we are going again in September and will do the Terrace Houses.
The Temple of Artemis is gone except for the foundation. Some told us the Virgin Mary's House is not much to see.

The Terrace Houses are the must not miss item.
Are the last 2 a must-see for first time traveler?
#5
California
1,724 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We did not go to St. John but we visited the Virgin Mary's house and the Terrace Houses. Pictures here: http://chiumemories.blogspot.com/201...e-met-our.html
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#6
9,368 Posts
Joined May 2009
As cruisemom says, only you can decide this based on your own interests. If shopping isn't a big thing for you, I'd certainly take the longer tour. We visited Ephesus (including the Terrace Houses) as well as the Mary House and the Temple of Artemis from Izmir, so there was no time for us to see the Basilica of St. John, but I wish we'd been able to. I can't imagine trading ruins or historical sites for shopping, but that's me.
#7
278 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by 4774Papa
We were in Ephesus in July 2010 and did the 6 hour tour without the Terrace Houses. It was good, but we are going again in September and will do the Terrace Houses.
The Temple of Artemis is gone except for the foundation. Some told us the Virgin Mary's House is not much to see.

The Terrace Houses are the must not miss item.
Are the last 2 a must-see for first time traveler?
Did you book through the cruise ship or a private tour company. If private could you give me the name?
#8
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,389 Posts
Joined May 2000
Its tough to answer this type of question for another person. Personally, we would probably opt for the half day tour and skip the Basilica of St John and the Virgin Mary House. If you taking a private tour with a company like EKOL you might be able to arrange to make a quick stop at the Basilica (you only need a quick visit to see this place). As to the Virgin Mary House....this is a topic that can be debated for all time. The reality is that the facility is fairly new and was built on the old foundation. The other reality is that there is absolutely no proof that Mary ever lived at that location, but the Catholic Church found it advantageous to feed the tale since they wanted a presence in a Muslim country (they actually have some nuns working at the place). We have spoken to several local experts and the best answer we got was that most believe that Mary did live near Ephesus and that if she had lived near Ephesus the Virgin Mary House would have been an ideal location. Go figure. It is a major tourist destination and brings in revenue

Kusadasi has become a thriving major tourist city with a fun shopping area (right across the street from the port) and we always love to browse the shops. Just seeing our old favorite sign "Real Fake Watches" always makes me smile.

Hank
#9
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,221 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by pjn
Did you book through the cruise ship or a private tour company. If private could you give me the name?
Booked the Celebrity excursion.

Ephesian Modus Vivandi KD28

Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey

OVERVIEW: This tour offers a complete perspective about the Ancient City of Ephesus and the Roman way of living.HIGHLIGHTS: In Ephesus, see the Magnesia Gate, Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Library of Celsius, Grand Theater, and the Arcadian Way. Explore the Terrace Houses known as "the houses of rich" and visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum with its exhibits. Enjoy a Roman feast for lunch as well as a carpet presentation and time to shop.NOTES: Guests must be able to walk approx. 1.5 miles and and this tour is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair. Guests must walk across scaffolding with Plexiglas flooring at the Terrace Houses.
#10
London, England
3,024 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
The cruse ships dock in Kusadasi very close to the main shopping area, so you may have time to visit the shops and do the tour. Personally, I would do the longer tour.

I have a friend who used to live in Kusadasi and visited a few times. I have never been anywhere, not even in Egypt, or other Arab countries where you are hassled to buy goods as much as they do in Kusadasi.

I have found the shopping experience in Kusadasi more of a chore than a pleasure.
#11
84,875 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by aprilsp88
Hi,

We're trying to decide if we should take a 7 hour tour which will visit:Can you please give some advice?
- Temple of Artemis
- Ancient Ephesus
- Terrace Houses
- The Basilica of St. John
- The Virgin Mary's House


or a 4 hour tour which skip the last 2 sites, but give us some time to shopping and walk around the port area.

Are the last 2 a must-see for first time traveler?


Thanks,
April
I would do the second tour so you have time for shopping and to walk around.

Keith
#12
278 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by LondonTowner
The cruse ships dock in Kusadasi very close to the main shopping area, so you may have time to visit the shops and do the tour. Personally, I would do the longer tour.

I have a friend who used to live in Kusadasi and visited a few times. I have never been anywhere, not even in Egypt, or other Arab countries where you are hassled to buy goods as much as they do in Kusadasi.

