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Kusadasi resort

This vibrant seaside resort has grown immensely over the last 30 years, from a small trading port popular with backpackers to an international holiday destination especially popular with European holidaymakers. From a population of 6000 in the 1970s, it is now closer to 50,000, although a high proportion of these are only resident in the summer months either working in the tourist industry or visiting their summer houses for a break from city life. Many cruise ships travelling around the Aegean Islands stop off in Kusadasi, especially because of its close proximity (20km) to the ancient archaeological wonders that can be found at Selcuk and Ephesus. Kusadasi is a good base to explore these historical sites and other ancient cities like Priene and Didyma.
Although there is little of historical interest in Kusadasi itself, the town is popular predominantly because of its many good hotels, restaurants, souvenir and carpet shops, and its lively nightlife. The Kale district has some old traditional houses and narrow streets, and provides the visitor with some indication of what the town used to be like. The most famous beach is Kadinlar Plaji (Ladies Beach), 2.5km south of the town, dominated by large hotels which line the promenade and can get crowded in mid summer. There are several smaller beaches further south including, Long Beach, Silver Beach and Gold Beach to name just a few, and closer to town is Yilanci Burnu, which can be found on the peninsula which separates Kadinlar Plaji from the town center.
Accommodation in Kusadasi
Kusadasi has accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes from 5 star luxury hotels to family run bed and breakfast accommodation, from self catering villas and apartments to all Inclusive beach clubs. The choice is endless and can be booked either as part of a package through your tour operator or independently online. The resort gets very busy during July and August so it is advisable to book well in advance for these months to ensure you get the accommodation you are looking for. There are many hotels in the town center for those wanting to be close to the action, but also many either side of the town, situated by the numerous sandy beaches from where the town center is easily accessible by minibus (dolmus) or taxi.
Eating Out
Eating out in Kusadasi is a gastronomic delight with endless options. You can sample traditional Turkish cuisine at many of the pavement restaurants serving delicious food at very reasonable prices. There are many restaurants serving international cuisine including Chinese, English, Indian and Italian. There are plenty of fast food outlets, bistros and pavement cafes serving something to suit everyone’s taste and budget. Seafood is a spatiality and you can choose from numerous varieties of freshly caught fish on display in the restaurant refrigerators. Price is normally decided by weight and should be agreed when you order.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing evening listening to jazz or traditional Turkish music or you want to dance the night away there is something for you in Kusadasi. There are lots of café bars and music bars, many of which are situated in the old quarter of the town which comes alive after dark. From karaoke to heavy rock to dance music it’s all here. There are also a number of nightclubs for those who want to party on until sunrise. There is the famous bar street popular with the young and young at heart! There is a good selection of bars and cafes lining the promenade in the town which runs from the marina to Pigeon Island from which Kusadasi takes its name. There are also a number of cafe bars and restaurants to be found at Kadinlar Plaji (Ladies Beach).
There is a man made beach in the town that is great for watching the hustle and bustle of daily life pass you by while enjoying a nice cool drink from one of the many cafe bars that line the promenade. To the north of the town are Kustur and Tusun beaches which offer plenty of opportunities to participate in various water sports. Both beaches are easily accessible from the town center by dolmus which run every five minutes or so. Just look for the destination on the front of the minibus and flag it down! To the south of the town is probably the most popular beach in Kusadasi: Kadinlar Plaji or Ladies Beach. Here you will find a long sweep of fine sand which shelves gently into the warm Aegean Sea. There are plenty of water sports on offer and the beach is lined by hotels, cafe bars and shops providing just about everything you could need to enjoy day soaking up the sunshine. There are a number of smaller less crowded beaches which stretch from Long Beach to the peace, tranquillity, stunning scenery and crystal clear waters of the national park beaches (Millipark) Again all accessible by dolmus from the town center or why not hire a car and explore them yourself. The roads are generally good and well sign posted and the locals are very helpful and friendly if you do happen to lose your way! There are also two aqua parks situated between Kusadasi and Selcuk for a fun day out for all the family.
Kusadasi is a shopper’s paradise with one of the biggest Bazaars outside Istanbul. You can buy everything from quality gold and silver, leather goods, pottery and ceramics to beautiful Turkish carpets and if you are prepared to participate in a bit of bartering with the shop owners you can buy some really good quality products at bargain prices. There is also a market that comes to town twice a week and shopping there an experience not to be missed! There are a number of well stocked supermarkets dotted around the town for those staying in self catering accommodation. Most shops are open from around 9am and don’t close until after midnight.
