Tour Ephesus independently??

May 4th, 2004, 11:03 PM
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Tour Ephesus independently??

I will be in Kusadasi for 1 day 9am-6pm (cruise) and wish to explore Ephesus and other local sights at my own pace and not be rushed through by a ship run tour or forced to shop. How long is needed to visit Ephesus and are there guides there to hire if I feel the need? I was thinking of renting a car for the day, or is a taxi more advisable??
Nidwaldner_Chris is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 12:36 AM
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Chris, we were on a bus tour and then cruise through this area 2 years ago and strongly recommend you take an organised tour. Ephesus is an amazing place, rather large to do on your own, you would miss out on so much. I don't know if they have guides there to hire on site though. When we were there we were stopped by a photographer who asked to take our photo, we declined but fortunately our daughter said yes, as when we reached the end of the tour there was an beautiful photographer of her very reasonably priced, which we treasure. So go for the photo, you don't have to buy it if you don't want to! It is a little way from the port so a taxi might be costly, I would not get into a taxi alone I had an incident with one driver and my husband was with me! The port of Kusadasi has the usual market stalls where you can purchase all sorts of leather goods, beware of the quality, you do get what you pay for. You will love Turkey, we found the people very friendly and helpful, except for the one taxi driver!
DebM is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 12:41 AM
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We flew from Istanbul into Izmir and rented a car at the airport to drive to Ephesus(actually staying in Selchuk). If you feel comfortable driving, I would say rent the car and explore the area. Just remember that you will have to park your car at the bottom of Ephesus(the end)and obtain a ride to the top where the entrance of Ephesus is.You have a choice of taxi or listening to a rug speech and they will drive you free to the entrance. We paid(roughly $40 USD for 4 of us) to a retired schoolteacher who led us through the ruins. My husband and I both have history degrees but even we thought that the guide was concentrating too long on the wrong things? We loved Ephesus and actually enjoyed our time rambling through the
ruins after we left the guide.I would allow about 2-3 hours for your visit? Be sure to bring a water bottle,sunscreen and wear a hat as you will be "frying" otherwise.The part of Kusadasi where the ship comes in is REALLY touristy so if you can get transportation to other parts of it along the water you will find great seafood restaurants and cheaper priced shops(although we thought that most of them were more expensive than what we found in Istanbul).There are beautiful sunsets and coastal areas between Kusadasi and the road inwards to Ephesus.I hope that your trip to Turkey allows you to visit Istanbul and other areas-the country has been our favorite family vacation!
dutyfree is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 03:32 AM
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Ephesus is just something like 10-15 kilometres from Kusadasi. If you had a hotel in Kusadasi I would say that just take a dolmus, a little white bus that stops when you wawe a hand. But you are on a cruise, so I say take a taxi. If it doesn't have a meter ask the price beforehand.

How long it takes depends on you. My husband is crazy on ancient sites, so I guess we were there at least 5 hours (including virgin Mary's house nearby). It was fun to sit in an almost 2000 years old toilet and pretend that I am a Roman nobleman, and a harpist is entertaining me while I am "doing my business" (there is a platform in the toilet, and gentlemen used to sit there discussing important things and an entertainer was playing on that platform). I am in advertizing, so it was also fun to see "the world's oldest ad", that of a brothel.

We had a good guide book, so we didn't take a guide, but there is a horde of them at the gate, just take your pick. From what I listened, they seemed to be experts.
elina is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:24 AM
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I recommend you hire a guinde in Ephesus. You will find the OFFICIAL GUIDE in every each entrance and won't coast to much, worth every peny.

It takes minumum 2 hours to 4 hours depend of your interest. If you want to JUST WALK from upper entrance to down takes 30 to 45 minutes (normal walk)

Taking taxi from Kusadasi is little bit wasting money unless tell the drive where you want to go to. Because they take you carpet shop instead of Ruins becareful. There are many renting car company in Kusadasi you can rent a car then drive to UPPER ENTRANCE and hire your guide and visit.
Then you can go to Virgin Mary's House and DON'T FORGET the museum of Ephesus and St Jean's Church too if you have a time go to SIRINCE to taste a vine so delicious.

Sinan Akdeniz
sinan is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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Hired a cab where we got off at the cruise ship. Brought a tour book and did a self tour, but there was a lot of guides you could employ. The cruise tours were too large and some places say too much, some places not enought. We know because you can listen to them talk if you want too. On the way back we stopped at a rug shop. Very interesting, didn't buy anything, but rugs are cheap there.
judya is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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Of all the places in Turkey we visted last year, I would say the place we least would have needed a guide was Ephesus. There are many books to buy there or before you go. (Also, if you have any interest in Christianity, I found it amazing to re-read Paul's letter to the Epheseans (sp?) right in the place it would have been read.) A taxi or bus to the sight. There really isn't much to the surrounding area (we did see Selcuk and Mary's grave) but with the short time you have the ancient site itself is more than enough. Take water and a hat. It is hot and there is no shade. Have a wonderful trip.
laurie_ann is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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We did Ephesus on our own. We bought a wonderful guide book at the top and wandered where we wanted to go. We sat where we wanted to rest and not where the tour told us to. I agree with the previous poster who said of all the places you least need a guide, Ephesus tops the list. It is a spectacular place and one you can easily do on your own, but do get a good guide book. If you take a taxi, buy a guide book, a hat, and a bottle of water, it will still cost less than a shore tour from the ship and you will enjoy it more! Have fun.
TravelsWithStDavid is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Interesting to read the replies here--because I posed the same question on the cruise board, and the opinion there was to take the ship tour. I do not want to do that if possible--would rather take a taxi to from the port to Ephesus then hire a guide there. But the people on the cruise board were so against it, I was having second thoughts. Glad to read of other's experiences. Maybe the people on this board are more independent.
RachelG is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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We got a taxi from the port and hired an independent guide and it was a really good tour - interesting and informative. The advantages were that it worked out much cheaper than the organised tour, and we could set off first thing in the morning so that we did the tour during the coolest part of the day.
papagena is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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The bonus of having your own guide at Ephesus is that you can go at your own pace and not be obliged to have a "follow the flag" type of experience. A good thing about an independent as well is that you may be able to ask them to take you to other sites like the temple of Diana or the church where John the Baptist's skull lay untill (allegedly) taken by the Greeks in the 1920's.

