It’s not difficult to find a tour guide for Ephesus when you arrive in Kusadasi. In fact, you won’t be able to avoid seeing advertisements for Ephesus tours. This is big business. Between one and two million people visit Ephesus every year. It hosts the site of one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and many people come for the allure of visiting such a high profile site, even if the Temple of Artemis is merely a pillar these days. Check out our guide to visiting Ephesus for more information on the site. An easy way to get away from the beach and the busy streets is to try some Ephesus Day Tours from Kusadasi.
If you haven’t been to this wonderful ancient ruins and you have a free day in Kusadasi, make sure to get up early, grab your sunglasses and sun hat, and take a trip to 6,000 years of history, within an hour of the town.
As with any place that attracts millions of tourists, the vast majority of whom are not locals, there are scams and rip-offs. Prices vary wildly, quality control is non-existent, and some tours actually bring you through shopping centres nearby as a way to extract more tourist dollars. But the tours that continue to do good business are the ones that provide quality service and maintain good standing amongst the thousands of visitors to Ephesus every day. One tour group stands out for us and offers a nonsense-free, economic, and well-paced tour of this once in a lifetime tourist site.
No Frills Ephesus Tours has been operating as a specialist in Ephesus Tours for 7 years now. Run by an Australian-Turkish couple, Fodor’s Guide described the service as “reasonably-priced tours focus exclusively on the sites, with zero stops at tourist-fleecing carpet factories”. It’s hard not to find this recommendation alone a compelling reason to try this company.
No Frills’ clients range from independent travellers to cruise ship customers from all over the globe. Customers are mainly native English speakers although they also offer private tours in other languages including French, Spanish, Italian, and German.
The experienced guides understand that Ephesus is often a ‘bucket list’ adventure for most people so quality time and not being rushed at the sites is important. The company’s customers seek us out because, according to Chris, one of the owners, the tours focus on the historical and cultural aspects of Ephesus and surrounds without the hassle of shopping stops. Chris also believes that removing the (very lucrative) shopping distractions enables their guides to develop a rapport with the customers as they can focus fully on their job as a tourist guide, not a salesperson.
Ephesus was settled and resettled throughout history 4 times so it really does require the knowledge of a good guide who not only can tell you the history behind it but also bring the site to life with stories from ancient times.
To make the most of your time at Ephesus No Frills Ephesus Tours recommend you enter the site from the ‘top gate’ and exit from the ‘bottom gate’ so you are walking downhill. However, on really busy days the company sometimes brings customers the opposite way to avoid the crowds. These are the tricks that only an experienced guide knows when to use.
Getting to Ephesus from Kusadasi is fairly straightforward. You can hire a taxi or use a bus but No Frills offer a company HQ to Ephesus entrance transfer service as part of their tours. Full-day tours are currently running at €60 and you can also get a half-day tour. This latter option runs at €45 so it’s more for cruise ship customers and people with limited time.
Coming in at number 4 out of 28 on Tripadvisor’s list of tours based out of Selçuk, No Frills are doing pretty well. It all comes down to word-of-mouth. Their reviews are generally glowing, and the company’s name is mentioned quite a lot on forums, 99% of the time in a very positive light. If you’ve taken a trip with No Frills let us know in the comments below how it went!
Ph: +90 232 892 8828
Fax: +90 232 892 8824