Leave the port of Kusadasi behind and head up into the hills to the house of the Virgin Mary, recognised by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. You’ll see a small chapel, which has been built on the foundations of a humble dwelling where Mary’s believed to have spent her last days. If you want to, you can collect water from the Holy spring and leave a prayer in the form of a ribbon on the prayer grid. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this serene setting though. Tucked high in the hills above the coast, it’s really something. From here you’ll carry on to the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus for your walking tour. Tick off a list of sights including the Temple of Hadrian, the Marble Street and the Celsus Library.
This fabulous, full day tour takes in just about every attraction around Kusadasi. A drive from the port will take you up into the hills to the House of the Virgin Mary, recognised by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. You’ll see a small chapel, which has been built on the foundations of a humble dwelling where Mary’s believed to have spent her last days. If you want to, you can collect water from the Holy spring and leave a prayer in the form of a ribbon on the prayer grid. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this serene setting though. Tucked high up in the hills above the coast, it’s really something. From here you’ll carry on to the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus for your guided walking tour before stopping for a well-deserved lunch. After, you’ll visit the Temple of Artemis where a column and scanty fragments strewn on the ground are all that remains of the Seventh Wonder of the World. According to Strabo, it was destroyed at least seven times and rebuilt just as many times. You’ll also visit the Isabey mosque, a beautiful example of Seljuk Turkish architecture in an idyllic location and with a pretty courtyard before returning to the ship.
Drive to the Meryem Ana Monument to get a snapshot of the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus that glimmers in the distance. Next, carry on to the church where St John lived with the Virgin Mary after being cast out of Jerusalem in 37 to 42AD. Legend has it that St John wrote his Gospel here, and was buried here in accordance with his dying wishes. After a brief stop at the entrance to the Basilica, with time for taking photos, you’ll head to the village of Sirince. It’s a peaceful little place that hugs the hillside and is famous for its homemade wines and Gözleme – griddle bread with various fillings. After a short wine-tasting session you’ll have some time to wander round this pretty village and browse its souvenir stalls and cobblestone laneways where village women sell their colourful handiwork, before returning to the ship.
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