|HIGHLIGHTS||Ephesus, The House of Virgin Mary, Artemission Temple. If requested St. John Basilica, Museum and Sirince can be added into the program|
|DEPARTURE||Everydays for individuals and group|
|INCLUDED|| Professional licensed English speaking guide
Istanbul – Izmir – Istanbul domestic return flight tickets including airport tax
Transportation with private AC vehicle
All entrance fees to the sites stated above the itinerary
|NOT INCLUDED|| Personal expenses
Any other meals than lunch and drinks
09:10 a.m. morning flight from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Izmir. Arrive in Izmir Airport at 10:10 a.m. Met by you tour guide and drive to Ephesus (45-minute drive) First visit the Artemission Temple where is one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to Ephesus. Visit Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionia (an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor) is located near Izmir. As a port city at the mouth of the Cayster (modern Küçükmenderes) River, it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Known in antiquity for its sacred shrines, notably a famous temple (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) to the goddess Artemis, or Diana, the city was also an important center of early Christianity.
Already a great trading and religious center during the time of the Greeks, Ephesus grew in importance after the Romans assumed control, becoming a provincial capital with traders and Christian pilgrims coming from all parts of the known world. One of the major sites at Ephesus is the beautiful Celsus Library; it was built in the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. by Gaius Julius Aquila to be a memorial to his father Gaius Julius Celsus Polemanus, the proconsul of Province of Asia. The columns at the sides of the façade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size. Between 1973 and 1977, an earthquake proof reconstruction of the façade was completed. The Grand Theater is one of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus. Built in the 6th century B.C. it was later expanded in the 1st century A.D. by the Romans to hold a capacity of 24,000 people. The theater was the place where St. Paul preached. Opposite is the Temple of Hadrian built in the 2nd century A.D. and renovated in the 4th century in the name of Emperor Hadrian.
After Ephesus, lunch will be served in the garden of a local handicrafts center. Here you can see some of the traditional carpet weaving techniques used and enjoy viewing some splendid displays of beautiful carpets.
After Lunch visit House of Virgin Mary. This house is located on the Aladag Mountains 5 miles from Ephesus. At the third Ecumenical Council of 431 in Ephesus, it was claimed that Mary came to Ephesus with St. John in 37 A.D. and lived there until her death in 48 A.D. After the discovery of the house, the Archbishop of Izmir declared it a place of pilgrimage in 1892. On July 26, 1967, Pope Paul VI visited this place and prayed here.
17:40 Drive to Izmir airport for our flight back to Istanbul Ataturk Airport at 19.40. after 1-hour flight arrival in Istanbul at 20.40 and the end of our services.