Day-1 Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis, Traditional Turkish lunch
Day-2 Pamukkale (Cotton Castle), The Ancient City of Hierapolis, Lunch
Day-3 Pergamon, Akropolis, Red Court, Asklepion, Lunch
Day-4 Departure – Airport transfer
Accomodation; 3 nights in Kusadasi
DAY-1 : VISITING THE ANCIENT CITY OF EPHESUS
After landing to Izmir airport, your guide will be waiting you in the arrival guest terminal with a sign that your booking name indicated. After he/she welcomes you and you get on your private van, your unforgetable day in Turkey stop starts.
The ancient city of Ephesus which has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List following a vote in Bonn on July 5 in 2015, is one of the worlds greatest classical sites located in the Western coasts of Turkey. As being the best preserved ancient city in Anatolia so far discovered, each year this place hosts to millions of tourists who come to Turkey.
First of all you follow the way to Selcuk town which is a district of Izmir province. After an hour drive, 50 miles(80km), you reach to Selcuk town where The Ancient City of Ephesus which is the best preserved ancient city in Anatolia so far discovered and your magical experience through a history starts.
Your first stop with your guide will be the visit to the House of Virgin Mary.
The House of Virgin Mary is located up on a mountain that it is beleived to have been the place where she lived and spent the last years of her life close by to the Ancient City of Ephesus whereas St.John the apostale lived and passed away in this city.
At the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Jeruselam, he entrusted mother Mary to St.John who was one of the beloved apostales of himself. After that, as the tradition says, St.John the apostale wanted to take Mary to safer place and he chose to come to the region of Ephesus in between 42 -48 AD back than. They both spent their last years in this area.
This place was officially declared a pligrmage site of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896. Pope Paul VI visited the shrine in 1967, Pope Jean Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
Even mainly a pligrimage site for the Catholics, with its wonderful spot and peaceful energy up on the mountain in a forest areas, became a respectful place for the millions of people all around the world in which religion they belong to it does not matter…
After the visit in the House of Virgin Mary, your next stop will be The Ancient City of Ephesus.
Ephesus was inhabited from the end of the Bronze Age, but the location was changed owing to the silting up process of the river Cayster and because of various rulers. Carians and Lelegians were the city’s earliest inhabitants(7000 BC.), Ionian migrations began around 1200 BCE and Ephesus is chiefly known as an Ionian Greek city. Altough there had been a lot of civilizations passed through the region of Ephesus even with its different settlement areas(4 times changing the location of their city), the city that we visit today with all the ruins as being the best preserved ancient city in Anatolia so far discovered is the 3rd location of Ephesus as a Greko-Roman city dating back to the 3rd C BC.
Starting from the upper gate of the city you are going to be following the impressive marble streets of Ephesus with the explanations of your guide who makes you feel like having a journey back to the antiquity and especially to the Roman times as like taking a time machine back into those days…
First of all you start with the administrative part of the city where you see the ruins of The State Agora,Roman Baths, Basilica, Buleterion(Odeon),Prytaneion buildings. After ending the Administrative part of the city you reach to the Domitian Square where you see the ruins of Temple of Domitian,Pollio Fauntain,Memmius Monumet,relief of Nike(Victoria) and then the ordinary life of Ephesus starts where the massive buildings keeps welcoming you as well.
One of the most well known main Street in the city “The Street of Curettes” where you face the jewel of Ephesus which is “The famous Library of Celsus” comes with a panaromic unbelievable view.
This amazing view is going to be a “Wow” for you. Then you start walking on the Street of Curettes on a collonaded marble street as following the ruins of Gate of Hercules, ruins of the shops which were located behind the columns, The Trajan Fountain, The Scholastika Bath Complex, The Teracce Houses(the residentials of the wealthy families who lived in the city- Has an extra enterance fee), The Temple of Hadrian, Latrines(public toilets of the Romans),Brothel, famous Library of Celsus.
The Library of Celsus will be the ending of the first main Street and then the second main Street for the city comes as the Marble Street. The Street extends from the Library of Celsus till the famous big Grand Theater of Ephesus which is known as one of the largest example with its seating capacity in Anatolia so far discovered. On the way to the big grand Theater, you are going to get shocked seeing the first advertising in Ephesus on a marble peace on the floor showing the direction of … (?) Wait to learn from your guide about the funny story of it…
The impressive Commercial Agora(Market Place) which used to be the heart of the city as being the trade center of the Asia Minor for the Ephesians comes with an impressive view from a teracce on the Marble Street.
The last highlight comes as the big grand Theater of Ephesus with the capasity of 25.000 people which firstly was built as a Greek theater then later coverted into a Roman style. The Theater of Ephesus was the place where St.Paul the Apostale preached to the Ephesians.
You are going to feel the amazing acoustics inside the theater and you are going to be able to imagine that once there used to be the gladiator fights and wild animal fights were being held in the spot where you are standing today.
