The Wonders of Ephesus & The House of the Virgin Mary

This comprehensive SeaDream Land Adventure includes a guided tour of the stunning archaelogical site of Ephesus including the recently excavated Terrace Houses, but also adds a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. Three popes have visited this important shrine, which is a pilgrimage site for visitors from all over the world. The House of the Virgin Mary is located on Mt. Pagus, and said to be where the Virgin Mary spent her final days. The site itself was discovered in part through the visions of an invalid nun in Germany who had never been out of her homeland. A tree-lined path leads to the ancient dwelling, tastefully restored in 1951. The tiny stone cottage exudes a calm and serenity befitting its original occupant. Below the house is the Fountain of Our Lady, where a sacred spring feeds three fonts, each bestowing a unique blessing on the visitor. Those not wishing to visit this site will be offered tea close by. The site of Ephesus gained importance from ancient time due to its well-placed port and its religious significance, which the locals were not above exploiting. After the Emperor Augustus proclaimed Ephesus the capital of the Asian Province in 27 BC, the city became one of the most important in the extended Roman Empire. Most of the buildings you will see date from that era when Ephesus had nearly one quarter million inhabitants. Begin at the Magnesia Gate, where your expert guide will take you on a leisurely downhill walk through the marble streets of the city, pausing to describe the significance of the sites along the way. View the Gymnasium, Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Upper Agora, Town Hall, a Byzantine house, Roman baths, and the surprisingly efficient public toilets. One of the most imposing sites at Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. Finely decorated with columns and sculptures, the library was erected in 135 BC by a son in homage to his father. A short walk away is another significant structure, the amphitheater, which is known for its excellent acoustics. This is where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, imploring them to give up their worship of Artemis and embrace the Christian faith. A highlight of your day will be entry to a newly opened and recently excavated portion of the historic site. The so-called Terrace Houses can be seen on the slopes behind Ephesus opposite the Temple of Hadrian. Those on the upper slopes are reached via steps and situated on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain with the roof of one house forming the terrace of the one above it. These houses were inhabited by wealthy Ephesians and are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes. According to the evidence of the excavations, they were built in the period of Augustus and continued to be inhabited until the 7th century AD.

Notes: In order to avoid congestion, the sequence of sites visited may vary. Please bring sun protection and wear flat (!), comfortable walking shoes, as there are stairs and uneven surfaces throughout the archaeological site. All guests will be issued with a state of the art listening aid called a "whisper". This will allow you to hear your guide very clearly. A minimum participation is required to operate all Yachting Land Adventures and some have limited capacity. This program is booked onboard only so please make your reservations as soon as possible after boarding to avoid disappointment. All adventures and prices in the SeaDream Yachting Land Adventures program are subject to change. Not all of the land adventures shown will be offered on all voyages and departure times are subject to change. Final pricing and departures times will be published onboard.

Port: Kusadasi (Ephesus)

Duration: 4.5 hours

Price: 89

Voyages where this land adventure can be found: