Ephesus is one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. This beautifully preserved Roman City is a must-see Mediterranean destination for history enthusiasts.
The ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey (close to Izmir) is the right place if you want to learn more about the ancient world, the Megalopolis in which Alexander the Great is called the “divine”, the birthplace of Heraclitus as well as the site of art development and science. Ephesus is also the place of the Christian pilgrimage. This is the place of the last stay of the Mother of God, which, according to the tradition of St. Paul brought to this city
In the area of today’s Ephesus, there are the remains of three cities from different epochs because the original location has been altered by the destruction of the Greek, Persian and Roman conquerors, as well as natural disasters. The remains of the tumultuous past, the Artemis Temple, the Amphitheater, the Celsius Library, the Agora and the Baths, attract millions of tourists from all over the world and represent the richest archaeological site in Asia Minor.
The ancient ruins of Ephesus will take visitors along 2,000 years worth of history and some of the most magnificent structures of ancient times will be right here and close at hand for you to examine and admire and of course photograph. However, Ephesus is not just for those who delight in thousand-year-old ruins but also for those who are looking for a place to relax and explore the attractions of the Aegean Coast.
Since Ephesus is made famous by the magnificent ruins dating back to the ancient Roman period, no visit to the city is complete without a stopover at the famed archaeological site. It takes little imagination to picture what it was like to live in a Roman city when you are right there, standing in the midst of the well-preserved ruins. It is recommended to head out to the site early in the morning before the sun becomes unforgiving. Once there, you can explore the vast area on your own or hire a personal guide for an interesting and animated commentary on the area’s various attractions.
While here you will explore amphitheatres, public squares, baths, fountains and enumerable columns. However, if you want to get to the highlights immediately, then you need to seek out the splendid Library of Celsus, the magnificent Temple of Hadrian and the Grand Theatre where St. Paul was said to have preached to the Ephesians. Of course, don’t miss a visit to the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World in ancient history.
If you want to dedicate most of your time in Ephesus to exploring the ruins, then it is best to make the town of Selcuk your base. It has plenty of hotels and many facilities that will take care of any tourist’s needs. It is also only 2 miles from the archaeological site so you can easily go there on foot if you fancy a leisurely walk.
While you are at Selcuk, you may want to check out the exhibits at the Ephesus Museum and pay a visit to the other attractions in the area such as the St. John Basilica, the Grotto of St. Paul, the House of the Virgin and the Isa Bey Mosque, among others.
Near Ephesus is another attraction right out of the pages of history – Iliad’s legendary city of Troy. This city is famous for the deceitful Trojan Horse, the renowned beauty of Helen, the legendary battle and now a favourite of many romantics. The ruins discovered in the 19th century were believed to have been what remained of the ancient city of Troy.
There is now a replica of the Trojan Horse that makes for a good photo opportunity for visiting tourists. The picturesque surroundings and the wonderful views of the hills of Gallipoli and Dardanelles the site affords, are more reasons to visit the area while you are in Ephesus.
If you need to rejuvenate and re-energize after your exhausting historical excursion at the Ephesus archaeological site and nearby attractions, make Pamukkale your next destination. This town is famous for its mineral-rich hot springs whose waters are said to cure many ailments since the Roman times. Aside from its waters therapeutic effects, the spring’s rock formation known as Cotton Castle is also one of the area’s major attractions. However, if you prefer to relax by the beach, then the nearby Pamucak Beach or the resort town of Kusadasi is a better fit for you.