Day 1: Izmir – Pamukkale – Izmir (L)
Meet your guide and air-conditioned vehicle at your Izmir hotel or Izmir airport, and make the roughly 3-hour drive to Pamukkale, a natural and historical site designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On arrival, admire Pamukkale’s white travertine terraces, formed through the millennia by cascading natural hot springs. See the turquoise pools and ice-like stalactites and stalagmites shaped by the calcium deposits, and then take a look at Hierapolis, the ruins of an ancient Roman city established on the plateau above in the 2nd century BC.
Break for lunch during your trip and finally, make the 3-hour drive back to Izmir, finishing your day with a drop-off at your Izmir hotel.
Day 2: Izmir – Ephesus - Izmir (L)
After breakfast, depart from your Izmir hotel for UNESCO-listed Ephesus, the remains of what was once ancient Rome’s capital in Asia Minor. Home to more than 250,000 people, from slaves to saints, Ephesus reached its peak between the 1st and 2nd century AD, and modern-day excavations have revealed an incredible collection of ruins — the most complete Greco-Roman city on Earth.
See the highlights and visit the nearby House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus Archaeology Museum to view artefacts and finds mainly uncovered from the city and its surrounds.
After a break for lunch, continue to the ruins of St John’s Basilica, the second- largest Byzantine church in Anatolia when it was active, and the believed burial place of the apostle John, one of the four Gospel writers.
After a short walk down the hill, see Isa Bey Mosque, one of western Turkey’s oldest mosques and built in the 14th century by the Seljukian Turks, who are famous for their hand-made rugs and tiles.
Visit a nearby center of traditional local handicrafts, and make a final stop at the ruined Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Afterward, return to Izmir where your tour concludes at your Izmir hotel or Izmir airport.