Frequently Asked Questions about Ephesus and Tours
Below please find questions and answers about Ephesus and our tours, if you still can not find answers for your questions, please free to get in touch with us. We will get back to you less than 24 hours.
Q1. Why should I book a tour through Ephesus Travel Guide? Can't I do my own tours?
> Of course you may be able to arrange your own tours, but why would you want to? When you book a tour from Ephesus Travel Guide, transportation and most importantly the services of a well-trained local tour guide is included. You're also assured that you'll see the most for your money. By booking a tour through Ephesus Travel Guide`s selection of excursions, you'll also save time and money. We've done all the thinking for you. You'll spend less time doing research and more time having fun. You get to choose from the very best and most popular tours in a port of call based on your interest and escorted by local experts who are familiar with the port, it's history, and culture.
Q2. What do tours include? / Are your drivers also the tour guides?
> Tours include transportation according to the itinerary and your tour guide. Drivers are separate than tour guides. While your tour guide is making commentary about the sites and culture of the area. Your driver will stay by the vehicle. You will enter Ephesus from the upper gate and walk down the hill. Your driver will meet you at the lower gate. You will save a lot of time. We do not include entrance fees in our tour costs since you may want to modify the tour during your visit. If requested we can also provide you entrance and lunch included packages.
Q3. How physically challenging are tours?
> Most tours require some degree of walking; however, some excursions require extensive walking. Whatever your fitness level, we highly recommend comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes.
Q4. How should I tip our Guide/Driver?
> Extending a gratuity to your guide or driver is strictly optional; however, in Turkey, these personnel may anticipate that if you were pleased with their services, you will reward them in a monetary way. A commonly accepted guideline is 3 Euro per person for a half-day and 4 Euro per person for a full day.
Q5. Where to meet our guide at Kusadasi Port or Izmir Port? How do I recognize our tour guide at the port?
> Your private tour guide will meet you in front of Kusadasi Port or Izmir Port Passenger Terminal. He or she will holding your name sign. On the right pictures please take a note of the meeting points.
Q6. What should I wear?
> Guests should wear comfortable walking shoes at all times. When visiting ruins or walking on cobble stone streets, wear rubber-soled shoes. It's also smart to wear a sun hat. There is no need for a head scarf for the visit of House of Virgin Mary or Isa Bey Mosque.
Q7. Will I have time to shop?
> Shopping time is allocated within the framework of the excursions.
Shopping visits are not scheduled in our tours. Depending on the time, you may be offered options. Shopping stops during tours are not made unless the guests wants.
Q8. Are your tours the same ones offered by the Cruise Lines?
> Cruise Lines offer similar tours, visiting the same sites. The biggest difference is that you will be met by a private representative on arrival, reserve in advance and save time and money.
Q9. Why should I book Tours with Ephesus Travel Guide instead of booking onboard the cruise ship?
> Save Money - these tours are 30 - 40% lower than you'll find on ship.
Avoid long lines at the Ship's Shore Excursion Desk.
All tours planned and confirmed before you sail.
No chance of a sell out like on board ship.
Full refund if tour is cancelled for bad weather or the ship misses port.
Q10. How reputable is Ephesus Travel Guide?
> Very. EphesusTravelGuide.com is a web trademark of Transbalkan Tours Ltd. which has been providing tours since 1963. Transbalkan Tours have a wonderful reputation. EphesusTravelGuide.com is confident that customers will enjoy the same tours that you'd find on a cruise ship at lower prices and with more convenience.
Q11. We've never been to Ephesus and want to do as much as possible?
> The local guides are considered top experts on local history and sights, offering you a chance to fully appreciate and experience their hometowns. The listed excursions are designed and organized in such a way as to maximize your time and yet allow sufficient free time as well.
Q12. What type of transportation is used for the tours?