I have found the shopping experience in Kusadasi more of a chore than a pleasure.
This is exactly why I am looking for a tour company that will not take us to any handicraft centers or carpet demos. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thank you.
#13
Bavarian Forest, Germany near the Czech border
2,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by pjn
This is exactly why I am looking for a tour company that will not take us to any handicraft centers or carpet demos. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thank you.
EVERY tour in Greece, Turkey or the Middle East ALWAYS takes you to a carpet demo or handicraft thingy. For one, people are proud of their heritage and really think you neeeeed the carpet, secondly, people in these countries look out for their family. The shops they take you to belong to a relative or friend. There is hardly any getting round the sales pitch. Just smile and politely say no when somebody tries to sell you something you do not want.
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#14
473 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by pjn
This is exactly why I am looking for a tour company that will not take us to any handicraft centers or carpet demos. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thank you.
Check out. http://www.ephesusshuttle.com/. We thought Ephesus Shuttle was fantastic. We decided what we wanted to see. We were not interested in carpet factories or shopping. Just the two of us and we had a driver and a guide. So much less expensive then the ship tour and we saw so much more. Definitely do the private tour, you will love it.
R
I don't agree with the above post. Every private tour we took was just that private. You decide where you are going. We are not shoppers and we simple told the tour guide we did not want to stop for shopping. Therefore, we never did. They can not make you shop!
#16
473 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by west coast grandma
Hi, wondering if anyone knew if the Virgin Mary House has a dress code like Churches do, etc long pants,shoulders covered,etc.

thanks
I don't know if there is a formal dress code. I looked at my pictures and most women were in capris and men in long pants. A very few men and women in knee length shorts. I read somewhere before I went that because this a holy site, it best to be dressed as if you were going to church -- no tank tops or short shorts. Enjoy your trip.
#17
2,768 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by UKBayern
EVERY tour in Greece, Turkey or the Middle East ALWAYS takes you to a carpet demo or handicraft thingy. For one, people are proud of their heritage and really think you neeeeed the carpet, secondly, people in these countries look out for their family. The shops they take you to belong to a relative or friend. There is hardly any getting round the sales pitch. Just smile and politely say no when somebody tries to sell you something you do not want.
Not true actually - we have done lots of trips in Turkey & Greece & not been taken shopping. The only one we had recently was on a trip to Ephesus ; they wanted to take us to a carpet shop in Kusadasi at the end of the trip & as we have experienced this In the past, we just politely declined & headed back to the ship - no problem at all!
#18
19,778 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think the tours in Ephesus are worse than most about insisting on taking you to a "shopping opportunity" as part of your tour. I would no longer recommend Ekol Tours for this very reason. I've been very concerned about it, because I really do NOT like to take a private tour where my wishes are disregarded!

I've recently been in communication with a relatively new agency to Ephesus -- but I have used them twice for tours in Egypt (where these shopping stops can be a similar problem).

The owner was very clear that they will listen to what their customers want on a private tour, and that no shopping means no shopping!! I had a great experience with them in Egypt (you can read my detailed review at the link below) and I have every reason to think they'll be just as customer-focused in Turkey.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1297722

I'd be happy to provide contact info if anyone is interested in looking into their tours as a good alternative.
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#19
San Antonio. TX
338 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Being a non-shopper the answer is easy for me, but that's me. What do you want to do?

My first trip to Ephesus was thru the cruise line - ugly. Way too short and way too many people. So this last year I used Ephesus Shuttle and highly recommend them. The tour selected was for Ephesus, the Terrace Houses and Temple of Artemis (already been to House of Mary, and while I enjoyed it wanted to spend more time at Ephesus). The guide was fantastic, a small group, and the price was good.

The only problem, and it's my own fault as I opened up the excursion to anyone interested in my roll call, we ended up at one of the carpet factories. At the end of the tour the guide asked if we'd be interested. All it took was for one person to say they wanted to go, and off we were. However, if we'd said no it wouldn't have happened and the guide wasn't pressuring the side trip.
#20
vancouver
38 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by thepoint
I don't know if there is a formal dress code. I looked at my pictures and most women were in capris and men in long pants. A very few men and women in knee length shorts. I read somewhere before I went that because this a holy site, it best to be dressed as if you were going to church -- no tank tops or short shorts. Enjoy your trip.
Thanks for the info. I wanted to make sure before I start packing. Our cruise is coming up fast.