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SEWeinberg Aug 9th, 2009 10:11 AM

Time in ephesus
On a cruise to turkey. How much time should I plan to tour Ephesus? Will be in kusadasi for 1 day. thank you.

Michel_Paris Aug 9th, 2009 10:21 AM

We spent about 3 hrs there in August 2007. Not enough. We walked from the top of the mountain down, with a guidebook. With 4 kids and hot, we did not linger to much. I'd have liked another hour or two to go see some of the house interiors, the coloseum,etc..And time to just sit and look

rileypenny Aug 9th, 2009 11:20 AM

I was there many years ago with my mom on a cruise stop. We had puchased the Ephesus tour from the cruise line. We were taken in a small bus from the port over to Ephesus, where we had a guide for our group. She was extremely informative and the site is amazing. I would recommend a guide. There is some travel time to the site, don't remember how long. You need at least an hour in the site.

On the way back from Ephesus our tour stopped at a Turkish tea room and rug shop, which mom and I thought would be very cheesey, It was mildly entertaining and I ended up buying a rug, which I still love.

startpacking Aug 9th, 2009 04:02 PM

Hard to say how long to spend at the site, it really depends on your interest level and how much walking you'd like to do.

I recommend a visit to the terraced houses at Ephesus, there is an additional charge for this.

tcreath Aug 9th, 2009 04:39 PM

We spent about four - five hours there this past February and were able to see everything including the terraced houses. However, it was way off-season, chilly and rainy, and there weren't too many tourists around so we could maintain a certain pace and stop whenever we wanted to without having to deal with the crowds. DH and I are both history buffs so we took our time.

I agree that how much time you spend there will really depend on your interests. If you have just a passing interest in seeing a historical site, I imagine you could finish in 2-3 hours. If you really enjoy history and want a thorough tour, I would count on at least half a day minimum if it's peak season because you will have to do your sightseeing around tour groups and crowds.

I also can't recommend enough visiting the terraced houses. They are still being unearthed so you essentially get to see a live archaeological dig. You walk on see-through flooring above the site where you can see some amazing frescoes and mosaic tile floors. Very cool!


otherchelebi Aug 10th, 2009 04:11 AM

In addition to excellent response by Tracy, here are some tips:

- Do not take tour arranged by ship or Kusadasi agency. Instead, take a taxi to Ephesus to the hill gate (25-30 minutes and more costly than getting to bottom entrance but worth the comfort of not having to climb,) and get a live guide at the entrance. I do not know the current fees but should be about 50-70$ or so.

- Take some botled water or a thermos with you before you start tour, because refreshments are only available at the entrances and you will likely dehydrate.

- A small towel to wipe sweat is also useful (we learned this in Kyoto, Japan)

- Hat and sunglasses are also needed.

- If you have time, take a taxi to Selcuk museum (5 minutes) at the exit of Ephesus, and possibly walk to St. John's basilica afterwards.

- You can take a minibus shuttle (dolmus) back to Kusadasi from Selcuk, instead of a taxi.

PS: if you are a cat lover, you may take some food to the cats in Ephesus and pour from an extra bottle of water on any of the indentations on the marble ruins in shade.

tcreath Aug 10th, 2009 09:27 AM

I agree with the above that if you have time you should definitely try to make it to the Selcuk museum. There are quite a few artifacts from Ephesus there and will help give you a better understanding of what you just saw. If you choose not to eat at one of the restaurants in Ephesus consider eating in Selcuk. The downtown area is pedestrian-only and there are lots of great places to eat. The town itself is quite charming.

I LOVED all of the cats in Ephasus! I'm a cat lover and found cats everywhere we vistied in Turkey. Some of them love attention and will come if you are interested and make the effort.


otherchelebi Aug 10th, 2009 02:10 PM

Tracy, I loved your trip report and I hope the addition to your family also becomes a healthy and happy cat lover.

when we drive around in Turkey, with my wife we always carry big bags of reasonably priced cat and dog food. We now feel that we have more animal friends than people. a nursing female dog even took us to show her litter and pet them and her before she would eat the dog food, with frequent looks, wags and short happy barks, at an empty rest stop near Gallipoli.

