The first ancient site that we visited during our trip to Turkey and Bulgaria was to historic site of Ephesus. We traveled up the coast from Kusadasi to Ephesus where we walked the trail amongst the various archeological remains. Originally built by the Greeks in the 10th century BC, it is a site that has been a destination of historical significance throughout the ages. After being built by the Greeks, it was later occupied by many different empires over time, including the Roman Empire during the 129 BC through 395 AD.
There are many different items of interest as you walk the path that takes you through the heart of Ephesus. Some of the most interesting are the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the stone carving of Nike, as well as the amphitheater. Ephesus is one of the most fully excavated and restored sites that we visited during our time in Turkey. It is also one of the most popular places for tourists to visit as it is a short distance from the port city of Kusadasi where the cruise ships stop, so expect large crowds at the site. We were somewhat lucky as the day of our visit there was only a single cruise ship in the harbor on the day that we went to Ephesus.
We have been to many different historic sites throughout our travels, such as Luxor in Egypt, Athens in Greece, as well as Rome in Italy and Ephesus was certainly of equal interest as any of those places. We would definitely recommend visiting Ephesus during any trip to the western coast of Turkey or even as part of a day trip out of Istanbul, but there are several other wonderful sites to visit as well. Most tours of Ephesus will also include visiting the House of Virgin Mary, which is also very interesting and of historic and religous significance as well.