Izmir Religious & spiritual activities

Our most recommended Izmir Religious & spiritual activities

From Kusadasi or Izmir: Ephesus Private Tour

1. From Kusadasi or Izmir: Ephesus Private Tour

Explore the stunning ruins of Ephesus on this full-day sightseeing tour from Izmir or Kusadasi, also available as a half-day option from Kusadasi for those short of time. As it is a private tour you can start at any time you like. You will also visit the small House of the Virgin Mary, where it is thought she spent her final days after St. John brought her to Ephesus following the death of Jesus. Located on Mount Bulbuldagi (Koressos), it’s a popular pilgrim site for Christians and Muslims and boasts a captivating, spiritual atmosphere. Once inside the grounds of Ephesus, wander among the ruins with your guide to see sites such as the Odeon Theatre, which could seat up to 1,400 spectators in its day. Admire the beautiful Roman statues and decorations carved into marble slabs at the Pollio Fountain. Other highlights include the Celcius Library, completed by the Romans in 117AD. The building has the most awe-inspiring façade, with columns, statues, and intact windows. Finally, explore the Greek Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and go to the Basilica of St John (Kusadasi departures only), constructed by Justinian I over the burial site of the Apostle John.

7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

2. 7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

Set off a Bible-oriented multi-day trip to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, including Pergamum, Sardis, and Laodicea. Immerse yourself in the history of Christianity as you explore Greek and Roman ruins. Stay in 4-star hotels during your tour and enjoy breakfast, dinner, and transportation included. Day 1: Arrival in Izmir Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel, Kaya Prestige, DoubleTree By Hilton Alsancak, or similar. Enjoy dinner at your hotel. Day 2: Pergamon, Thyatira, and Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan. Continue to Thyatira, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Hierapolis Depart early in the morning to reach one of the most picturesque of the Seven Churches of Asia, Sardis [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4]. Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. Continue to Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia and the only church not censured. Unlike the other 6 churches, they remained steadfast in their faith. Visit the remains of a Byzantine basilica that features 11th-century frescoes. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale or “Cotton Fortress.” Visit travertines and terraces. Journey on to Laodicea [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. See the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica, and ancient stone water pipes. Visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, a 2nd-century theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium, and the Necropolis. Stay at the Colossae Thermal or similar in Pamukkale. Day 4: Ephesus Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi: the Efe Boutique Hotel or similar. Day 5: Izmir Your tour comes to a close as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.

From Izmir: Guided Tour of the Ancient City of Ephesus

3. From Izmir: Guided Tour of the Ancient City of Ephesus

Arrive on the outskirts of Bulbul Mountain at the gates of the ancient city of Ephesus. Discover the daily life of Ephesians and visit the most important pagan and Christian heritage sites. Enjoy an included lunch, and take some time to shop afterward before returning back to Izmir. Enjoy pick-up from your hotel and learn the important history and mythology on your one hour drive to Selcuk. Find yourself at the gates of the city, important for its place in the Hellenic world and Roman era. Imagine yourself an Ephesian, and see the most important attractions. Begin at the Governmental Agora, see the Road of Curates, and the Gate of Magnesia. Find the Gate of Hercules, the Traianus Fountain, the Temple of Hadrianus, and checkout how ancient bathrooms worked. Wonder at the Roman Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsius, and the Grand Theatre of Ephesus. Leave the city gates and take the option to visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where she spent her final days in peace and mourning. Marvel at the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. View St. John Basilica, an architectural wonder of the Christian world. Light a candle for the Virgin Mary if you like, and experience lunch and shopping before the drive back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

4. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Artemis Shore Excursion

5. Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Artemis Shore Excursion

Following your pick-up from the cruise ship port, the tour begins in the ancient city of Ephesus. Here you will enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. Your route takes you past the Odeum, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. The tour then moves on to the House of Virgin Mary, which the Vatican has officially recognized as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of this house in the Solmissos Mountains was first discovered. Finally the tour will visit the Temple of Artemis, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Here you can discover the ruins of this once great Greek temple. After the tour you will be transferred back to your cruise ship.

