This is an opportunity to see the magnificent ruins of Ephesus - one of the best preserved Greek/Roman cities in Asia Minor, and also experience other historical and natural values around it. Your first stop is at the House of Virgin Mary, declared a place of pilgrimage in 1892, and has since been visited by many Christian pilgrims. Next, continue to Ephesus. Built in the 3rd century B.C., this is one of the most interesting and extensive ancient cities in the world and the center of attraction in the Aegean region. The remains from the Roman period are a grand amphitheater, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the Scholastic Baths, the Odeon, the Lower Agora, and the State Agora. After lunch, you'll visit a local handicraft center designed as a typical Turkish village to see how the famous Turkish carpets are made.
Note: Expect crowded venues and long lines. There is approximately 1 3/4 miles of walking over uneven and cobblestone surfaces with inclines and steps. During summer months, expect crowded venues and long lines as well as temperatures that can reach extreme highs. We recommend that you drink a lot of water, use suitable sun protection and dress in layers. Guests who are planning to visit religious sites during free time or on tour, please dress appropriately; no bare shoulders or shorts are allowed. Online price is inclusive of the Pre-book and Save offer. Tour only available for Norwegian Jade.
(3 Reviews) 3
Rating Snapshot(3 reviews)
3 of 3(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Ephesus & House Of Virgin Mary: Pre-book & Save $10
Review 1 for Ephesus & House Of Virgin Mary: Pre-book & Save $10
We loved this excursion! We were there September 2012. Our tour guide was very articulate and knowledgable. He kept us riveted with historical and cultural insights during the ride to and from Ephesus & the House of the Virgin Mary and while on site @ both places. The ruins are visually amazing! With the excellent commentary provided, we felt as if we had stepped back in time. The site was very busy and hot. Be sure to bring water. There are no bathroom facilities on site @ Ephesus so ask for a stop prior to arrival if needed. An outstanding buffet lunch was provided @ a local resort. It was very clean and the food was plentiful and delicious with a large variety of choices.The House of Virgin Mary was both tranquil and powerful. You can collect Holy water there. We were so glad we did this stop. The last stop was @ a Turkish Rug factory. The demo is interesting but the HARD sell post is revolting. They try to sell you everything from rugs to jewelry to cheap souvenirs. You are trapped in the basement and all the exit signs lead you through the store. Pay attention to how you enter so you can exit without being harrassed. NCL needs to drop this last piece. It is a real downer to such a wonderful day.
29 of 29 people found this review helpful.
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Review 2 for Ephesus & House Of Virgin Mary: Pre-book & Save $10
As several have said in their review, we were very pleased and surprised with this tour. I will add some additional comments that I didn't see covered--
The House of the Virgin Mary is a very quick tour of the house --which has been set up as a shrine. We had in our mind this would be more of a historical/cultural stop but this history was only provided by our great tour host and not at the site. Our tour guide did provide a small terra cotta vial for holding holy water from the site.
The tour of Ephesus is as great as expected--so much history and the ruins are well marked making it easy to visulize how things must have looked.
We were not expecting the mass of vendors crushing us as we left the site and it caught us off guard--shop around and haggle on prices (which we should have done). Expect to be shown "real/ historical" coins excavated from the site by their family members.
We really enjoyed the carpet tour--it was both educational and fun--the showmanship with the rug displays was great. I have seen a lot of presentations on silk making, but found this to be one of the best. The representative did a good job of highlighting the benefit to local women from the carpet trade. As others have said, we didn't feel overly pressured to buy. We did make the mistake of asking to see one that we had marginal interest in but didn't find it difficult to decline or felt pressured in any way. Several of our group did purchase rugs and were happy with their purchases. There is also a gift shop at the end of the visit which had some interesting lower priced options for gifts (e.g. lamps, t-shirts, bracelets, etc.)
Coming back into the terminal, we did find several shops that had low-priced items for gifts/stocking-stuffers. Note, there is no post box in the terminal--we found a vendor who had postcards that was willing to mail out for us.
Cruise date was May 2012 (the drop down has not been updated to include 2012 yet).
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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Review 3 for Ephesus & House Of Virgin Mary: Pre-book & Save $10
I traveled with:Family
Cruise Date Month:May
Favorite port:Barcelona, Spain - as a debark (Gem)
We just returned (May, 2012) from the 12 day European cruise. This was my favorite excursion on the entire trip. Turkey was a wonderful surprise. The people are friendly and it's a beautiful country - a real delight after seeing the graffiti mess that Athens has become. Walking in the steps of the Virgin Mary was an amazing experience. There was a stop at a leather shop that was a waste of time - very expensive products. However, we stopped at a souvenir shop that offered good prices. We passed a castle from the Crusades that I wish we could have learned about and at least have had a photo stop, but it was pretty much ignored.