If people are driving in southeastern or eastern turkey, i also ask them to take some simple gifts like hairstays dinky toys, gloves, scarfs, coloring books and crayons, and such to give to the village children.
We only have one trip report in the form of a blog. Hope you get a chance to watch and enjoy it. (also, 2, 3, and 4)

tcreath Aug 11th, 2009 05:27 AM

otherchelebi, I love reading about other pet-lovers on vacation! I love dogs as well but I'm definitely a cat person. Some of my favorite places had a lot of cats around. Dubrovnik was filled with cats, and one of my favorite places to hang around in Rome is the Torre Argentina cat sanctuary. I think I wrote this in my report, but in Selcuk I found this little orange tiger-striped cat that would jump into my lap and stuggle into my coat when I bent over to pet him on several occassions throughout our stay. If I could have smuggled him home I would have!


carylspall Aug 11th, 2009 05:43 AM

We were there last year on a cruise ship. We took a taxi to the site and he dropped us off at the gate and waited at the other side for us.
Because there were 3 cruise ships in, it was very busy but we still enjoyed it. The driver also took us to the virgin Mary's house but the queues and crowds there were really awful and we wished we hadn't bothered going.
We got back to the port in plenty of time to have a coffee along the front and walk up through the back streets(really interesting) before having lunch. We made the mistake of having lunch in a restaurant right next to our ship. It was expensive and not great.
Remember to buy the fresh(uncellophaned)Turkish Delight. It's delicious!

joannyc Aug 11th, 2009 07:21 AM

After seeing Ephesus, we went to the Virgin Mary's house (in February), there were very few visitors, so no queues. I recommend going... reading the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians in the chapel, how cool is that?

Then go to St. John's Basilica.

suec1 Aug 11th, 2009 09:03 AM

otherchelbi - dolmus from Kusadasi to Seluck? Is this an easy do? We visited the ruins last year - we are probably going to return next Sept and we are looking for an option besides touring the ruins again. Can we get this little bus from the port to Seluck - it sounds like a nice little village to get a good meal and maybe look around the museum.

otherchelebi Aug 11th, 2009 05:47 PM

Hi suec1, dolmus between Kusadasi and Selcuk is a definite yes. However, I do not know where they start. If you are staying at Kismet or in that area and walk a bit to the main road to Selcuk, i'm sure you can stop one going there.
If you are coming on a cruise, then ask at the landing and someone will point you in the right direction. (just say: 'Dolmush Selchook?' with a strong emphasis on the question mark.

I suggest that you go up to Sirince from Selcuk (maybe by dolmus again) and eat there. Or you can try the restaurant of Bella Hotel, across from St. John's Basilica in Selcuk. These locations will provide good regional fare, especially in regards to vegetables and salads, and made with high quality olive oil. You may also wish to take some olive oil back with you from Sirince.

LongLegs Aug 11th, 2009 10:54 PM

otherchelebi, thanks for the info and also the tips about Istanbul. Imagine having never been where you have been and trying to get some kind of game plan! That's what I'm doing now ... so it sounds like forgetting a tour and instead take a taxi to the top and walk down? Considering I will be accompanying an elderly woman who can't walk all that much, maybe that makes the most sense... as I want to make sure we get to see as much as possible. Your thoughts?

As for a single guide vs. a Tour Guide, that's always a crap shoot. I think about the scene in Slum Dog Millionaire where the kids were telling tall tales to the tourists at the Taj Mahal. How would I know ??

If I could, I'd arrange for someone there to meet us and give us the tour, but unless someone knows of someone, it's gonna be hit or miss. Oh well, it's always an adventure when one travels.


otherchelebi Aug 11th, 2009 11:28 PM

Hi Longlegs,
- The guides available at the gates are all licensed guides and usually older people, some like the one we took two years ago are retired highschool teachers. you should have no worries. (although I think I would have enjoyed being guided by the kids in Slumdog Millionaire)

- Even starting at the top entrance and going down is quite a distance, although one can have frequent rest stops on the way. Terrace houses may be more difficult for someone with walking problems, because of the steps and climbing.

I hope both of you enjoy it.

tcreath Aug 12th, 2009 06:26 AM

Wed just purchased the tour book at the entrance and used that for our tour. There are also audio guides available for rent as well. A tour guide would have been helpful, but if you can't or choose not to get one there are a few other options.

I also highly suggest a visit to Sirince. Just the drive up from Selcuk is worth it, as you pass through beautiful scenery and lots of fruit orchards. Sirince is also known for its fruit wines, and they aren't all as sweet as one would assume. It's fun to sit down and try some of the various wines, and most shop owners are very generous with their samples. We brought back mulberry and quince fruit wines.

We stayed at the Hotel Bella in February and their restaurant was no longer open. However, the hotel was going through quite a bit of renovation so I'm not sure if that was a temporary thing or not. If it is open, dinner would be served on their top floor and from here you get nice views of St. Johns. It's very traditional in appearance and style, and the owners are super nice.


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