Admire some of the most hallowed sites in the ancient world, including a residence believed to be the Virgin Mary’s, the ruins of Ephesus and St. John’s Basilica.
After departing from the pier, you will drive through the countryside to the House of the Virgin. Believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary, the small stone building contains a bedroom, kitchen and an altar adorned with images of Mary. A sacred spring known as the Fountain of Our Lady runs under the house, and you will be welcome to drink from it.
Then, it's on to revered Ephesus, a World Heritage site that may well be the best-preserved ancient city in the region. After passing the Magnesia Gate, you will behold one excavated building after another. There is the Great Theater where St. Paul preached the Gospel, the Fountain of Trajan with its regal statue of the emperor and the Library of Celsus, a monument constructed as a mausoleum with a separate library for scrolls and codexes.
Continuing on, you will stop at the ruins of St. John's Basilica. Built in the 6th century, the church stood over the spot where St. John is supposedly buried. Although a Mongol army destroyed the building and pillaged much of it, part of the basilica has been restored to show its scope.
A buffet lunch at a hotel in Kusadasi follows, after which you may return to the pier or stay in town for an enlightening carpet lecture or shopping.