Obviously, first on our list of things to do in Selcuk is to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Over many years, archaeologists and historians have painstakingly restored many landmarks of the massive metropolis such as the Celsus library, Roman terrace houses and grand amphitheatre.
You can read more about Ephesus here. However, the Aegean town of Selcuk in Western Turkey could be one of the most under-rated places in the whole country. Many people visit it to see the ancient ruins of Ephesus but leave quickly, without exploring the rest of the delights in surrounding areas of which there are plenty.
Ideally, a three-night trip is enough time to explore all of Selcuk of which our suggestions are below. The working town has kept much of its authentic character so visitors have a clear insight into Turkish culture and can quickly tap into the low prices of hotels, and eating out.
Things to do in Selcuk After Visiting Ephesus
Virgin Mary House
As the suspected place of her assumption, the Catholic church runs the house of the Virgin Mary although to date; there is no official verification from the Pope that this is indeed where she spent her last days. That does not stop thousands of pilgrims every year from making the journey to pray in the small, stone house.
Cave of the Seven Sleepers
The seven sleepers story appears in the Bible and the Quran, making this a religious site to visit, although once again, no confirmation or verification has proved this is where the seven citizens of Ephesus went to sleep and woke up hundreds of years later. The restaurant nearby serves delicious Turkish food.
Saint John’s Basilica
Likewise, this place is rumoured to be where the tomb of Saint John is. Both the Virgin Mary and Saint John spent time in Ephesus, and the Basilica is the perfect follow up visit to the city, that is also one of the Seven Churches of Revelation mentioned in the Bible’s New Testament.
Isa Bey Mosque
Just down the road from Saint John’s Basilica is the 14th century Isa Bey Mosque with marvellous exterior architecture. Open to visitors outside of prayer time; it takes just 30 minutes to appreciate its history and appearance.
Temple of Artemis
As one of the former seven wonders of the ancient world, Artemis Temple was once a grand structure, worshipped and adored by citizens of Ephesus. Sadly, little still stands aside from one single column. However, there is much anticipation and eagerness in the historical world to get funding and continue excavations.
Beach lovers can travel the 3 kilometres on the bus to see Pamucak beach with its long, spacious stretch of golden sand and gorgeous scenery. There are a few restaurants nearby, but if you are looking for peace, you will find it at the opposite end of the hotel stretch.
Sirince Wine Village
Out of all the things to do in Selcuk, this quaint village high in the hills is one of our favourites. Internationally renowned for its homemade wine and restored houses with Greek style architecture, local restaurants offer up a delight of traditional Turkish food, which is the perfect follow up to an afternoon wine tasting. Also, stroll the streets and buy locally made souvenirs such as cotton, soap and olive oil.
You may be interested in….
A tour of Aegean Turkey: Taking in all the highlights including Ephesus, Pergamum and Pamukkale, this 7-day tour includes transport, guide and accommodation.
Seven Churches of Revelation Tour: All the revelation churches are in Aegean Turkey and this tour takes you to see the remains. Including a qualified and professional guide, it is a fun, and informative dive into the Christian history of Turkey.