Places to visit
The nearby town of Selçuk is dominated by a Byzantine citadel which stands close to the 6th century basilica of St. John built on the site of the Apostle`s tomb. The 14th century Isa Bey Mosque, next to the basilica is accessed through its typical Selcuk portal. The Archaeological Museum houses an impressive collection of statues and other finds recovered during the excavations of Ephesus. The nearby Turkish Bath Museum, built in the 16th century, shows Turkish life at the hamam (bath). The Ephesus International Festival is held annually in May.
It is recorded that St. John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the death of Christ and that she spent her last days in a small house (Meryemana Evi) built for her on Bulbuldagi (Mt Koressos). Now a popular place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims the house has received the official sanction of the Vatican, and Christians observe a commemoration ceremony every year on August 15th. Near Selçuk in Çamlik is a TCDD Open-air Steam Locomotives Museum. 9 km east of Selçuk is Sirince, known for its traditional 19th-century village houses, some of which have been converted into guest-houses. Wine produced in this small hillside Turkish village, which itself resembles an open-air museum. 18 km from Selçuk are wine-houses, where you are able to sample some of the locally produced wine.
Ancient Greek city of Asia Minor, near the mouth of the Caÿster River (modern Küçük Menderes), in what is today Turkey, of Smyrna (now Izmir). One of the greatest of the Ionian cities, it became the leading seaport of the region. Its wealth was proverbial. The Greek city was near an old center of worship of a native nature goddess, who was equated with the Greek Artemis, and c.550 a large temple was built. To this Croesus, who captured the city, contributed. From Lydian control Ephesus passed to the Persian Empire. The temple was burned down in the 4th century, but rebuilding was begun before Alexander the Great took Ephesus in 334. The city continued to thrive during the wars of his successors, and after it passed (133) to the Romans it kept its hegemony and was the leading city of the province of Asia. The great temple of Artemis, or Artemision, called by the Romans the temple of Diana, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. From c.100 to c. 100 Ephesus was the world capital of the slave trade. The city was sacked by the Goths in 262, and the temple was destroyed. The seat of a church council in 431, Ephesus was abandoned after the harbor silted up. Excavations (1869—74) of the ruins of the temple brought to light many artefacts. Later excavations uncovered important Roman and Byzantine remains.
Ephesus is the bestpreserved classical city on the Mediterranean, and perhaps the best place in the world to get the feeling for what life was like in Roman times. As a strategic coastal gateway to the Eastern World, this Ionian refuge grew to be the second largest city in the Roman Empire, the site of a Christian shrine, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Legend has it that the Virgin Mary, accompanied by St. Paul, came to Ephesus at the end of her life, circa 37-45 AD. Renaissance church historians mentioned the trip, and it is said that local Christians venerated a small house near Ephesus as Mary`s. In 1967 Pope Paul VI. visited the site, where a chapel now stands, and confirmed the authenticity of the legend. Also the Basilica of St. John is located near Ephesus. St. John is said to have lived the last years of his life here and after his death, a shrine was located over his grave.
Although Didim (Didyma) can only boast of a single monument, it is nevertheless a marvellous site. The Temple of Apollo was one of antiquity`s most sacred places. Many times looted and burned, the sanctuary still impresses with its elegant beauty. A portico of double colonnades surround the colossal temple. Not far from the archaeological site, the beautiful beach of Altinkum tempts with its many guest houses. Akbük is another holiday resort in the region with nice beach hotels.
Although the history of Geyre (Aphrodisias) stretches back in time, the city, which was dedicated to Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility, rose to prominence in the first century B.C. Some of the richest treasures of ancient times were uncovered in the excavations of this city. The public buildings are handsomely adorned with marble that was carved with astonishing skill, producing remarkable temples, monuments, baths, a theatre and a magnificent stadium. The reputation of the city`s craftsmen for the exquisite finesse of their statuary and marble sculpting spread through the civilized world, and Aphrodisias became the center of the greatest sculpting school of antiquity.
