Selcuk
Culture & History

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Selcuk Culture & History

From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

1. From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

Enjoy a memorable day seeing the historic sights in the ancient city of Ephesus on this day trip. Select from options to leave from your hotel in Izmir, Kusadasi, or Selcuk. Stop at highlights like Hercules Gate, the Temple of Hadrian, and Domitian Square. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation. Sit back and relax on the drive to Ephesus. Follow your local guide to the House of Virgin Mary, where the religious figure is thought to have spent her last days. Head to upper Agora which was the seat of political power in the past. Continue to the 2nd century A.D. Odeon theater. Head to Domitian Square and view the engravings on the old columns at the Temple of Domitian. Pass by the Fountain of Pollio. Admire the relief of Hercules at Hercules Gate before going to the temple and fountain of Emperor Trajan.  Marvel at the elaborately carved arch at the Temple of Hadrian. Stroll by the Roman baths, public latrine, marketplace, and brothel. See the stunning remains of the third-largest library in the Roman world at the Library of Celsus. Go to The Great Theater, a massive Hellenistic structure. Gaze upon one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. Return to your accommodation. During the tour, you'll have the chance to have a look at the traditional Turkish handcrafts.

Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

2. Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

A professional licenced tour guide will meet with you at Kusadasi port. After meeting your guide, you will drive to the House of Virgin Mary, located in the Aladag Mountains, 5 miles away from Ephesus. You will then visit one of the main highlights in Turkey, Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League (an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor), located near Izmir. As a port city it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Walk through its historic marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them: the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theater. You will then stop at Artemission Temple, which used to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as your last stop before driving back to Kusadasi town center and port. Entrance fees are not included in this program; in total they are around 20 USD which can be paid to your guide at the end of the tour in cash. If you want to pay by visa or master card, your guide will stop for a few minutes in the office on your way back to Kusadasi town center.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

3. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

4. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis.  Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts.

From Samos: Full Day Tour to Ephesus and Kusadasi

5. From Samos: Full Day Tour to Ephesus and Kusadasi

The tour departs at 07:30 AM from the port of Pythagorio or Samos Town and the boat takes you towards the east. Arrive at Kusadasi after a 1 hour and 15 minute boat journey. On arrival, take a tour of the ancient site of Ephesus, famous for the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then you have time for lunch before returning to Kusadasi. In Kusadasi you will have time to enjoy the Turkish bazaars where you can find oriental carpets, leathers, jewelry, brass and alabaster. Later at 05:00 PM, board the boat and return to Samos at 06:15 PM.

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

6. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide. See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost. After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemis. Here, there will be a good chance to take gorgeous pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting. End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

Ephesus: 2-Hour Small Group Walking Tour

7. Ephesus: 2-Hour Small Group Walking Tour

Join this 2-hour walking tour of Ephesus with an expert guide. Meet your guide at the upper gate of Ephesus. After you get some general information about this spectacular ancient city, enjoy walking in its marble streets. Visit the parliament building. You can even sit there and feel like a Roman senator. Walk in the upper agora and see the temple of the cruel Roman emperor Domitian. Walk through the Hercules gate and enjoy the magnificent view of the lower city. See the beautiful Roman shops with mosaics and enter the best preserved ancient library in the world. Visit the Grand Theater with a capacity of 25,000 seats. Please not that Entrance fee to Ephesus is NOT including.

Private Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour

8. Private Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour

Your guide and driver will welcome you at the reception of the hotel or Kusadasi Port and drive early in the morning to beat the crowds and first drive to the Virgin Mary's House; afterwards, we visit Ephesus which was the second largets city of Roman Empire. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, will visit the Fountain of Traian, the temple of Hadrian and the Library of Celsus . Visiting the Terrace Houses wil be the highlight of the day: A number of living units where the rich and the dignitary of Ephesus with the most beautiful ground mosaics, frescoes, terra cotta pipe lines and private baths. Later in the afternoon will visit St. John Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ"s beloved disciple. The remaining of artemis Temple can be seen from the top of St. John.

Kusadasi and Selcuk: Small Group Ephesus Tour

9. Kusadasi and Selcuk: Small Group Ephesus Tour

You will be met at the harbor or at your hotel in Kusadasi or Selcuk. The guide will be holding up a sign with your name on it clearly so that you spot the correct pick-up service for you easily. It’s here you shall also meet your tour guide for the day who will give you some information of the plan for the day before heading off on your way to your destination. Pass through the verdant and picturesque countryside before arriving at your first stop, the House of Virgin Mary and in accordance to the predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her final resting days here. This is based mainly on the traditional belief that John came to Ephesus combined with the biblical statement that Jesus consigned her to John's care (John 19:26-27).  After The House of Virgin Mary, you will then head on to the next destination which will be to the ancient city of Ephesus. From here, the tour shall be a walking tour and will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the entire world. You will be able to see the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastic, the Temple of Hadrian and of course lets not forget the impressive library of Ephesus. The library is adorned with columns and statues. The Grand Theater where Saint Paul preached is the largest theater in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. You will then return back to the bus through the Arcadian Way where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. After your 2-hour exploration around Ephesus, you will head for a lunch break for about an hour and then after the lunch break, you will continue on the tour and head for your next stop which is the Temple of Artemis (Diana). This outstanding Temple was built in honor of the Greek Goddess of hunting, wild nature and fertility, deemed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Artemis used to be the largest marble temple in the ancient Greek world since it was four times as the big as the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The temple served as both a marketplace and religious institution. Offerings by thousands of pilgrims each year enabled the temple to grow so wealthy that it became the world's first bank. Today, little remains of the magnificent structure. Your guide will describe its importance, its wealth and tension that existed between the Romans and Christians that settled in the area over the centuries. Once the tour comes to an end, you will head back to your bus and be driven back to your allocated drop-off points. P.S: Please note that small group tours shall involve some shopping stops where you will have the chance to see presentations of traditional local handicrafts.

Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

10. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

Frequently asked questions about Selcuk Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Selcuk?

The other unmissable things to do in Selcuk are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Selcuk

Want to discover all there is to do in Selcuk? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Selcuk

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 210 reviews

The trip was nice, Oscar knows a lot of history and he can easily create an interesting discussion whether you want to hear about history, customs, religion. We didn't think CLeopatra's pool was interesting so he took us to visit some exhibition rooms and told us a lot of things about the sculptures and mythology. The food was also very nice.

Ephesus is a must. Great tour with guide Nizam. Had a lot of background knowledge. Lunch at a nice facility, were the only group and the food was great. After that, however, annoying carpet sales show. All in all a nice trip.

Fantastic day adapted to their own interests. Professional explanation of every item we encountered during our visit. Stops to drink if kids got thirsty, real custom made. Wonderful relaxing and educational day.

Having a guide is the best way to experience Ephesus. We would have missed a LOT without a knowledgeable guide

The tour was very nice and gave a lot of knowledge, highly recommended. Thank you Dervis :)