The ancient city of Ephesus was visited and patronised by Alexander the Great in 334 BC because of its importance as the Shrine of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of Moon and Hunting. Over the following centuries it passed through various hands, reaching its peak under the control of the Romans, who built it up to become their Asian Capital. The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The silting of its harbour in the 3rd century spelled the end for Ephesus and over time the city became completely covered over until 1869 when it was discovered by a British archaeologist. Even now the city is still being excavated and experts say that 75 per cent of the city still remains buried. The amphitheatre in Ephesus is one of the worlds biggest, which held up to 25,000 people. Other impressive sites at Ephesus include ‘The Latrines’, ‘The Temple of Hadrian’ and ‘The House of Love’.
Virgin Mary’s House
After the death of Christ, His Mother Mary came to live in Turkey close to Ephesus. Her house is in the mountains and she remained there in prayer and solitude until her assumption into heaven to join her son, Jesus Christ. Mary’s House is an official and important Catholic shrine and has been visited by a number of Popes including a visit by Pope Benedict XVI in November 2006. Mass is celebrated there every Sunday morning.
Pamukkale meaning ‘Cotton Castle’ was formed thousands of years ago when a calcium rich spring cascaded over the hillside to form this brilliant white snowy chalky mountain and terraces. Visitors will also get a chance to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool and visit the ancient city of Hierapolis.
Istanbul, Troy, Gallipoli and Bursa Tour
A three day, 2 night trip. You will visit Troy made famous by the beauty of Helen and the cunning of the Trojan Horse ploy. Cross the Dardanelles and visit the battlefields of Gallipoli where up to 600 thousand casualties were sustained in 1915/16 including many Irish. The Istanbul city tour includes visits to the Blue Mosque. Haghia Sophia Church, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and a boat trip on the Bosphorus. You will also visit the beautiful city of Bursa the old capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Day Cruise on the Aegean Sea
Setting out from Kusadasi Marina on a large traditional wooden picnic boat you sail west along the rugged coastline. The boat will stop off in a few scenic bays where you will have a chance to swim in the crystal clear blue waters or just laze on the deck and soak up the sun. An authentic picnic boat lunch is provided.
There are two excellent water parks in Kusadasi with a range of slides and activities from gentle to hair raising. There is also a Dolphin Park and Sea Park attached to Adaland the larger of the two aqua parks.
You will be picked up from your hotel for an exciting day out in an open topped jeep. During this on road/off road trip you will get a chance to see more rural parts of Turkey in an action packet, fun filled day out. The day usually includes a visit to one of the more outlying beaches.
Greek Island of Samos
It’s not very often that you get the chance to be in two countries in one day. From Kusadasi you can travel by ferry to the Greek Island of Samos and be back in your hotel for dinner.
Markets and Shopping
There are 3 street markets held in Kusadasi every week with the largest and most popular being the Wednesday market where you can buy “genuine fake“versions of almost everything imaginable. There are also excellent bargains to be had in real leather, gold, jewellery and top brand clothes and fashion wear.
At least once during your visit to Turkey you must experience a traditional Turkish Bath. In the unique setting of a traditional Turkish Hamam your body is scrubbed and massaged taking away all your dead skin and preparing your skin for the golden suntan that you have dreamed of all winter. An unforgettable and thoroughly relaxing experience.