Many of its marvellous works of art are now housed in the local museum. The theatre and bouleuterion are among the city`s best-preserved ruins.
About 35 kilometres east of Aydın lies Sultanhisar, host to an Art and Culture Festival every spring. Nearby, in the quiet of the olive trees, are the ruins of ancient Nysa, famous in the second century A.D. as an educational center
A magical and spectacular natural site, unique in the world, Pamukkale (Hierapolis) is a fairyland of dazzling white, petrified castles. Thermal spring waters laden with calcareous salts running off the plateau`s edge have created this fantastic formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The hot springs have been used since Roman times for their therapeutic powers. Both the thermal center with its motels and thermal pools, and the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, are situated on the plateau.
Another thermal center northwest of Pamukkale, Karahayit is known for its water`s high-iron content. Honaz Dagi National Park is 20 km east of Denizli, near the town of Honaz. Mt. Honaz is one of the most beautiful and highest peaks (2.528 m) in the Aegean region. It is covered with a gorgeous alpine forest. Early Christians settled on the northern slope; the name of this ancient site is Colossae, and remains of the settlement can be seen.
Izmir is the 3rd largest City in Turkiye and the 2nd largest sea port.
Following the Turkish revolutionary war much of the city needed to be rebuilt; as a result the city today is an interesting mixture of modern High rise buildings with wide tree lined boulevards. There are still many traditional houses and chateaus hidden away to discover though.
Izmir enjoys a temperate climate with mild winters and warm summers, which is probably why the street life is so lively. A walk on the Kordon reveals an endless line of restaurants, Bistros, Bars, Coffee shops and Tea Houses all spilling onto the street. In many cases so close together it is often difficult to know exactly which place you are actually relaxing in.
A visit to Izmir can not be complete without spending a few hours wandering round the Market Area of Kemer Alti. This is a bustling Bazaar where literally anything can be purchased. It is a confusing warren of small alleyways, dead ends, connecting squares, shopping centers, offices, workshops, cinemas, Mosques and just about anything else you can think of. There is even a renovated Karavan Sarai hidden in there. You are pretty much guaranteed to lose your way, but don`t panic you will find your way out eventually.
The culture park in the Alsancak district hosts the annual Izmir International fair, held every year in September. The rest of the year many other fairs and expos take place also. In addition to serving the commercial needs of the city the Culture Park provides a relaxing green area in the middle of the city for the residents to lay back, drink tea play Backgammon and smoke a "hubbly bubbly pipe" (Nargile) or even exercise on the running track.
The city of Izmir itself does not possess any beaches however a short journey to the North, East or South of the city will take you to either bustling tourist resorts, or quiet secluded peaceful beaches the choice is yours.
The region has been inhabited since 3000 AD so the area is rich in historical sites, these can be found within the city (Kadifekale - Bayrakli) but also within a short drive you can find Efesus, Pregamum, Sardis, Teos and many more places to explore.
Night life in Izmir is lively and getting livelier all the time, should you feel the need to rock the night away, you can find many modern Disco`s and Night Clubs around all running into the early morning.
Bodrum is a town of white-washed houses hung with bougainvillea, rising in tiers on the green hill overlooking a dazzling blue bay at the entrance to which stands a medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes. Here, where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet, is one of Turkey`s loveliest holiday resorts, with its long palm lined waterfront and its marina crowded in the summer with elegant yachts. Not far from the town it is possible to swim in unbelievably clear, tideless, warm seas. Underwater divers, especially, will not want to miss the numerous unexplored reefs with caves and majestic rock formations. Multicolored sponges of all shapes and sizes, octopus and other forms of aquatic life are commonly found here. Afterwards, relax in one of the many restaurants eating delicious seafood, with wine or try some of the other Aegean specialties. Stroll beside the marina, a popular place that beats to the tempo of this town with yachts constantly bringing in tours and tourists from all over the world.The boatyards of Bodrum have been famous since ancient times and today the craftsmen still make the traditional types of yacht: the pointed bow and stern (tirhandil) and the broad beamed and rounded stern (gulette). The latter, especially, is used for excursions and pleasure trips. The gulette is also used in the Bodrum Cup Race held every October. Bodrum has a lively, friendly, Bohemian atmosphere and many small galleries. It is the meeting place of the Turkish art community. Renowned for its relaxed, informal life style and its abundance of daytime fun-filled activities and nighttime excitement, it is impossible to be bored. There are many interesting and varied bars, restaurants,night clubs (some with cabaret), and, of course, some of the best discos in Europe.
