Daily Ephesus Tours -
Highlights, private and other types of Ephesus tours

We have picked the best rated daily Ephesus tours for you. Remember, your Kusadasi day will not be maximized without a shore excursion! Even if you are not a tour type person, this is the day to get on one!

The summer of 2013 was the last time I was sitting at the desk by the Crystal Symphony gangway, seeing the guests off on the way to their daily Ephesus shore excursions. As always, I was handing them local maps and giving the last minute info on Kusadasi, Turkey, the port we were docked in.

ephesusshorex2Ephesus is such a big site, it's best to get to know it with a professional tour guide by your side.

Just like many times before, the welcome in Kusadasi did not disappoint: the red carpet was rolled out and the magical sounds of the local entertainers and dancers on the pier got us all goose bumps, promising a very special and exciting day.

Sitting there, I was very happy to see that a big majority of people understood the importance of taking an organized tour when seeing this spectacular site. 'They must have read my website' I thought jokingly.

ephesusshorex3Having fun on your Ephesus shore excursion

Although this website give you step-by-step instructions on getting around on your own, Kusadasi and Ephesus are one of the port days when we highly recommend taking an organized tour, the reasons of which we thoroughly explained in our article Why Taking an Ephesus Shore Excursion is a Must.

I noticed that apart from taking ship organized tours, many people decided to go with private daily Ephesus tours they booked online.

Namely, the interest is so big the local tour operator that cooperates with cruise lines finds it hard to supply the number of buses for a cruise ship with 3-5000 passengers.

And that is only one out of 3-4 cruisers that find themselves in port on this day.

When I was still working on cruise ships, before heading out in the port, it was my job to check the number of passengers left onboard.

On Kusadasi mornings, by 9am, there would be only about 200 people left onboard (out of 3000), probably waiting for their afternoon tour.

That's how many passengers take daily Ephesus tours in Kusadasi!

To make things easier for you, I have scanned hundreds of tours available online, divided them into a few categories and picked best of the best in each.

So, roughly, Ephesus tours can be divided into:

1. Daily Ephesus Tours - Highlights Ephesus Tours


1.Highlight tours - there is so much to see in Ephesus that even a highlights or half-day tour takes 5-7 hours. With this type of tours you will typically see all the main points of interest inside the locality except for the Terrace houses as they take some extra time and an extra admission fee to that part of the locality.

commercial agora ephesus image, commercial agora ephesus photo, commercial agora ephesus pictureCommercial agora by Erik Cleves Kristensen at Creative Commons

Do not be surprised if you get taken for a visit to a Turkish rug factory for a rug making demonstration. It's part of Turkish culture and you won't be sorry for it.

Here are our top suggestions for Ephesus highlights tours, and we tried to find the shortest ones in case you don't handle the heat well:

Find out more here:

a tourist show in ephesus image, a tourist show in ephesus photo, a tourist show in ephesus pictureDecisions, Decisions... by Son of Groucho at Creative Commons - A tourist show in Ephesus

2. Daily Ephesus Tours - Full Day Tours

These tours usually include visit to Virgin Mary's house and terraced houses, sometimes even lunch.

They usually take 7-8 hours so you can expect to come back to your ship in the late afternoon.

As these tours are for small groups only, be quick to book the tour you like before it gets sold out:

3. Private Daily Ephesus Tours

What's great about these tours is that you have the tour guide at your disposal all day! Turkish guides are all archaeologists or art historians, they are patient, knowledgeable and above all hospitable. It will be like walking around Ephesus with a good Turkish friend.

I've picked a few private shore excursions with high ratings:

4. Shopping Daily Ephesus Tours

Let's face it, shopping will be a big part of your day in Kusadasi.

With some of the finest rugs, leather, gold jewellery and pottery in the world on offer here, without taking time for shopping, you would be missing out big time!

I am a big fan of handwoven turkish rugs and I know I wouldn't leave Kusadasi without one if I went there again. That's why, if you are about to visit Kusadasi and Ephesus, I envy you so!

That is why we have also prepared a selection of tours that will give you enough time to shop.

If you think you will just go and shop by yourself, remember there are thousands of shops fighting for your dollar out there. So it can get a bit intense. You better have an experienced tour guide by your side to guide you through the whole experience. You won't be sorry!

5. Cultural Turkish Shore Excursions

pamukkaleDid you know it was possible to visit the famous Pamukkale for a day from Kusadasi port?

And last, but not the least, I have hand-picked a few tours for those who have been to Ephesus before or just want even more out of the whole experience:

  • taste local foods
  • try the wine, coffee or ouzo
  • experience the turkish baths
  • or even go to heavenly white pools of Pamukkale!

Check each one of the tours below and decide which one suits you best:

All of these tours sound so great and it's hard to pick 'the best one?' It's because they really are great. Turkish people are some of the most hospitable people in the world, the guides are all supeer qualified and have a degree in history, art or archaeology.

Besides, they all have a great command of English language.

That's why, no matter what dialy Ephesus tour you pick, you can't go wrong.

For more ideas on what to do in and around Kusadasi, check this blog post by Pia.

Enjoy your daily Ephesus tours!


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