Izmir was one of our stops during our NCL cruise. We wanted to take an excursion from NCL but all NCL excursions included a obligatory one hour visit to a Turkish carpet factory. Ephesus is 70 kilometres from Ephesus, so the return journey takes at least 2,5 hours. Because of these two things, there would be little time left to visit the ruins in Ephesus. All NCL excursions except one do not include the Terrace Houses. This is logical because of the lack of time but this is the most extraordinary part of Ephesus.
In the Cruise Port of Izmir it was possible to get a return journey by taxi without guide for 120 euros (see photo). Outside the port we arranged a taxi for 100 euros. This was a Dacia without air conditioning and an extremely kind taxi driver, who did not speak much English. The journey, partly on toll roads, was easy and quick.
At the lower entrance was a traffic jam because the parking was almost full. We payed 25 TL per person to get in the open air museum. It is also possible to pay with euros. Behind the entrance there is a separate desk for audio guide rental (15 TL or 7 euros per audio guide). The audio guide was unfortunately rather limited.
We walked through the ruins with earphones on our heads and saw a play with actors dressed up as Roman warriors and Egyptian princesses. The "Egyptian princesses" were belly dancing and imitating the dance of the "walk like an Egyptian" song. This was funny.
At the entrance of the Terrace Houses we payed a separate entrance ( 15 TL, also payable in euros) and we saw some extraordinary mosaics and wall decorations. It was special to see the many archaeologists during their work. The path from the Terrace Houses exit to the main ruins is extremely unsuitable for people with walking difficulties.
Although it was not hot in Izmir and it was raining during the journey, the ruins were very hot. We really needed lots of water, our hats and sunglasses.