Travel to Ephesus can be seen complicated, but we’re going to make it easier for you. You will be impressed of Hellenistic and Roman settlements which is a World Heritage Site.
Firstly, you should be ready to walk and please don’t forget to bring your walking shoes. If you’re ready, let’s go…
Ephesus (Efes in Turkish) is located in Selcuk district of Izmir. When you search Ephesus in the map, you’re going to find a wide location. I believe this is true, but not enough. Because if you decide to visit Ephesus, you can also visit different places. If you spend only one day, you will have to skip a few of them.
Transportation to Izmir
There’re international flights from different cities to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, directly. On the other hand, if you fly to different airports in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya or another city, you can find a domestic flight easily.
Transportation from Izmir
If you want to go Selcuk directly, you’ve a few options. As you guess, first option is arrange a taxi or rent a car. It takes 40-45 minutes (average 60 km) from the airport to Selcuk.
IZBAN is a suburban rail and you can arrive to Selcuk in 60 minutes. First, you’ve to go to Tepekoy (30-35 minutes) with the train, then you’ve to use the train for Selcuk (20-25 minutes). You can also prefer trains of Denizli, Soke or Nazilli.
You can also prefer travel with a bus. HAVAS is a private company and it has bus lines to Kusadasi and Soke. If you use it, you should get off in Selcuk.
Please don’t forget to ask your hotel, if they have free airport transfer facility.
You’ve three different alternatives to accommodation:
2) Kusadasi: Another popular destination in Aydin. If you travel in summertime, it can be an option.
3) Izmir: If you want to visit other districts of Izmir and city centrum, you can prefer to stay in the city centrum.
The previous part (Transportation from Izmir) based on Option 1, Selcuk.
According to your budget and expectations, there’re more than 20 alternatives. We suggest yo to book a hotel in district center, not in a village. If you stay in district center, you can walk to almost all destinations.
Things to Do
As you guess, the first thing is visiting Ephesus. It opens at 08:30 and we suggest you visit there in the morning, if it’s summertime. You can bring an umbrella and some water, also. In fact, the best visiting time is springtime.
Ephesus was a city of Ionia and as you guess, you may need minimum two hours to visit there. There are too many things in the city, and it’s hard to understand all of them. You should rent a headset in the entrance and set it to your language. Also you can travel with a tour guide.
Celsus Library, Magnesian Gate, the Bath of Varius, too many streets and roads, surely Ephesus Theatre and more…
We can divide other things in two parts:
1) In district center
If you stay a hotel in district center, you can walk to some places. Probably The Byzantine Aqueducts will be first. You can make your plan with this route: Ayasuluk Fortress (Castle), Saint John Church, Isa Bey Mosque, and finally Ephesus Museum. If you’ve some more time, you can walk to the Temple of Artemis.
Sadly, it’s not possible to walk some places. When you leave from Ephesus, you can visit the Seven Sleepers. We also suggest you visit House of Virgin Mary where is in the mountain. Here is an option: You can visit Camlik Railway Museum and House of Virgin Mary at the same day. If you rent a car for a single day, it’s possible to visit both of them. Also you can reach an agreement with a taxi driver.
~ If your hotel doesn’t provide free airport transfer, IZBAN is the cheapest option. It is also fast.
~ Staying two or maximum three days is enough. You can visit with somewhere else, if you’ve more time.
~ Someone may ask you if you want to buy some ancient money (fake), don’t trust them. You can buy them just like a gift for your friends.
~ Cop sis (Çöp şiş in Turkish) is a famous local kebab. If you have some time and car facility, just visit Ortaklar to eat it. Ortaklar is another district and it takes maximum 30 minutes from Selcuk.
~ If you visit in summertime and if you’ve a kind of diseases, you have to bring an umbrella, especially for walking in Ephesus.
Have a nice holiday…
Photos are taken from the website of Izmir Development Agency / Visit İzmir.