Private Pamukkale and Ephesus Tours

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Explore some of the top must-see sights in western Turkey on a convenient one or two-days tour. Spend the first day at Ephesus, an ancient city, as well as other sites of historical and archaeological interest around the town of Selcuk. On day two, travel to the natural wonder of Pamukkale and the ancient town of Hierapolis. This is an easy way to fit these two unmissable areas into two days.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Unique Ephesus Tours

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Day 1 Private Ephesus Tour

Stop At: Ancient City of Ephesus

Ephesus (Efes) is one of the greatest ancient sites in the Mediterranean. During its heyday in the first century BC, it was the second-largest city in the world, with only Rome commanding more power. Many reconstructed structures and ruins, including the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, can be seen here.

Duration: 2 hour

Stop At: Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House)

A holy shrine to the supposed death place of St. Mary, the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus is a standing testament to the home of the beloved mother of Jesus (Meryem Ana or Meryemana in Turkish). Many believe that the house was indeed the place where she spent her final days, and today you can visit the restored stone house, which now serves as a chapel. Serving as sacred territory for Christians and Muslims alike, the Virgin Mary's House has called hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims since its discovery in the 19th-century. Remnants of the chapel date as far back as the 6th-century, and serves as the place where its caretakers, the Lazarist Fathers, conduct mass every day. Despite the altar placed within, the house still contains a bedroom and kitchen, decorated with pictures of Mary and candles. Many believe that the spring that runs beneath St. Mary's House is blessed and possesses the power to heal, and once you enter the house, you can see left behind crutches.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: The Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis, or Artemision, was a Greek temple in present-day Turkey dedicated to the goddess Artemis. It was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. It was built not far from Ephesus just outside the present-day town of Selcuk. The temple was completely rebuilt several times throughout history after being destroyed on multiple occasions by both nature and human factors. Little remains of the temple in its original location today since archeologists brought much of the ruins to the British Museum. The Temple of Artemis is only a couple of miles from Ephesus, making it an easy attraction to visit. Visitors can still see one tall column and a handful of marble pieces from the foundations of the structure, and the historical location is fascinating. From the site, you can also see the ruins of St. John's Basilica, located on a hill in Selcuk.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Sirince

Şirince, a small village of just 600 inhabitants, has a long history that is intrinsically linked to Ephesus; indeed, rumor has it that it was founded by freed Greek slaves who named it “ugly” in Turkish to deter others from following them after the fall of Ephesus. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the name was changed to Şirince, which means ‘pleasant.’ Nowadays the mountainous village is mainly known for its many preserved whitewashed stucco homes, bucolic and lush setting, as well as its fruit-based wineries and olive groves. The Church of St John the Baptist, although neglected by Turkish authorities, still houses fantastic Byzantine frescoes. Most tourists tend to visit for one day as part of excursions to nearby Selçuk, but there’s a handful of guesthouses and cafés for overnight guests as well. Visitors should be aware that Sirince gets very crowded on the weekend.

Duration: 1 minutes

Stop At: Kusadasi

The city is situated along a gulf of the same name in the Aegean. The island of Güvercinada (in English: Pigeon Island) is connected to mainland Kuşadası by a man-made causeway, and is situated adjacent to the large hill of Kese Dağı near the center of town. It is located 95 km (59 mi) south of İzmir, the area's metropolitan centre, and approximately 60–70 km (37–43 mi) in driving distance from the provincial seat of Aydın, depending on the route taken. Its neighbours are Selçuk to the north, Germencik to the north-east, and Söke to the east and south.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Selcuk

Selçuk history dates back to the 6th century AD when the settlers moved to the vicinity of the Basilica of St. John. However, the history of settlement in Selcuk area is much older. It is inextricably linked to the ancient city of Ephesus and the cult of the goddess Artemis. Archeological work carried out on Ayasoluk Hill showed that it was settled in the early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC) and in the middle Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC). Pottery fragments also indicate settlements from the Mycenaean, Geometric, and Archaic (1400-560 BC) periods. In the times of the Greek colonization, the hill was known as Apasas. The oldest name of the city, from the Byzantine period, was Ayios Theologos, because of St. John, who lived in this area and was buried on Ayasoluk Hill. In Ottoman times, the town was known as Ayasoluk (tr. Ayasluğ), and the name Selçuk has been used since 1914. The modern name commemorates the Seljuk Turks that began to invade this area from the 12th century AD

Day 2 private pamukkale tour

Stop At: Pamukkale Natural Park

Pamukkale , which is the center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties. Due to the chemical properties in the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain slope. It is for its resemblance to cotton piles that it is called "Cotton Castle" in Turkish. Upon arrival, you will visit the travertines and the ancient city of Hierapolis which has the biggest Necropolis with 1200 gravestones in Anatolia. Also, the Sacred Pool is one of the highlights of the site .There shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient roman ruins that lie beneath. After the tour, you will return back to your hotel,

Duration: 2 hour

Stop At: Hierapolis Arkeoloji Muzesi

Said to have been one of Cleopatra’s treasured retreats, the UNESCO-listed Hierapolis hot springs are a spectacular sight: The pools are bright white terraces filled with turquoise water that were formed by calcium that hardened over millennia and are surrounded by the ruins of the ancient city.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Pamukkale Thermal Pools

The name Pamukkale translates to “Cotton Palace,” referring to the bright white mineral deposits that cover the landscape outside the town. This visually striking region north of Denizli has been a desirable destination for centuries, due to the restorative qualities of its waters. Marvel at the strangeness of a landscape shaped by the calcite in the water, where you can see waterfalls frozen in stone and blue pools in tiered terraces. The UNESCO-recognized travertine terraces were formed by hot mineral water calcifying upon contact with carbon dioxide. Ask around about the stories that have emerged from this legendary site over thousands of years of people visiting it.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Hierapolis & Pamukkale

Said to have been one of Cleopatra’s treasured retreats, the UNESCO-listed Hierapolis hot springs are a spectacular sight: The pools are bright white terraces filled with turquoise water that were formed by calcium that hardened over millennia and are surrounded by the ruins of the ancient city.

Duration: 30 minutes
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