Excursion from Anatolia Beach: Visiting the Ancient Ruins of Ephesus, Turkey
There’s a lot to do at Anatolia Beach in Gumbet, Turkey, the seaside resort in the south eastern part of the country. And, while you’re there, we recommend that you take advantage of the ability to take a day or overnight excursion to Ephesus, which is about a three-hour trip.
I remember the first time I visited Ephesus in 1979. It was August and very hot…so keep this in mind if you’re going in the summer months. But it’s an amazing sight – and site – to behold. You really get a feel of what life was like back in the day. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city on the west coast of Asia Minor, near Izmir Province. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 225,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world.
When you’re there, you get to “experience” life (or imagine it) as the ancients did: See the Celsus Library and details of its construction (the ruins are still standing fairly intact); where political and philosophical discussions in addition to gladiator fights took place in the Theatre with 25,000 seats, and considered to be the largest outdoor theatre in the ancient world (just sitting in the outdoor theatre imagining what it was like thousands of years ago was exhilarating); their temples, including the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and later the mosque and bathhouses when Ephesus was conquered in 1304 by Turkey; and the agoras – the commercial and business shopping centers. Near to Ephesus, also check out St. John Basilica. It’s believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of St. John, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century.
If you can spare the day or better yet do an overnight trip from Anatolia Beach, it will be worth your while to spend some time back in history