Duration: 7 1/2 hours
Tour Code: IZM-012
Depart from Izmir Port for the home city of rich old Croesus, once King of Lydia. Croesus’ wealth was famed across empires and came into common English usage with the phrase, “rich as Croesus”. Unfortunately, either Croesus’ money wasn’t accepted by the Persians when Cyrus conquered the city with his army, or else Croesus refused to give it up. Instead, he chose to jump to his death in a raging funeral pyre.
Sardis was not just the end of the road for King Croesus, but was the end of the famous King Road that connected Persia to the Western territories of Asia Minor, and it changed hands several times before joining the Roman Empire. Running through the city is the Pactolos River, which was once said to have run heavily laden with gold.
In the early years of Christianity Sardis was singled out as one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. As you explore the city via a colonnaded road, you’ll pass what was once a gymnasium complex, a synagogue left by an old Jewish settlement, a shopping arcade and Roman Bath, and a Hellenistic theater. You will also see the remains of a stadium, and the 3rd century BC temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, one of the most beautiful temples you will see in the Ionian style.
After touring Sardis’ wealth of ancient treasures, you will enjoy a simple lunch of local specialties in Salihli town before heading back to Izmir. Upon arrival in Izmir, you will have a brief orientation tour of the city before returning to the pier.
Please note: This tour consists of approximately 90-minutes of moderate to strenuous walking/standing, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be steps, natural and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and a bottle of water from the ship are recommended. Flat, comfortable, closed-toe athletic shoes or hiking boots are mandatory.