> Type of transport vary considerably depending on the number of people in your party. We work with brand new Volkswagen and Mercedes Vehicles. All of our vehicles are Air-conditioned. Guest wishing to travel together with friends should leave the ship together, as this will help the guide. For more information, visit:
Vehicle Types for Private Ephesus Tours and Private Airport Transfers from/to Izmir Airport
Q13. What was the official language of the people of Ephesus?
> At the time of Ephesus, Greek was the common language. Greek was the international language used across the Roman Empire, despite the official language being Latin. Therefore all the laws were written in both languages.
Q14. Am I travelling with a group on the tours?
> We only provide private tours. You will be the only ones in the vehicle besides your personal tour guide and your personal driver.
Q15. How do I pay for my tour, what is the procedure?
> Payment can be made in Euro or US Dollar cash at the end of the tour. There is no prepayment required. We do not accept credit card payments.
Q16. Do we need to have a Turkish visa?
> Cruise ship passengers calling to the Turkish Port of Calls are considered as in-transit therefore you do not need to have a visa.
Q17. What is your cancellation policy?
> You can cancel a tour 72 hours in advance of your tour departure without any charges. If you would like to cancel a tour, simply send us an email and we will be happy to assist you. Once you are within the 24 hour tour departure window, the tour becomes non-refundable. This is because our guide and vehicle have set aside space to accommodate your request and will often not be able to fill that space with another customer so close to departure.
Q18. Would there be a charge if I miss my tour because the ship is late or cannot make it into port?
> There would not be any charge if you cannot make a tour departure due to a ship delay or a missed port call. You will of course also receive a full refund if weather or an equipment problem prevents delivering the tour.
Q19. Is there a risk of missing the ship if I don't book through the cruise line?
> No. Although the cruise lines would like you to believe that independent tours carry this risk, we are very well aware of your ship's departure time, and our tours are designed to get you back to the ship with time to spare and until today none of our clients missed the ship by being late getting back to the ship.
Q20. What are Ephesus entrance fees (admission)? - How much is the entrance fee to Ephesus?
> Approximate cost of entrance fees:
Ephesus: 10.5 Euro per person (100 TL)
House of Mary: 5 Euro p.p. (45 TL)
Temple of Artemis: Free of Charge
Sirince Village: Free of charge
Isa Bey Mosque: Free of Charge
Terrace Houses: 5 Euro p.p. (45TL)
St. John's Basilica: 3 Euro p.p.(25TL)
Ephesus Museum: 3 Euro p.p.(25TL)
Q21. Do you buy tickets in advance?
> There are never long lines at the sites therefore tickets can easily be purchased at the sites.
Majority of the sites accept credit cards.
Q22. Do we have to pay tickets for the tour guide?
> No, there is no charge for the tour guides at the sites.
Q23. How expert would our guide be and what are the details of the sights we would visit in Ephesus?
> The guide which will be assigned for your private Ephesus tour is licensed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. To obtain this license one has to attend 2 or 4 years university programs that includes archeology, history... classes. Our licensed guide will be with you at all times during the tour and will inform you about the archeological, historical and cultural facts of the area. They are expert guides who do this kind of Ephesus tours approximately 200 times a year. They are not archeologists but they are expert guides who will provide as much as information that an archeologist can do. Suggested visit time is 2 hours. This may be longer depending on your interest, pace and the number of people a head of you. Your Ephesus Tour will start at the upper gate (Magnesia Gate) and you will walk down the hill and at the lower gate of Ephesus.
Q24. What are the opening hours for Ephesus?
> Ephesus is open everyday. Visiting hours vary depending on the season.
Summer Time Visiting Hours: 08.30 - 19.00
Winter Time visiting Hours: 08.30 - 17.00
Q25. Who wrote the letter of Ephesians?
> Letter of Ephesians was written by St. Paul while he as prisoned in Rome. Before the execution he also wrote two letters to his companion Timothy. While Paul was in Ephesus during 53-56AD he wrote the letter to the Corinthians. Corinthians No.1 is written while Paul was in Ephesus.
Q26. How much time do you need to visit Ephesus?
