Incredible place with so much beauty and history. Enjoyed most the visit to the Underground Cistern, which is a bit off the beaten path, but worth the visit. Loved the spice market and Grand Bazaar, and really enjoyed wandering around Istanbul during the last day of Ramadan. People were incredibly friendly and helpful.
Terrific tram system with easy to use jeton system (2 turkish lira a ride). Avoid the major mosques and stop in at the mosque near the port, as it is unexpectedly beautiful and serene.
Tour took place on the day that Ephesus was observing the last day of Ramadan. This meant that the ruins at Ephesus were not open until 1.30pm, despite our tour being booked for 10.30am.
Our guide, Melissa, was terrific and helped us to juggle the day with an added visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. She was very knowledgeable and informative through the trip to Ephesus.
House of the Virgin Mary Rating:
Very crowded site, with an unbelievably small chapel built over the site of the house which was found. Look out for the wall with the prayers written on paper and in cloth. Very moving.
Terrace Houses Rating:
Very good tour, despite a slight snafu with the last day of Ramadan being observed on the day we docked. This meant that the site of Ephesus was not open until 1.30pm, and our trip was booked to begin at 10.30am.
Thanks to our guide, Melissa, who managed to get us to the House of the Virgin Mary for an impromptu visit, and then was a terrific guide through the ruins at Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, which are impressive.