Sirince Village
This pretty old Orthodox village, 12 km away from Ephesus and 30 km from Kusadasi, was once Cirkince ("ugly"). Indeed its habitants gave this name on purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village.
Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly at all and called it Sirince ("pretty"). As the village is located on the top of a mountain, anyone will enjoy the impressive wine yards` and peach trees` views on his way.
Today the village is a perfect synthesis of Turk-Greek culture as of the 1920`s: after the Independence War, people exchange between Greek and Turks has occurred and all those typical Greek houses, though they kept their original outside characteristics, have received the local layout inside. The most beautiful specimens are open to visitors. And even in the courtyard of one of them, one will discover a nicely restorated Orthodox church.
All the narrow streets of the village belong to the women, selling handcrafts of all kinds, olive oil. Another attraction of Sirince is its wine: try its taste in small cafés or in the restorated former municipal school.
Though Sirince Village is developing its tourism very quickly, it has been able to preserve its authenticity and the meaning of its name.
Dilek National Park - ( Kalamaki - Buyuk Menderes)
This park is in the region of Kusadasi and Soke, in the province of Aydin.The park can be reached via the Kusadasi – Soke highway, and lies roughly in the middle of the two towns.
The northern side of the park has plants rarely seen in the Mediterranean region.There are many bay and chestnut trees, and it is the only area where the Finike juniper and pirnal oaks are found together. Mediterranean seals and sea turtles are breeding on the shores of the lake,.
Guzelcamli village, at the northeast edge of the national park and at the foot of Dilek mountain, was used as the assembly place for the political and scientific center of Ionia in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. It is possible to stay in the park in tents or caravans, and there is food available.
Getting out and about
Getting out and about or finding transport here in Kusadasi couldn`t be easier or more fun.
The cheapest and easiest way to get in and out of town is by jumping on one of the local Dolmuses. Dolmus translated into English means stuffed, so be prepared for a tight squeeze when using these local minibuses as they seat up to about sixteen people. Pass your money down to the person in front and they will pass it all the way down to the way to the driver, if you are due any change this will be passed back to you in the same fashion. A dolmus will stop anywhere it is flagged down. Same for getting off the bus, just ask the driver to stop and he will stop anywhere that it is safe to do so. The main dolmus station is situated close to the town center in the Friday market area.
Taxi`s can be found outside hotels and on most street corners. They are good for short distances but can work out expensive for longer journeys. Always go by the meter, which should be reset at the start of the journey. Please be aware that after 24.00hrs there is night tariff, which is approximately fifty percent more.
Opening hours 09.00 - 1700 Monday to Friday. Many are situated in the town center. There are also plenty of exchange bureaus available. Please check the exchange rates before hand be aware that there may be a small commission charge.
Travel to and from Kusadasi
By Bus
For most long-distance bus journeys, it is necessary to change at Izmir, 90 minutes away, where express bus services operate to a wide choice of destinations all over Turkey. There is a regular connecting bus service from Kusadasi to Izmir bus station. Smaller buses operate regular services to Bodrum (2 hours), Pamukkale (3 hours) and Selcuk (30 mins), and dolmuses run a shuttle service to the beaches to the south of Kusadasi. There is a bus service that stops near to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. Buses either depart from the main bus station which is situated just off the highway that skirts the town, or from the dolmus station in the town center.
By Boat
There are two main harbors in the town. Cruise ships arrive throughout the year, and there are sailings to the Greek island of Sisam (Samos) with daily departures between April 1 and October 20. In the new yacht harbor – the largest and bestequipped northwest of Marmaris with a capacity of 650 births – the Blue Voyage boats operate regular excursions along the beautiful Turkish coastline stopping off at deserted coves and beaches for swimming and picnic lunches.
By Air
The nearest airport is Izmir’s Adnan Menderes, 45 minutes from Kusadasi by road. There are many domestic flights to Istanbul and Ankara, as well as charter and schedule flights to many European destinations.
Many charter fights also serve Kusadasi from Bodrum Airport which is located about 90 minutes south of Kusadasi by road. Transfers to and from both airports can be booked in advance.

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