Ephesus on a tour or by oneself

Jan 25th, 2010, 11:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Ephesus on a tour or by oneself

Planning on a day trip to Ephesus from Istanbul. I know its going to be a long day. My question is should we do it on our own---fly down, rent car drive to the sites, possible picking up a guide for part of it or hook up with a tour group that would pick us up at our hotel take us to the airport etc. I favor the do it yourself as you can go where you want and spend as much time as you want where you want. . My traveling companion believes a tour group is the way to go , not only would it l be easier on us this way but also cheaper . Any thoughts?
marieb is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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the two alternatives are very different.

DIY gives you flexibility and the fun of sharing discoveries with your companion. Drive is easy, route is mostly well signed motorway, guides at Ephesus gates are good. A simple map and directions from the Ephesus guide will suffice for any other locations such as Sirince and Virgin Mary's Retreat. Museum and Basilica are in town and you cannot miss them. If you are there on Saturday, you can walk through the Bazaar. And you can eat where you like. (Try restaurant of hotel Bella for local greens, or eat at Sirince village)

If you take or join tour:

- you can share the good and the bad with many others.
- you will not be required to make decisions regarding where to go, when to go, where to eat, how long to stay at any of the sites, which shops to visit.
- you will not worry about being on time at Izmir airport.
- you will be part of a group, with the feelings of security it provides, and maybe also the feelings of embarrasment it entails.
- You may prefer not having any initiative, so that you can blame others if anything goes wrong.
otherchelebi is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 12:51 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 142
Have been to Ephessus twice in the past two years and on each occassion made my way there once from Izmir by taxi and also from Kusadasi by taxi.

The taxi will drop you at the main entrance where you can purchase a detailed tour guide book.

Having wandered through the remains of the old City your driver will,if you want , be waiting for you at the exit.

About two minutes from Ephessus is the remains of one of the Wonders of the Ancient World "The temple of Artemis/Diana.in my opinion this is also worth a visit.

Tour guides are freely available at the entrance to the ruins at Ephesus and charge about 30 euros for their services. You can also obtain a audio guide at the entrance.

I got to Ephessus before opening time and was glad I did as I was the only one wandering amongst the ruins. Lots of cruise ship tourists with guides flood the ruins later in the morning and afternoon.

At the exit ,as at the entrance there are many souvenir sellers with loads offering old coins which are fakes but about ten can be purchased for 5 euros if you bargain.

Great place Ephessus.
crdtny is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 01:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
We went to Euphessus in March this year. We did not have tour as our Lonely Planet guide was very detailed.
But it is hard not to hear a guide explaining details as you walked around. Depends on your budget.
houseswapper is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 03:56 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,102
My only comment is that if you go on your own (perhaps hiring a guide at the entrance) you have a chance to avoid the hordes of tour groups that descend on the site, as noted above, at peak hours. I was there a few years ago, in early October so not high season, and virtually every inch of the site was packed with group tourists, mostly from those huge cruise ships.

Ephesus can be magical (I first visited many years ago and remember having the place almost to myself...) but the massive crush of people really compromises the experience. So if you have the opportunity to avoid this by going at a less popular hour, I would do so....find out when the site opens and be there then...as has been noted before, the roads in that area are first rate. I was traveling with a friend who knows about those things and he kept commenting about the way the highways were banked, the smoothness of the surface, and various details that were very complimentary to the road system.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
My wife and I thought Ephesus was too far from Istanbul to see on a day trip and our Turkish language skills are nonexistent, so we booked an individual tour with the Credo tour company. The company booked a late afternoon flight for us from Istanbul Ataturk to Izmir. We took a taxi to the Izmir Hilton, spent the night there, and met our tour guide and the van driver early the next morning in the lobby. We reached Ephesus early and had an enjoyable tour, followed by lunch in a nearby mountain village. At our request the tour guide substituted the Selcuk archeological museum and a rug showroom for sites of Christian religious interest. In late afternoon we were dropped off at the Izmir airport for our return flight. Touring Ephesus in this way was certainly more expensive than seeing it on our own, but infinitely less stressful.
sjj is offline  
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