Ephesus shore excursions take you to an extraordinary archeological site about 45 miles south of Izmir. Ships bound for Ephesus cruise tours will generally anchor in Izmir’s harbor or off the port city of Kusadasi, located on the Turquoise Coast about 15 miles southwest of the ancient city. This is the most extensive and best preserved ancient city of the eastern Mediterranean. This great archeological site is the main reason that cruises to Ephesus make port stops on this part of the coast.
To tour the site takes a good half day to fully explore the major sights to see in one of the greatest open air museums in the world. Often, the rest of the day will be spent doing sightseeing in Kusadasi, winding up with some free time to explore on your own or get in some shopping. Some Ephesus cruise tours will offer tours that take a full day and include lunch. You can combine Ephesus shore excursions with a tour of Kusadasi or with a visit to the nearby house of the Virgin Mary, where it is believed she lived out the last years of her life.
Ephesus shore excursions will reveal the Marble Sacred Street, which connects the famous Library of Celsus and the Great Theater. The library once was a center of learning in the ancient world, and rivaled the great library at Alexandria in Egypt. You will also find yourself in the large Agora, the marketplace and center of the ancient city, with narrow streets and lanes leading to residential areas with private homes. Some of the most fascinating sights here are those that reveal the everyday lives of normal citizens, including Roman and Turkish baths and even long rows of communal toilets.
Cruises to Ephesus are possible even for those who are not passengers on the large ocean cruise ships. Day trips on traditional sailing yachts (gulets) and ferries are possible from Kusadasi and even from the nearby island of Samos in Greece.