After the Theater one last main Street comes as the Harbour Streeet(the Arcadiane).The end of this Street was the location of the ancient port of Ephesus which is today about 7 km away from the city itself. Here is another shock for you that after imagining Ephesus was used to be port city and that much silted up by the River Cayster in thousands of years…
Following the way through the Harbour streert, some more ruins will be pointed out by your guide as the Theater Gymnasion, some examples of the Sarcophagi(tombs),Church of Mary and the Harbour Baths…
As ending your tour with impressive informations and wonderful pictures that you had inside the ancient city, you are not going to being taken to the upper gate back again to exit; you are going to exit the ancient city togather with your guide from the lower gate and meet with your private van in the parking area.
After exploring the ancient city of Ephesus you might be starving ! So the next stop will be the restaurant where you see all the real traditional Turkish food settled on a buffet which is going to be your heaven with the food..How we Turks cook at home will be the same experince and delicious taste for you to try at this restaurant.
A typical meal starts with soup (especially in wintertime), followed by a dish made of vegetables or legumes boiled in a pot (typically with meat or minced meat), often with or before rice or bulgur pilav accompanied by a salad or cacik (diluted cold yogurt dish with garlic, salt, and cucumber slices). In summertime many people prefer to eat a cold dish of vegetables cooked with olive oil instead of the soup, either before or after the main course, which can also be a chicken, meat or fish plate.
You sould make yourselves try all the varieties of the meals on the buffet as much as possible..Good news “ You may have return trips !”
Then your next stop comes about the historical part in your program as visiting The Temple of Artemis which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis was the greek name of the goddes in mithology that in Rome she was called as Diana. Artemis was the protector mother godess for the Ephesians so she was also totally different than the cllasical mithology.The godess of fertility,birth and the nature…
Even from the temple itself not much ruins left, this site is something not to miss as being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as being the house of the protector mother godess of the people back in the paganism times, as being the 2nd settlement area for the Ephesians and as facing an impressive view from the location of the temple with some other impressive historical buildings such as The Isa Bey Mosque, The Basilica of St.John and the Ayasuluk Castle…
After finishing the visit in the Temple of Artemis, you are going to be taken to your hotel in Kusadasi. Kusadasi is known as one of the most popular resorts area in Turkey that also has another importance as having the major cruise port located there with thousands of visitors coming each day in the summers. Your overnight will be in Kusadasi.
DAY-2 : PAMUKKALE (COTTON CASTLE) AND THE ANCIENT CITY OF HIERAPOLIS TOUR (with lunch)
Here is another natural beuty of the World which is located in Turkey… A daily trip to Pamukkale should be one another place to mark on your “to do list” in Turkey…
A trip to the healing center of the ancient World waits for you…
Today your guide will be meeting you in your hotel by 08:30 am and you are going to be following the way to another city today which is called as Denizli where Pamukkale exists. Pamukkale is located like 17 km away from the city itself. You are going to be having a nice and comfortable drive as you are following the way. You will realise more about the unexpected natural beauties and the countryside of Turkey.
After around 3 hours driving with your guide and private driver, you reach to Pamukkale town with an impressive view of the white teracces welcoming you on the slopes of the hill…
After having your lunch in Pamukkale town, your magical experience through a natural beauty and history starts.
Pamukkale, which means “cotton castle” in english, has always been a very popular settlement where the hot springs were beleived to have the healing power. The white terraces were formed by running warm spring water, at a temperature of 35 °C / 102 °F containing calcium bicarbonate. When the water loses its carbon dioxide it leaves limestone deposits. The spring water contains lots of minerals inside sof rom the antiquity this area became as a healing center and visited by the people to cure their deseases through the centuries. Pamukkale, with those white travertines, and the ancient city of Hierapolis which nested togather at the same area, has been in the World Heritage List since 1988. The city became the center of a pagan cult in antiquity and a spa resort today.Hierapolis ancient city has always known as a healing center with its water. During your tour you will see the magnificently preserved and vast Necropolis of the ancient Hellenistic world, Roman basilica baths, Domitian gate, latrines, Agora, Colonnaded street, Byzantine Gate, Roman fountains, and Grand Theatre, as well as other monuments at the site. After being informed about the area, you will be looking forward to have your free time by your guide in the site to enjoy the thermal pools…At the end of the tour inside Pamukkale after using the pools, don’t forget to have look the mirror to see yourself much younger looking..! Why not !
After ending the tour in the site, you are going to be following the same way back to Kusadasi where your hotel is. You have another overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY-3 : PERGAMON & AKROPOLIS & RED COURT & ASKLEPION (with lunch)
Today time for another highlight for you to have the tour to the ancient city of Pergamon which is another historical site in Turkey that added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2014.
Once the ancient city of Pergamon rivaled Alexandria, Ephesus and Antioch in culture and commerce…The scientific advancements in the field of medicine resonate through the corridors of today’s medical treatment facilities.