Ephesus Bible Study Tour from Kusadasi or İzmir

6. Ephesus Bible Study Tour from Kusadasi or İzmir

Arrive in Kusadasi meet your professional guide at Kusadasi port or hotel. Drive to Ephesus-Selcuk. Discover some of the Biblical sites of Ephesus where it is believed that the gospel of John was written. Be guided through the beautiful landscape learning about the religious history of the area along the way.The first place you will visit will be House of the Virgin Mary, the sacred place where it is believed she spent her last days before she died. Continue to Ephesus city where you will see the Church of Mary and the Grand Theater where St. Paul used to preach, spreading Christianity. The next sight will be Seven Sleepers cave. The legend of the cave tells of seven young Christians who hid in this cave when Christianity was forbidden. They fell asleep, awaking 100 years later to discover Christianity flourishing.After a break for a delicious lunch you will continue to the Basilica of St John, who wrote the book of Revelation. This is located over his burial place. At the end of the day you will return to Kusadasi Port or hotel. 

Ephesus: Full-Day Tour from Kusadasi or Izmir

7. Ephesus: Full-Day Tour from Kusadasi or Izmir

You’ll meet your professional guide and head out on the drive to Ephesus-Selcuk. Ephesus is considered one of the most spectacular open-air museums in the world, and certainly a highlight of any visit to Turkey. During this guided full-day tour, the ancient city will come alive as you walk through the 2,000-year-old marble streets. Admire the Library of Celsius, Hadrian's Temple, the Fountains of Trajan, the temples of Hadrian and Domitian, and more. See the great theater that had a seating capacity of 24,000 spectators. Visit the terrace houses, located on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain, opposite the Hadrian Temple. The terrace houses were residences of the wealthy, and featured beautiful frescoes and mosaics in their interiors. After visiting the Ephesus ruins, you’ll continue on to the House of the Virgin Mary. The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissos Mountains as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. Your final visit will be to the Basilica of St. John, built by the Emperor Justinian over the tomb of St. John the Apostle. The basilica, now in ruins, once rivaled St. Sophia in Istanbul in size.

From Istanbul: Highlights of Turkey 7-day Guided Tour

8. From Istanbul: Highlights of Turkey 7-day Guided Tour

You'll explore the cultural and natural heritage of Turkey on this 7-day, 6-night guided tour. DAY 1: Arrival to Istanbul The local partner will meet you at the airport and provide private transfer to your hotel for your overnight stay in Istanbul. DAY 2: Full Day Istanbul Tour (Breakfast) After breakfast, you'll visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. In the afternoon, visit Istanbul's Grand Bazaar where you can enjoy some shopping time. Overnight in Istanbul. DAY 3: Full Day Istanbul Tour (Breakfast) After breakfast, your first stop for the day will be at the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar). Then enjoy a boat trip on the Bosphorus Strait which separates the continents of Europe and Asia. In the afternoon, visit the Underground Cistern. Overnight in Istanbul. DAY 4: Istanbul – Cappadocia Tour (Breakfast) After breakfast, you'll transfer from your hotel to Istanbul Airport for your flight to Cappadocia. On arrival in Cappadocia, you'll meet your guide and transfer to your hotel where you can leave your luggage. Then head out to the famous Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Next you'll visit the Pigeons Valley and learn how important pigeons have been for Cappadocians. Finally you'll descend deep into the ground at the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest of Cappadocia's more than 200 underground cities. Overnight in a cave hotel. DAY 5: Cappadocia Tour - Izmir - Kusadasi (Breakfast) After breakfast, head to the Devrent Valley where you'll walk through a lunar-like landscape of fascinating rock formations. You'll also visit Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley to see another amazing example of these unique structures. Then visit Avanos Town, which is famous for tile and pottery workshops. In the afternoon, visit Goreme Open Air Museum where you will marvel at fantastic rock churches and the beautiful frescos covering their walls from centuries of church decorating committees. Finally you'll visit Uchisar Rock Castle before transferring to the airport for your flight to Izmir. On arrival in Izmir, transfer to Kusadasi for overnight. DAY 6: Ephesus Tour - Istanbul (Breakfast) After breakfast, your first stop is at Artemis Temple. From there you'll continue on to Ephesus, where you can walk through history along marble streets to see the State Agora, Odeon, the Memnius Monument, the Temple of Domitian, the Polio Fountain, Curetes Street, The Trajan Fountain, the Baths of Scholastica, Hadrian Temple, and the Celcus Library. In the afternoon, you'll visit the House of the Virgin Mary, before the drive back to Izmir to catch your return flight to Istanbul. On arrival in Istanbul, transfer to your hotel for overnight. DAY 7: Home (Breakfast) After breakfast, you'll check out of the hotel and enjoy a private transfer to the airport for your flight home.

