- Description: Selçuk is a picturesque town located just a few kilometers from Ephesus, making it an ideal base for exploring the archaeological site. The town itself has a charming, historical atmosphere, with narrow streets, local markets, and an ancient aqueduct.
- Key Attractions: Don’t miss the Selçuk Castle, St. John’s Basilica, and the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts and sculptures from the region.
2. House of the Virgin Mary (Meryemana):
- Description: Located atop Bulbul Mountain near Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary is a significant pilgrimage site for Christians. It is believed to be the place where the Virgin Mary spent her final years.
- Key Features: The small stone house has been restored and is a place of serenity and reflection. Visitors can leave notes and prayers in various languages on the prayer wall.
3. Temple of Artemis (Artemision):
- Description: Although little remains of the ancient Temple of Artemis, it was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis, with a history dating back over 2,500 years.
- Key Features: The site’s historical significance and its once-massive size make it a compelling place to visit and reflect on the marvels of the ancient world.
- Description: Located near Selçuk, the charming village of Şirince is known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, vineyards, and wine production. It offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.
- Key Attractions: Explore the village’s cobbled streets, sample local wines, and savor Turkish delicacies. Şirince is particularly picturesque during the spring when flowers bloom.
5. Isa Bey Mosque:
- Description: This historic mosque, located in Selçuk, is a beautiful example of Seljuk architecture. It was constructed in the 14th century and features intricate designs and peaceful surroundings.
- Key Features: The mosque’s serene courtyard and elegant architecture make it a serene place for contemplation.
6. St. John’s Basilica:
- Description: St. John’s Basilica, also known as Ayasuluk Hill, is believed to be the burial site of St. John the Evangelist. The basilica’s ruins offer a glimpse into the early Christian history of the region.
- Key Features: The site provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is historically significant for its connection to St. John and early Christianity.
Exploring the vicinity of Ephesus allows you to delve deeper into the historical, cultural, and natural beauty of the region. These attractions offer diverse experiences, from pilgrimage sites to charming villages and archaeological wonders, enriching your visit to this historically rich part of Turkey.