Ephesus on your own?

Apr 10th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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Ephesus on your own?

We will be staying in Izmir as part of the Gate 1 tour.

1. We wanted to know how we can get to Ephesus (Selcuk) from Izmir, costs, time, is it easy and doable?

2. Is it not as interesting to do on your own without a guide?

3. Sites we would be interested in seeing would be House of Virgin AMry, Basillica of St John, Temple of Artemis, library of Celcus, temple of Hadrian, the theater and the Odeon. Are they all located near each other and walkable?
luvtravelin is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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I drove from Sirince (spent a few nights there in a charming little hotel) so cannot help with access to the site.

We did not use a guide but consulted our guidebooks.
But you could also hire one of the guides that cluster around the entrance to the site. There is also an audio tour. My main bit of advice is to try to time your visit to avoid, if possible, the hordes of tour groups.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I flew into Izmir, and from Izmir took a cab to Hotel Nilya in Ephesus. It was very easy and very doable. We were on a budget so I don't believe we spent more than $75 on a cab.

When we arrived in Ephesus we booked a tour at a local agency. However, I do believe you could visit these sites on your own. It was all very inexpensive. We visited all the sites you mentioned. They can all be visited in two days because they are located near eachother.
CASTRO is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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The key to touring Ephesus by yourself is to start at the top of teh area instead of the bottom entrance. There are numerous guides available to hire there for a decent and fair price. Our family had a guidebook but hired a retired English speaking college professor who was quite good-almost too much information.

Our family flew into Izmir from Istanbul and rented a car at the airport to overnight at Selcuk and tour around. You definitely need a car or taxi to get around as the area is too big.
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 03:06 AM
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As a general comment, one can explore Ephesus on own. Having said that, Ephesus is one of the most amazing and majestic sites of the world for its era. Excavations only are continueing over 150 years...

Such a site should be visited with a good guide who can tell stories and give further insider details for a better understanding than reading a guide book.

To have a good available guide an advance study and getting professional assistance may help.

Having own transportation in that region gives freedom and flexability as well.

Checking cruise arrivals might help to avoid huge crowds.

Happy travelling,

propertravel is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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You would need to have transportation between the House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus and the Basillica of St. John.

Temple of Artemis (doesn't exist any more), library of Celcus, temple of Hadrian, the theater and the Odeon are all in Ephesus.

There is an entrance fee to all three sites. So include that in your budget.

Diane60030 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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We went there as we headed back to Istanbul from Marmaris last August.

We parked at the bottom, since just followed signs. We were then approached by guy who offered to give us free ride to top (so could walk back down to car), but would have to go to culturual centre on the way. So we went for a carpet making demonstration and the sales ptich. Bought nothing and carried on to top of hill. At top is at least one store selling, amongst other things, guidebooks. So we bought one and toured. Yes, there is the logistics that almost all of the sites (Ephesus) are along one 'street' that goes down mountain. So leaving car at bottom and going to top made sense. And, not a lot of places for shade.

That being said, we definietly enjoyed touring on our own, so we could stop at things that interested us, take pics. The guidebook I got was not the best. There is also some signeage on buildings. But, we didn't get the "stories" of the place. So either a better guidebook or a tour guide would have enhanced the visit.
We spent 2-3 hours there.

It is a must see.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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What a good guide adds to a tour is something like the topping on a pizza. If you don't mind eating your pizza with or without a topping, it's all up to you to hire a guide or tour Ephesus on your own. At the end of the day, you have your pizza (with or without a topping).

Enjoy your pizza in Ephesus.
Apr 11th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,896
Last year I stayed in a little pension in the centre of Selcuk. The driver took me to the top entrance of Ephesus and I spent the day drifting around with my guidebook trying to avoid the crowds. At the end of the day I walked back to Selcuk along a shady tree-lined path where I fell over a man selling figs, the best I have ever tasted and what a price! It took about 30 minutes to slowly walk back to my pension. One of the best moments of my trip.
gertie3751 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:34 AM
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Hi Murat, you wrote "Checking cruise arrivals might help to avoid huge crowds."

Just how does one do that??

HappyCheesehead is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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What is Ephesus entry fee?
What is the audio self guide tour fee? Is it any good?
What would a guide run at Ephesus?
Can you see the “main” area in two hours or less?
Are there plenty of taxis waiting cruise ship passengers at the port of Kusadasi to go to Ephesus? and at what cost? (not a tour)
Thanks so much for answering these questions.
rickv is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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What is Ephesus entry fee?
What is the audio self guide tour fee? Is it any good?
What would a guide run at Ephesus?
How much time does it take to see the "main" area?
Are there plenty of taxis waiting cruise ship passengers at the port of Kusadasi to go to Ephesus? and at what cost? (not a tour)
Thanks so much for answering these questions.
rickv is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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any info?
rickv is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 01:06 AM
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The entrance fee to Ephesus is 10 YTL ( turkish liras )unless it has changed since last year...also the Terrace houses are an additional fee of 10 liras as well for entrance..

This area of the houses and streets at Ephesus have been excavated and restored by the Austrian Archaeological Institute who had provided the vacumed dome area, restored some of the paintings and frescos with continue explorations and digging.

Therefore it is a total separate section and not contolled by the Ephesus and that is why the extra money for admission is payed.

As there are many cruise ships arriving in Kusadasi I would think that there should be plenty of taxis waiting but as for cost..

brenda66 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. From your replies it seems like Ephesus is definitely do-able on your own. However, many of you mentioned spending a few days there, taking your time, etc. We are going to Turkey with a tour and will only have 1 full day in Izmir. With that said - it seems like the best option would be to take the tour with Gate1 since it will be quicker and it will be guided. I guess if we had more time we could be a bit more adventureous and try it ourselves. Thanks again for all the help!
luvtravelin is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Last summer we stayed in Sirince (up the hill from Selcuk)at the Nisanyan House. Melissa from the hotel picked us up at the Izmir Airport so we didn't need to worry about transportation. She's Australian so English,obviously, was no problem. Melissa took us to all of the sites you mentioned for a fee (she's a professional tour guide) and arranged for us to have a private tour of Ephesus with an archaeologist named Nail (pronounced Na eel). For 4 of us the Ephesus tour cost $100 including a tip. Nail made Ephesus come alive and he knows the place as well as anyone. We all said we could not have imagined trying to do the tour on our own. He was terrific. If you can get him, do so. You may be able to book him through the hotel even if you're not staying there. Not sure, but they seem to be travel agents as well at the hotel. If not, Nail seemed to know everyone at Ephesus, so maybe when you buy your tickets you could just ask if he's around???

I highly recommend Nisanyan House. They have a wonderful restaurant and the view of Sirince is superb. Sirince is so much more quaint than staying in Selcuk, which doesn't have a whole lot of character.

In Selcuk, I also recommend a carpet dealer, Black Sheep Carpets. The owner is Aydan, a young guy, very nice. We didn't buy a rug and that was cool. Prices are very reasonable compared to Istanbul. He has very high quality and is very trustworthy. He came through the states recently and out of the blue gave me a call and took me out for dinner. Nice guy.

Bottom line is the drive from Izmir to Selcuk is only about 45 minutes to an hour max. Unless you have to stay in Izmir, I would stay in Sirince which is close enough (10 minutes) to all the sites in and around Selcuk.
BKD is offline  
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