Begin your tour with a visit to the house where Jesus’ mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site called the Virgin Mary’s House has been officially declared a Catholic shrine and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Next, continue to Ephesus for a visit to the Great Theater, which dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century A.D., the theater was reconstructed and expanded by the Romans to a seating capacity of 25,000. This is also the place where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. It is still used for performances today, and the acoustics are excellent. The Marble Road, which runs between the theater and the Celsus Library, is part of a sacred walkway that you will take to reach the Celsus Library and Hadrian’s Temple. The temple was dedicated in A.D. 118 to Hadrian, Artemis and the people of Ephesus. This impressive Corinthian-style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch, and the Ephesians believed that the Medusa head on the porch would protect the city from its enemies. Return to Kusadasi to enjoy the traditional Turkish experience of sipping apple tea while watching a myriad of colors unfold before your eyes during a carpet demonstration. Those interested in purchasing a carpet can do so with confidence. Those not wishing to stay can walk directly back to the ship, or remain in town for browsing in the shops.
Headphones are provided. This excursion involves walking over uneven surfaces and cobblestones and can be slippery. Comfortable shoes, sunscreen, water and a hat are recommended.