From Izmir: Best of Ephesus Tour

9. From Izmir: Best of Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide. See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost. After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemis. Here, there will be a good chance to take gorgeous pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Carry on to Ephesus Museum, which consists of six chambers exhibiting collections from the ruins. Marvel at the marble statues of Goddess of Artemis, one from 1st century A.D. and the other from the 2nd century A.D.

From Istanbul: 10-Day Turkey Guided Tour to all Highlights

10. From Istanbul: 10-Day Turkey Guided Tour to all Highlights

DAY 1 : Arrival to Istanbul Welcome to Turkey. Arrive at Istanbul Airport (IST) or at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW). Meet your driver with your name sign and private transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay in Istanbul. DAY 2 : Full Day Istanbul Tour ( Breakfast ) We visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. Overnight in Istanbul. DAY 3 : Full Day Istanbul Tour ( Breakfast ) Visit Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), Boat trip on the Bosphorus. Afternoon visit to the underground cistern. Overnight in Istanbul. Day 4 : Istanbul – Izmir – Ephesus Tour – Kusadasi ( Breakfast – Dinner ) Pick up from hotel and transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight to Izmir. Arrive at Izmir Airport and be met by your tour guide and drive to Ephesus ( 45 minutes drive ) First visit the Artemis Temple, which is one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to Ephesus. After Ephesus, lunch will be served in the garden of a local handicrafts center. Here you can see some of the traditional carpet weaving techniques used and enjoy viewing some splendid displays of beautiful carpets. After Lunch visit House of Virgin Mary. Drive to the hotel for overnight in Kusadasi. DAY 5 : Kusadasi – Pamukkale Tour ( 3,5 hours drive ) ( Breakfast – Dinner ) Drive to Pamukkale, on the way, visit to Laodicea. Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. Overnight Pamukkale. DAY 6 : Pamukkale – Konya ( 4,5 hours drive ) ( Breakfast ) Drive to Konya, visit to Mevlana Sufi temple. Overnight in Konya. DAY 7 : Konya – Cappadocia Tour ( 5 hours drive ) ( Breakfast ) Drive to Cappadocia. Visit to Sultanhani Caravanseria, a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Overnight in Cappadocia in a cave hotel. DAY 8 : Cappadocia Tour ( Breakfast ) Optional: Hot air ballooning with sunrise, once in a lifetime experience in Cappadocia Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, Soğanlı Valley, an Open Air Museum. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil. Our tour finishes with a visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos). Overnight Cappadocia in a cave hotel. DAY 9 : Cappadocia Tour ( Breakfast ) Visit Devrent valley, Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Rock-Castle. Overnight Cappadocia in a cave hotel. DAY 10 : Cappadocia – Istanbul ( Breakfast ) Transfer to airport for your domestic flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul. Arrival and transfer to Hotel. Overnight Istanbul. DAY 11 : Home ( Breakfast ) After breakfast check out from the hotel and private transfer to Istanbul Airport or to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport for your flight back home.

  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
  • Multi-day trips
  • Adventures
10 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Izmir

What top attractions are a must-see in Izmir?

The must-see attractions in Izmir are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Izmir?

The best day trips and excursions from Izmir are:

Pamukkale

Other Sightseeing Options in Izmir

Want to discover all there is to do in Izmir? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Izmir

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 10 reviews

This was our first time in Turkey. We came on a Princess cruise and booked this tour in advance. This tour and our guide Nafia was amazing. Nafia met us right outside of the cruise terminal when we got outside. She is a local and extremely passionate about Turkey. She took us to see everything we wanted and more. Nafia went above and beyond, she has amazing knowledge about the history of each and every place we went to see. We highly recommend Nafia and this tour. We will definitely come back to Kusadaski again because of her and the amazingly warm friendly people of Turkey.

We had a separate driver and licensed guide (Ali) in Kusadasi Turkey for our tour. Ephesus was awesome and worth the trip by itself. Ali was exceptional and knowledgeable.

This was the perfect way to spend the day! Our guide Aishin was incredible! She got us ahead of the crowds and her knowledge of the history was exceptional

Ali was a wonderful guide who customized our tour to suit our interests. He was very knowledgeable and personable. We highly recommend him.

Very well organized and a great trip. The guides are very knowledgable and know the best routes to see the locations.