You are going to be meeting with your guide in the hotel by 08:30 am. and you first of all start following the way to the city Izmir. Pergamon, today’s “Bergama” town is a district of Izmir province.
The driving distance takes around 2,5 hours (190 km) to reach to Pergamon.
Acropolis of Pergamon will be your first visit. While you are climbing up to the peak of the acropolis, you may easily sense the echo of Pergamon’s glorious past, which can still be heard amongst the beauty of its marble ruins today.
Your guide will make a round trip starting with the ruins of ; Hellenistic City Walls, Heroon, Temple of Athena, famous Library, Palaces of the kings, Temple of Trajan-Hadrian, Theater, Temple of Dionysos, the Great Altar of Zeus.
It was a proud city in its time, and it had reason to be so with all those impressive monumental buildings shining like a star. Especially the library of Pergamon rivaled that of the famed library of Alexandria in Egypt. The famous library of Pergamon has another big importance with its estimated capacity scrolls with 200,000 documents of both papyrus and parchments made it certainly one of the largest collections of written material in the ancient world and was famous throughout the Mediterranean. It also housed one of the most extravagant wedding gifts of all time. Marc Antony is said to have presented Cleopatra with a sizable portion of the Pergamon library’s collection, in part to restore Alexandria’s own collection that went up in flames during Julius Caesar’s occupation of the city.
“Satan’s Throne,” as described by the prophet John of Patmos (Revelation 2:12-13), which some scholars interpret as referring to the Great Altar of Pergamon, one of the most magnificent surviving structures from the Greco-Roman world.
One of the most dramatic structures of the acropolis was what scholars believe to be the Temple of Zeus, the massive foundations of which are all that remain on the southern slope of the site. The altar believed to be associated with the temple, known today as the Great Altar of Pergamon, was moved to Berlin in the 19th century by German archaeologists.
On the other hand it became known throughout the Mediterranean world as a center of ancient medicine, largely due to the presence of the eminent Roman physician Galen (c. 129-200 A.D.), who was born in ancient Pergamon.
Pergamon rose to prominence during the years of the Greek empire’s division following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. His short-lived empire was partitioned among his generals, with General Lysimachus inheriting the then-settlement of Pergamon and its wealth. Due largely to its strategic position along land and sea trading routes and in part to the wealth of the Attalid kings who ruled the kingdom, the city enjoyed centuries of prosperity that continued when it passed peacefullly to Rome’s control in 133 B.C. From that point on, Pergamon’s fate was inextricably linked to that of Rome, and it rose and fell in tandem with the great Roman Empire.
Like the rest of the region, it eventually came under Byzantine and then Ottoman rule. By the late 19th century, excavations had begun at the ancient site, and today it draws people from all over the world.
The best-preserved ancient sacred structure on ancient Pergamon’s acropolis is the Temple of Trajan, built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) and dedicated to his deified predecessor. Cascading sharply down the precipitous slope of the acropolis toward the sea, the theater is the steepest in Anatolia of its kind. The 10,000 visitors would have had to carefully navigate the 80 rows of horizontal seating.
In the Book of Revelation, John conveys a message from the risen Christ to seven Christian congregations in Asia Minor, all of which are located in modern Turkey, and Pergamon is one of them makes another impotance about city.
After visiting the Acropolis of Pergamon, your next stop will be the Red Courtyard or known as Red Basilica as well (because of the red bricks used in the construction).
The Temple of Serapis, which is known as the Red Courtyard, is the greatest monument standing in Pergamon. Built in the 2nd century AD. The temple was dedicated to the Egyptian god. The Temple of Serapis was converted into a church and dedicated to Saint John. You will be amazed after seeing the huge ruins of this building.
You will have the lunch break before your last visit to Asklepion.
During the second century A.D. Pergamon’s fame with Asklepion as a center of healing and medical science eclipsed its reputation for anything else. Its most celebrated citizen during this period was the physician Galen, whose work and research was largely responsible for providing the foundation from which modern western medicine was to spring.
The asclepion; The Asklepion of Pergamon is a famed ancient medical center built in honor of Asklepios, the god of healing. It was also the world’s first psychiatric hospital and was one of the most famous in the ancient world, and this ancient version of a medical spa attracted pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean region who came seeking the restorative powers of its thermal waters and medical treatments for various ailments and injuries. It had facilities where the patients could relax and enjoy themselves such as a library and a small theatre: these were located outside a square portico, while fountains and pools were placed inside it, and are believed to have been built by Emperor Hadrian whose statue was found in the library.
After you finish your visit in Aklepion, you are going to be following the same way back to Kusadasi where your hotel is. You have another overnight in Kusadasi. You have another overnight in Kusadasi before saying goodbye to us…
DAY-4 : DEPARTURE
According to your flight time you are going to be picked up from your hotel for the airport transfer to Izmir. Ending our services as saying goodbye to our guests with unforgetable memories and with the wishes to welcome them back again…