Ephesus, St. John's & Virgin Mary Shrine

KU1-200 | Kusadasi, Turkey (for Ephesus) | See Special Notes

from $79.95*

*Price displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.

Tour at a Glance

You will visit:

  • Ephesus Ephesus
  • House of the Virgin Mary House of the Virgin Mary
  • Basilica of St. John Basilica of St. John
  • Carpet Weaving and Shopping Carpet Weaving and Shopping

You will see:

Moderate Shopping

Excursion Length:
Approx. 5 hours

Max. Group Size: 35

Tour Overview

A motorcoach tour from the port of Kusadasi to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary is a scenic delight, with wonderful views of the Byzantine fortress in Selcuk and the Temple of Artemis. From your window, great vistas of the valley can be seen as you travel a long and winding road to the picturesque Solmissos Mountains.

The House of the Virgin Mary is considered by the Vatican to be a Holy Place, and a small shrine, dedicated to her, was found in the ruins when the house was first discovered. The shrine is still cared for by the Lazarist Fathers, and Mass is celebrated at this spot every day. A curative spring runs through the property, from which you are welcome to drink.

Your tour continues to the ancient city of Ephesus. A slow, downhill walk into the ruins gives you time appreciate the historic significance of the area, once the trade center of the ancient world and the site of a succession of great civilizations. Your knowledgeable guide will take you back in time and highlight such sights as the beautifully preserved Temple of Hadrian, the magnificent Trajan Fountain, the Odeon Theater, once used for both political and entertainment purposes, and the beautiful Celsus Library with its imposing façade and two-story Corinthian-style columns. The dramatic Great Theater is one of the few structures still used today. It seats twenty-five thousand was an arena for gladiator games.

Strolling through the streets, it is easy to see that Ephesus is one of the best-preserved classical cities in the world and is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey. Although in ruins, the Basilica of St. John is still a majestic sight to behold. Large columns, frescos and mosaics still stand, paying homage to the monumental basilica built during Emperor Justinian's reign - created in the shape of a cross and covered with six individual domes.

St. John is thought to be buried under the central dome. Constructed out of stone and brick - a rare find in architecture of this time - the monumental basilica has marble columns in the courtyard that are carved with the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora.A scenic drive back to port affords time to reflect with fellow travelers on the wonders you have seen.

Once in Kusadasi, you'll have time to explore the colorful markets and bazaars, where handmade goods and traditional foods are sold, or view a demonstration of the intricate art of carpet-weaving. Ample time to explore on your own is provided and you may walk back to the ship at your leisure.

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Detailed itinerary

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Special Notes


Ephesus requires walking long distances over uneven surfaces; to enter the Basilica of St. John involves some walking at an uphill gradient and a few stairs. At the House of the Virgin Mary, there are also some stairs.

The drive from Ephesus to the Virgin Mary Shrine takes approximately 20 minutes over a winding mountain road.

At the end of the tour, passengers have the option to remain in town to view a carpet demonstration or to shop in the bazaar; return to the ship would be on your own (10 to 15 minutes walking).

This tour uses headsets.

Number of Steps/Walking Distance:

See detailed itinerary for information about walking distance

Wheelchair Accessibility:

See detailed itinerary for information about wheelchair accessibility

Camera/Video Restrictions:

See detailed itinerary for information about camera restrictions

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