This half day tour combines two of the most popular sites in Kusadasi, House of Virgin Mary and the Ancient City of Ephesus along with lunch with Turkish specialties. First you'll visit the House of the Virgin Mary where the Blessed Virgin is reputed to have spent the last years of her life. Next stop is the Ancient city of Ephesus where you will see the Magnesia Gate, Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, temple of Hadrian and the impressive library of Celsus. Conclude your day with lunch at Ephesus Theme Park followed by a trip back to Kusadasi where there will be a brief carpet presentation. Or, if you wish, you may return directly to the ship which is within walking distance.
Drive through the Turkish countryside to the House of Virgin Mary where the Blessed Virgin is reputed to have spent the last years of her life. The site was made famous by the travels of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. In November of 2006, Pope Benedictus the 16th paid an official visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. Outside is the Fountain of Our Lady where you can taste or collect water from the holy foundation. Your next stop is the Open Air Museum of Ephesus. You will begin your exploration of this ancient site as you pass by the Magnesia gate and enter the administrative section of ancient Ephesus. This guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. You’ll see the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the steam baths of Scholastika, temple of Hadrian and the most famous structure, the Library of Celsus.
Next you’ll see the Grand Theater, where St. Paul preached. It is one of the largest theaters in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. At the conclusion of your visit of Ephesus, a typical Turkish lunch will be served at Ephesus Theme Park as well as exclusive interactive show and free time will be provided. At the conclusion of your visits, your bus will take you back to Kusadasi where there will be a refreshment stop with a brief carpet presentation. Or, if you wish, you may return directly to the ship which is within walking distance.
Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, inclines and 10 - 30 steps. Walking at the House of Virgin Mary includes approximately 0.5 miles over mostly paved walkways with some inclines to/from the coach parking area to the shrine. The coach parking area is constructed of uneven gravel/dirt surfaces. Visiting Ephesus includes walking approximately 1 mile over uneven and cobblestone surfaces with inclines and steps. Comfortable walking shoes and clothing, a hat and sunscreen are recommended. Insect repellent is recommended in July and August. Guests need to watch their step at all times in order to avoid injuries. The order of the tour itinerary may vary in order to avoid congestion at the sites. Due to the nature of this tour, it is highly recommended that guests with walkers or wheelchairs and for persons who have difficulties in walking, climbing, and/or managing steps NOT take this tour. Water, tea or coffee are included during the lunch. Soft drinks and/or alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost.
On August 15th, the House of Virgin Mary will be heavily congested due to "The Assumption of Mother Mary" day. Guests will have to walk long distances as well as might have to wait in the queue. There will be several masses in the site as well. The draft program: 10:30 - 11:00 / Blessing + 11:00 - 12:30 / Mass + 15:00 - 15:30 / Rosary prayer for Mother Mary.