If you are thinking about planning a beach resort holiday on the Turkish west coast, the town of Cesme on the peninsula of Turkey is an excellent place to base yourself. Locally, there are golden beaches, the historic Cesme Castle, the marina and vibrant market streets to explore. To get a real insight into the past and see how people lived thousands of years ago, a trip to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus should be at the top of your list. Organised tours run daily from Cesme to the Ephesus ruins so you can experience a fascinating taste of history. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the tour to help you discover Ephesus.
How to get to Ephesus
Located in Selcuk in the Izmir province of Turkey, there are many ways to tour Ephesus from Cesme. For the more independent traveler, you can get yourself to Selcuk by renting a car or simply by bus. You can reach Ephesus by foot in about 30 to 45 minutes, hiring a bike or a short taxi ride. Purchase general entry and hire audio guide equipment with commentary and learn more about the wonderful history at this site.
There is also a great choice of organised Ephesus Tours from Cesme that take place daily, ready to transport you in the comfort of an air conditioned vehicle and includes an English speaking guide. Tours are available in full or half day sessions, larger or smaller groups and are a great way to avoid the queues and with a local expert on hand to answer your questions, what more could you need?
Explore ancient Ephesus
Depending on what time of year you visit, going earlier in the day is ideal, especially during the hotter months. With history around every corner you will want to allow yourself at least two hours to cover the whole of the ancient grounds. You will be doing plenty of walking as this entire archaeological site is done by foot, so wear comfortable shoes and make sure to take plenty of water along.
What to see at Ephesus
Whether you are a history enthusiast or not, the magnificence of Ephesus will leave you amazed at the sheer brilliance and forward thinking of Roman Times. The work of archaeologists who rediscovered and started excavating the site in the 1860s, this open-air museum now allows tourists from around the world to see what life was like in an ancient Greek city.
Step back in time with a walk down Marble Street and imagine watching great drama unfold at the Great Theatre, which has the capacity to seat 24,000, making the O2 Arena in London look fairly mediocre in comparison. At the end of the street near the theatre entry is the Hellenistic Fountain, small but beautiful, the fountain was built in the 2nd century AD, making it one of the oldest Ephesus structures.
The wealth and ingenuity of this Greco-Roman city has to be seen to be believed at the Terrace Houses or ‘houses of the rich’ where each home had heating systems and their own bath. Imagine taking a dip and contemplating life at the Scolasticia Baths, public baths where much socializing and philosophizing took place.
A Pilgrimage Place for Christians
For a spiritual encounter like no other, visit the Church of the Virgin Mary, where it is said Mary lived her last days. Declared by Pope John-Paul II as a pilgrimage place for Catholics in the 1980s, it is another excellent example of beautiful Roman architecture. It’s amazing to think that what you see at Ephesus is just a small glimpse into an ancient world, as there is said to be around 80% of this city, still to be uncovered. Delve into the past and create your own piece of holiday history by touring Ephesus on your Turkish getaway.
If you love Ephesus, you'll love the island of Chios as well! Check out our guide to your one-day adventure from Cesme to Chios.
Perfect holiday Accommodation
Cesme is a sea-side resort town, located on the gorgeous Aegean coast. With a fantastic atmosphere and its proximity to nearby sites like Ephesus, Cesme is an idyllic spot to enjoy a beach escape in Turkey. The Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Cesme offers holiday accommodation with gorgeous views, on-site spa, and indoor and outdoor pools. After a day of sightseeing just sit back, relax and enjoy all the freshly prepared meal made with local Aegean ingredients at Element Restaurant in this gorgeous beach resort hotel in Cesme.
Ready for your historic visit to Ephesus? Book your stay with Radisson Blu and get transported back in time.