> Ephesus is a large ancient city. The city covers an area of 550 acres (224 hectares). It is the most excavated archaeological site of Turkey. A visit here can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours depending on your interest and pace. The site has two gates named as the Upper Gate, also known as the South Gate and the lower gate, also known as the North Gate. During the visit to the Ancient City of Ephesus, some guests also tour the Terrace Houses. Terrace Houses visit generally takes approximately 30 minutes.
You can travel back in time by walking through the preserved streets of Ephesus. Some spends an entire day visiting the site, but the average time needed once inside is about two to three hours. Like most Roman-built cities, Touring Ephesus is not difficult, but to avoid wasting time or in the summer days getting cooked under the sun, we recommend the guests to hire a private tour guide.
In our Private Ephesus Tours, we generally start the tour from the Upper Gate and end at the Lower Gate. If there is a driver waiting for us. This way saves us a lot of energy and time. For solo travelers who want to do this way, there are taxis that charge approximately 5 Euros to take you back to the Upper Gate.
Bring a hat and sunscreen no matter what season it is, and you can even ask for an umbrella in the summer. There is very little shelter from the sun, and two to three hours outside will make you feel more like exhausted than your healthy state. You'll also want snacks and plenty of water for all these walks. Inside, close to the Close to Celsus Library, there is one small convenience stand. Right outside the site there are numerous vendors who may help you with these necessities. There is no water fountains at the site that you can use to fill your water bottles. In Turkey, we do not drink tap water.
Ephesus was once an entire port city and the site now is huge! If you visit Ephesus with a tour guide, your itinerary will be well planned, so you won't have to worry. If not, plan ahead and come prepared to ensure you have a successful trip. For travelers who need a Ephesus tour guide, we do provide tour guide and private tour services. For more information, contact us.
Q27. How long did Paul stay in Ephesus?
> It is believed by the Biblical scholars that St. Paul came to Ephesus towards the end of his second missionary journey with his companions like Timothy, Silas, Aquila, Pricilla and probably Luke the gospel writer. Promising them he will go back to Antioch and came back to the city of Ephesus in year 53AD. St. Paul stayed over 2.5 years in the city of Ephesus, till the riot by Demetrius the silversmith started at the Grand Theater of Ephesus. For more information about the biblical history of Ephesus please click here.
Q28. Are there discounts for SENIOR Citizens for local airfares,food,restaurants and hotels?
> There are no discounts for Senior citizens in Ephesus. Only for Turkish Citizen Seniors who are over 65 years of age, there is free entrance at the sites.
Q29. How do I get to Ephesus? - Where is Ephesus?
> The archaeological site of Ephesus is part of Selcuk, a small town south of Izmir. The world-famous Ephesus is very close to Kusadasi and Izmir, 540 kilometers south of Istanbul. 60 kilometers south of Izmir City Center. 18 kilometers North East of Kusadasi. A long day from Istanbul or an easy trip from Izmir or the very popular holiday area around Kusadasi. Many people combine their trip to Ephesus with the famous Temple of Artemis, House of Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John.
From Izmir, Izban trains and TCDD trains run approximately every hour, 8 times a day. Between Izmir and Selcuk. Trains are cheap but crowded. For train schedules, please click here. These trains also stop at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. For travelers who are planning a day trip from Istanbul. We recommend them to fly to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. They can take the train from Izmir Airport to Selcuk, or can take the Havas Shuttle Bus stopping in Selcuk, or we can provide private transportation.
From Istanbul, the closest airport to Ephesus, is Izmir Adnan Menderes airport. Budget travelers from Istanbul may also choose to get an overnight bus from Istanbul to Selcuk. The bus ride may take over 7 hours (one way). This would be a budget but a tiring option.
From Kusadasi, there are shared minibuses called Dolmus to Selcuk. The minibuses run approximately every 30 minutes. They are cheap but most of the time very crowded. But travelers should expect a long walk after getting of from Dolmus.
From Selcuk, the ancient city of Ephesus is approximately 4 kilometers. It can be reached by walking or taxis are available in Selcuk.