Local Sights

Ancient Ephesus

The second largest ancient city of the world. Explore the well-preserved ruins of Ephesus, the ancient capital of Roman Asia. The extensive ruins include the spectacular theatre, library and terraced houses. Ephesus was the major city of Asia Minor during the New Testament era. It was a major port – now silted up – located at the end of the spice and silk roads that ran west from Arabia and Asia. Paul visited the city on his second and third missionary journeys – staying there for about 3 years on his third journey. Ephesus is one of the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation (1:11; 2:1–7). It is mentioned 18 times in the New Testament. It was the center for the worship of Artemis (Roman Diana). The Austrians have been excavating there for over 100 years! Most of these artifacts are housed in the Ephesus Museum in Selcuk and it provides more information about the history of the area with many quality treasures on display.

According to the old legends, Ephesus was founded by the female warriors known as the Amazons. The name of the city is thought to have been derived from APASAS, the name of a city in the KINGDOM OF ARZAWA meaning the city of the Mother Goddess. Ephesus was inhabited from the end of the Bronze Age onwards, but changed its location several times in the course of its long history in accordance with habits and requirements.

Ephesus Visiting hours

  • Opening : 08:00
  • Last Entrance : 18:30
  • Closing Time : 19:30

Please check our sample tour itineraries Ephesus Tours


House of Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)

The home where the Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life is a popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics. Located on top of Bulbul Mountain which on top of the hill from Atilla’s Getaway, it also gives the visitors a panoramic view over the town.

According to Christian traditional beliefs this is the House that Virgin Mary lived her days after the Resurrection of Christ. She was brought to Ephesus by Apostle John. In 1812 there was a German nun by the name Sister Ann Catherine Emmerich who visualized the journey of Apostle John and Virgin Mary from Jerusalem to Ephesus. She described the house so vividly and it was recorded.

The sister had never travelled anywhere else. The house of Virgin Mary is also sacred to Muslims, because the Muslims recognised Mary to be the mother of Prophet Jesus. The house became a Catholic shrine in 1896. Today many visitors from all over the world flock to the shrine.

There is water which is being believed as a holy water and can be drunk by anyone. The spring water is believed to have healing properties.

You can also put papers on the prayer wall and have a wish. The House of Virgin Mary is a must visit.

Please check our sample tour itineraries Virgin Mary Tours


Ephesus Museum

Visiting hours : 08.00 a.m - 18.30 p.m

In the museum which is kept open all year round are displayed works most of which have been unearthed in the course of the excavations carried out in Ephesus and some which have been excavated in such ancient towns as Claros in the near vicinity. The Ephesus Museum is the most significant local museum of Turkey with the works it contains, the visitor capacity and cultural activities.


Isabey Mosque

Isa Bey Mosque is one of the most delicate examples of Seljukian architecture, situated below the Basilica of Saint John. It was constructed between the years of 1374 and 1375. An inscription from the God decorates the doorway.

The mosque is built by the master builder Ali, son of Mushimish al-Damishki. Crown-like doors from the Seljukian architectural style, later combine with the decoration elements of Ottoman style. The influential details including the plant motifs and the beautiful marble workmanship with the variety of faience mosaics create the marvelous atmosphere of Isa Bey Mosque. Some parts of the mosque is repaired in 1934.


Johannesbasilika - Basilica of Saint John

Visiting hours : 08.00 a.m - 18.30 p.m

This church is constructed in the burial place of Saint John the Divine on Ayasuluk Hill. The original mausoleum was changed into a marvellous Basilica during the reign of Justinianus 1. (527-565AD) The church was destroyed by a serious earthquake, so some artifacts of the church are still hidden in the dark, and some parts of the criss-cross planned construction have been carefully repaired.

The monograms Justinianus 1 and his wife Theodora strike on some of the capitals of the columns. The Gate of Persecution is the entrance of the Basilica. It takes its name from a relief displaying Archilles dragging the dead body of Hector.


Cave of the Seven Sleepers


Artemis Temple


Ayasuluk Castle


Belevi Mausoleum


Çamlik Train Museum


Museum in Selcuk

Visiting hours : 08.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m

The newly opened Selcuk Memorial Museum is one of the oldest building’s in Selcuk.

It was built around the end of the 19th ,Century for a British Tobacco company out of a shortage of Tobacco during the American Cival war.


Sirince

This pretty old Orthodox village, 8km away from Selçuk was once Cirkince (“ugly”). Indeed its habitants gave this name on purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village. After years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly at all and called it Sirince (“pretty”). As the village is located on the top of a mountain, anyone will enjoy the impressive views of wine yards and peach trees. Spend a relaxing afternoon here, taste testing some of western Turkey’s best wine, as well as Turkish Gozleme made by the locals. Atilla recommends Dimitros Restaurant in Sirince for delicious food and wine with great hospitality.


Kusadasi


Pamukkale


Izmir, Symirna

Known in Turkish as Beautiful Izmir the city lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships and yachts. The climate is mild and in the summer the constant and refreshing sea breezes temper the suns heat. Behind the palm-lined promenades and avenues which follow the shoreline, the city, in horizontal terraces, gently ascends the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and its port is second only to Istanbul. A cosmopolitan and lively city all year round, Izmir bursts with an added vibrancy during the international Arts Festival (June/July) and the International Fair (August/September)

Ancient Ephesus

House of Virgin Mary

Ephesus Museum

Isabey Mosque

Basilica of Saint John

Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Artemis Temple

Ayasuluk Castle

Belevi Mausoleum

Camlik Train Museum

Museum in Selcuk

Sirince

Kusadasi

Pamukkale

Izmir Symirna