On the Aegean coast of Turkey, stands Kusadasi, frequently criticized for its ugly appearance yet it remains so popular with package holidaymakers, independent travellers, and cruise ship passengers. The reason why is because it serves as a good base for several surrounding attractions. One week in Kusadasi is never enough to see everything that the area offers. The variety of attractions also makes it a good candidate for all types of travellers from the solo adventurer to the large family with kids.
Things to do in Kusadasi
- Number one is the nearby and very impressive ruins of Ephesus, the second largest city of the Roman Empire. From the agora, to public toilets, Celsius library, large amphitheatre, and terraced houses, a guided tour will help you appreciate the extensive excavation work of which we see the results.
- Near Ephesus, in the green hills of Selcuk is the house of the Virgin Mary. Said to be her last resting place, monks and nuns operate the day-to-day running of the establishment including frequent services of worship. Regardless of whether you are religious or not, the house is worth a visit.
- Also in the hills of Selcuk, is the small but charming village of Sirince. Known for their fruit based wines, they also specialise in homemade olive oil and local crafts and art. Wear your good walking shoes because the village is hilly but also lends to some remarkable landscape views.
- Pack your swimming costumes and walking shoes to explore the Aegean coasts biggest national park called Dilek. Protected by law, the region is home to many endemic species of flora and fauna. Four beaches exist within the park and there is a variety of trekking routes for nature lovers.
- Suitable for the young and old, the local Aqua Fantasy waterpark is very popular with locals and visitors. A variety of flumes and rides sit among the poolside bars and kids attractions. If you cannot tear the kids away from having so much fun, consider staying for a night in the adjoining hotel.
- It only takes a few hours to explore Pigeon Island, the local landmark. Standing next to the harbour, the island is also home to the ruins of a castle.
- Every day from the harbour, boats leave to cruise around the coastline visiting small bays and coves suitable for snorkelling and refreshing swimming breaks. Lunch is a BBQ served on board and around 5pm, the boats will return to dry land.
- Spend one full day in the nearby and traditional town of Selcuk. It has a museum as well as the ruins of the temple of Artemis, although not much of it remains. This excursion is more about delving into the culture and traditions of daily Turkish life.
- Beach lovers are in their elements when visiting Kusadasi. Within the resort is the Long beach and Ladies beach, which also has a wide variety of water sports on offer. Head to the outskirts to discover beaches such as Pamuk in Selcuk or Love beach in nearby Davutlar.
- Turkish night at the caravansary is popular with hundreds of visitors filling the seats every night. Ticket prices include an all-inclusive buffet and drink, as well as a variety of Turkish folk dancing shows and performers. Of course, the belly dancer also makes an appearance!