Our cruise stop in Kusadasi Turkey was a port I knew we would need to do a tour in order to see all the sites, but I did not want to arrange it through the ship tours.
After researching online, I felt Ephesus Deluxe would meet our needs. I contacted Ephesus Deluxe to get a quote for a tour for my cruise stop in Kusadasi. They were very easy to work with and no deposit was required to set up this tour. We would be picked up from Kusadasi port and then visit Ancient Ephesus including the Odeon, Temple of Hadrian, Roman Baths, Fountain of Trajan, Celsius Library, the Agora, and the Great Theater, The Terrace Houses, The House of the Virgin Mary, The Basilica of St John, The Temple of Artemis, lunch, all entrance and parking fees for $60 per person.
I went on Cruise Critic and offered the tour, and had my maximum group of 20 in a short amount of time. I confirmed this information with Ephesus Deluxe, providing them with names for the group. They advised that they would be holding a sign with my name after we got off the ship.
Bulent was our tour guide and was waiting with my name on a sign as soon as we got off the ship. Our group gathered quickly and we were on our way in a nice tour bus. Bulent spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable regarding the history of Ephesus. He draped the flag of turkey over him, which allowed him to stand out in the crowd.
Bulent was very informative, knowledgeable, and well educated about the places we visited. He took us to The House of the Virgin Mary first in order to avoid the crowds. He allowed enough time at each stop to explain what we were seeing and give us time to explore on our own before we moved on to the next stop. He did a great job staying ahead of the crowds all day.
House of the Virgin Mary
There was a line at the House of the Virgin Mary, but it moved very quickly. There were no photos allowed inside. Once you are outside you encountered the wall where people leave notes. These notes are taken down weekly, but because of the amount of people that come through here, they quickly mount up again.
You can see the people standing in line at the top of the wall to get into see the House of the Virgin Mary.
The view from the Terrence Houses once you come outside.
The Great Theatre
The Basilica of St John
The Basilica of St John is the believed burial site of John the Apostle.
We went to the rug factory for lunch. After our delicious meal, we were given a demonstration of the rug making process.
And then the roll out of the rugs.
We had no problems with high sale pressure. We were shown a variety of rugs, but no one bought anything and we were able to leave fairly quickly.
We were dropped off near the market to do a little shopping before we returned to the ship. The vendors in the market were very aggressive. (See them waiting for us as we walk through.) We did not stay very long because of this. Maybe that was why there were not very many people inside.
Notice the No Hassle sign
There were some beautiful things inside the market but because we had no room in our luggage, we could only look. We really enjoyed our tour with Ephesus Deluxe and would use them again.