If you are going to the Virgin Mary's house please don't do as I did and drink the water from the spring. I paid big time later that evening. Do however take a big bottle of water and a hat as it is fairly exposed when you are walking through the city of Ephesus. If you can buy the water in Kusadasi or Selcuk it saves you getting gouged for an extra million lire at the site itself.

I am sure that you will enjoy yourselves. It was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Turkey.

Kiwi_acct is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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I vote for independantly, Ephesus is not that far from Kusadasi and the guides that sit near the top entrance are easily accessed. The guide that we had to the Vrigin Mary's house warned us not to drink the Water there either, the E. Coli apparently give you a holy case of the runs !
Marko is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 08:44 PM
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I wish our guide had been as efficient at warning me about the quality of the water at the Virgin Mary's house as yours was to you.

The end result was one of my more embarrasing travel experiences in trying to explain to a chemist in Selcuk what was wrong with me and please could he help....quick.

Safe to say charades and crossed legs worked well as the knowing smile came across his face and he handed me the tablets to put me out of my misery.

Laugh about it now but not so funny then

Kiwi_acct is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:00 PM
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We weren't on a cruise, but took the ferry over from Samos and went back the same day, so the timing was about the same. I was determined to take a public bus instead of a cab and was busily fighting off the many cab drivers that were hustling us at the dock. However, one won my heart by following me and showing me a diagram of the site and telling me that the bus stops at the bottom of the hill, and he would take us to the top. I couldn't resist his sweet approach. Yes, he stopped at the rug place, but I said over and over--firmly--that I was not there to buy. The rug seller gave us tea and showed us their dyeing technique and I got great photos. We paid a round-trip price and the driver wanted to take us to Mary's house but we weren't interested in that. He dropped us at the top, picked us up at the bottom, took us, at my request, to the beautiful little museum. Then we were hungry, so he recommended a restaurant and we invited him to eat with us. Although I smelled a scam (I'm SO cynical)it was a cheap, delicious meal, and we had this sweet little driver to explain all the dishes to us.
We did not hire any of the guides who were milling around at the top, but could easily have done so. Unfortunately, I forget how much we paid the driver. But he was quite a marketer. He asked for our address, and sent us a postcard when we got home!


Vera is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Seven Wonders Travel in Selcuk are very good at organising Ephesus tours. Their guides are excellent-we had a lady historian who was wonderful at explaining each site's significance. Our tour was a hi-light of our visit to Turkey. Seven wonders can pick you up in Kusadasi and drop you back-you need to allow probably 10-4 pm to see the museoum in Selcuk which is very interesting. I would not attempt to hire a guide as some are not all that fluent in English and are difficult to understand. I don't work for a travel agent-I just know who is good and who is not and you have such a short time I would let a professional organise it for you. Good luck.
Lyndie is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:43 PM
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We stayed in Celcuk. Ephesus is walking distance, but we got a lift from our B&B host and returned on a donkey cart! Touring independently was fine, esp if you read up on it first or obtain literature at gate. A full day is recommended. You will come across tour groups as you wander around, and can pick up snippets by standing alongside for a while before moving on. It leaves you free to set your own pace, do your own thing. (For example, we bought bread roll and some salad items at gate, then later sat up at very top of Grand Stadium and had lunch. It was a magic occasion).
twoflower is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:47 PM
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...but a word of warning. If some oily character approaches you claiming to have dug up some priceless antique coins from the site renovations going on at Ephesus and offering to sell them to you, tell him to sod off. They are worthless fakes (of course), but even if they weren't it's a serious offence trying to smuggle artifacts out of Turkey.
twoflower is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 11:31 PM
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WOW, such great comments and recommendations. I now look forward to touring Ephesus on our own!

A related question has anyone been to the Dilek National Park south of Kusadasi? Is it feasible to see Ephesus and this Park in our limited time?
Nidwaldner_Chris is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for all the info--especially about the water!!
RachelG is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Hi Nidwaldner_Chris

You can not see two places in one day because ephesus and natural park are different direction and ALSO Ephesus as ruins takes 3 or 4 hours to visit (if you interested archaelogy it may take more then 4 hours)

Sinan Akdeniz
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