Ephesus Travel - Getting to Ephesus

"Plan your Ephesus Travel - Cruisers tips for getting to Ephesus from the port of Kusadasi".

Planning Your Ephesus Travel: Kusadasi to Ephesus distance

EphesusDetailThere is some impressive architecture in Ephesus, cruisers often compare it to Pompeii!

How far is Kusadasi from Ephesus?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by cruise passengers that consider travelling to this fascinating place on their own.

Technically, there’s not much involved when it comes to Ephesus travel… the site is only 19km (about 12 miles) away from Kusadasi harbour. It's a mere 20-25 minute ride.

However, it is not about covering the distance from point A to point B here. On this day, it's all about getting the maximum out of your experience.

In this article you will find tips on:

After five years of visiting Kusadasi on a weekly basis as a Port and Shopping guide onboard Royal Carribean cruise ships I got a lot of our passengers' feedback regarding Kusadasi Ephesus travel.

ephesus travel image, ephesus travel photo, ephesus travel pictureShare these Ephesus travel tips with other cruisers

There is one thing all cruisers agree on when it comes to Ephesus travel and getting to the archeological site from Kusadasi cruise port: you should have a professional guide when you’re seeing the Ephesus ruins, in other words, take one of the daily Ephesus tours!

Travelling half the world round and getting there without a guide to explain what you are seeing is pretty much a waste of time! A well-informed tour guide is essential to your experience here!

Back in the Roman times, at the time of its highest peak, this ancient city is considered to have had over 250,000 inhabitants. It was the fourth largest metropolis after Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

Have you seen Rick Steve's intro to this fantastic archeological site yet?

Although only one tenth of the Ephesus ruins have been unearthed in the past century of excavations, walking around it on your own and understanding what’s going on there is not an easy task.

Keep reading for tips on getting there on your own, but do keep in mind this is NOT one of the ports to save money on shore excursions ;).

When your cruise ship docks in Kusadasi you will se dozens of buses waiting for your fellow cruisers to take them on shore excursions to Ephesus. Don't wait booking them till it's too late!

Here's the tours with the best price/review ratio for you:

Ephesus Travel: Taking a Bus to Ephesus

ephesus turkey photo, ephesus turkey images, ephesus turkey pictureEphesus archaeological park detail

If you're wondering if there's a public bus service from Kusadasi to Efes, the answer is: yes, there is.

Getting to Ephesus by bus involves a few steps:

1. First, take one of the white mini-buses, the so-called dolmuses, to the Ladies Beach. They depart from the main road of Kusadasi as you exit the Kusadasi harbour area, approximately 3-4 times an hour.

You can hail them anywhere on the road and each one will have a destination sign in the windshield. Take the one with Selcuk as the final destination. Dolmuses take up to 15 people at a time and depart as they fill up.

The ride takes about 30 minutes. The cost is approx. 11 Turkish Lira and you pay cash on the bus.

NOTE: Dolmuses will take either US$, Euros or Turkish Lira. However, at the site entrance they will take Turkish Lira only. You can obtain Turkish Lira at an ATM close to the port of Kusadasi.

Keep in mind dolmuses get very busy on Saturdays because there is a market in Selcuk, so it will be very difficult to get a seat on one.

Dolmus doesn't drop you off at the archaeological site itself but about 1.5 km away. From there, you can eiter walk for 10-15 minutes of take a taxi the upper entrance of the archeological site (15 Turkish lira for up to 4 persons). 

To catch a dolmus on your way back, exit the bottom exit/entrance to the archeological park, walk some fifteen to twenty minutes to the main road and cross the road to catch the bus with Kusadasi sign.

Ephesus Travel: Taking a taxi from Kusadasi port to Ephesus

It is possible to take a taxi from the Kusadasi harbour to Ephesus. You will find taxis parked right in front of the Kusadasi Scala Nuova port complex.

Before you jump into one of the taxis you should agree on a price. Prices are not set, it's all haggling basically. 

kusadasi taxi image, kusadasi taxi photo, kusadasi taxi pictureKusadasi taxis will be waiting at the port exit

You shouldn’t pay more than €50 per taxi to go there and back, that's with a wait. But then again, we suggest paying a little more and getting one of the private shore excursions with a professional guide. If I tell you it's possible to get on a 5-6 hours shore excursion for only about $25 would you still rely on haggling with a non-English speaking taxi driver on the street?

If you still decide to take a taxi, I also suggest you pay the taxi driver the whole amount only once you get back to the port.

One thing with taxi drivers you catch in front of Kusadasi port is, you never know how proficient their English will be. Another thing is you could always end up being taken to shops you don’t really want to go to.

Also, remember a taxi driver is just a taxi driver, not a tour guide. If you’re going to have one, hire a professional tour guide and go with one of the hand picked shore excursions in Ephesus. This is not one of the days you want to save money on tours!

Planning your Ephesus Travel: Taking an Ephesus Shore Excursion

You could easily spend a couple of days exploring this grandiose excavation site, and if you get there on your own...what might happen is you won't be able to see the trees from the forest. That's how much there is to see.

And we all know, as a cruiser your time in port is quite limited. That’s why it’s important to be with someone who is going to make your visit to this fascinating place time-effective by presenting the essence of this amazing place and putting things into perspective for you.

Guides’ explanations will definitely enhance the enjoyment of such an important historical place.

That’s why we really do recommend you take one of the Ephesus shore excursions, whether it’s one you can book onboard your Mediterranean cruise ship or one of the private Ephesus Turkey tours you can book online.

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