Kusadasi is one of the busiest beach resorts in Turkey


Kusadasi is one of the busiest beach resorts in Turkey. It is popular not only the beaches and the nightlife but also because it close to many important historical sites including Ancient Ephesus, Pergamum, the house of Virgin Mary.

Getting around Within Kusadasi, the best way to travel is to take the "dolmus" (minibuses). From town center, you reach in minutes any direction you wish: hotels, beaches, neighboring villages… They are allowed to take up to 15 passengers and their prices are set by each municipality. A more private way to tour in the village is by the yellow taxis which are equipped with taximeters and recognizable to their sign "Taksi". Prices are also fixed by each municipality. Mind the day and night tariffs.

Getting There

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The nearest airport to Kusadasi, "Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport" - amongst the most qualified airports of Turkey with its capacity and facilities, is about 80 km away from Kusadasi. Including Turkish National Airlines, many accredited international airlines have regular direct and connected flights from and to international Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. There two popular routes that reach Kusadasi from Europe by vehicle. Northern Route includes: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey. From Greek border, Kusadasi is about 550 km south. The Southern Route includes: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece with ferry to Turkey-Cesme. Cesme is about 150 km north of Kusadasi. Road to Kusadasi from Cesme is in a very good condition.

You may also take the coastal road with spectacular scenery, as an alternative. Inter-City : Kusadasi has bus connections with all major cities and touristic resorts of the country. They generally offer the choice of a day or night trip and a free transfer from city center to the bus station. This is a very comfortable and relaxing way to discover the different landscapes of the country while heading for your next stop.

The harbor of Kusadasi is one of the largest in Turkey, visited by well-known cruise companies. It is a popular stop of Mediterranean cruises that start from Greece. The pride of Kusadasi is that the village is being visited by the world's biggest transatlantic "Grand Princess" but also by other famous cruise ships such as the Renaissance, Stella Solaris, Queen Odessa, Star, Costa Victoria, Celebrity Cruises, etc... These ships usually sail from Piraeus (Athens, Greece). Kusadasi is also accessible from the Greek island, Samos, daily from April 1st till October 31st (two-hour journey).

Turkey has inter-rail connections with many European cities. If you are coming to Kusadasi by inter-rail, your direct route will be Istanbul - Izmir, then Izmir - Selcuk. Selcuk is 20 km away from Kusadasi. You can easily reach to Kusadasi with minibuses in every 20 minutes from Selcuk bus station. You can learn exact departure times and the frequency of those routes from the given phone numbers of Turkish National Railways (TCDD).



There are six beaches in Kusadasi that you can enjoy. Located in the City Center, a sandy organized beach provides a perfect environment. There is the Pigeon Island Beach, which is a private beach, situated on the shore of the island and ideal for the swimmers enjoying translucent and deep waters of the Aegean.

Kadinlar Denizi (Ladies Beach) is a powdery sandy beach which has a modern look with its wooden terraces and palm trees decorating the shore. You will find a lot of restaurants and cafes there. Don’t miss Yilanciburnu Beach, a quiet beach which is located on the peninsula behind Pigeon Island. It can be reached by taking a mini bus from the City Centre or Kadinlar Denizi (Ladies Beach) every 5 minutes. Kustur Beach offers a lot of activities including water-skiing, parasailing, surfing, and it is located on the 6th km of Selcuk road, which you can reach by Sehirici minibuses from the city center.

Finally there is Tusan Beach which is situated just near Kustur Beach and offers unlimited fun with the various choices of beach and water activities. The beach is located on the 7th km of Selcuk road and can be reached by Sehirici minibuses.


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Ephesus, once the most important commercial center of the western Anatolia, is one of the best highlights of Turkey and one of the best preserved cities of the ancient world and an important center of Christianity! The extensive ruins including the theatre, library or gymnasium create the special atmosphere of Ephesus and appeal to every visitor. There is as yet no definite knowledge about the exact date of the foundation of Ephesus, but famous historians such as Strabon and Pausanias, agreed in the idea of that Ephesus was founded by Amazons, and inhabited by the oldest settlers of Anatolia-Lelegians and Carians, as early as 3000 BC. Another great landmark is that of Pergamum.

Following the death of Alexander the Great, one of his generals who is called Lysimachus chose Pergamum as the depository for his wealth. He placed nine thousand talents of gold in Pergamum under the guardianship of Philetaerus who was his lieutenant. After the death of Lysimachus, Philetaerus took advantage of this wealth and founded the independent dynasty of Attalid Kings which later became the center of Hellenistic civilization. With the success of the two kings Attalus I and Eumenes II, Pergamum reached the highest point of its power. However during those times Rome and the Hellenistic leaders united. After that Pergamum became a very powerful kingdom by Attalus I including Mysia, Lydia, Caria, Pamphylia and Phrygia. He not only extended the borders but also decorated the capital city with architectural splendors. Eumenes II improved the city culturally. King Attalus III bequeathed the territory to the Romans who made the city rich in art and culture poor in politics and economy.

The city went through the Arab, Byzantine and finally the Turkish period in the 14C. In Hellenistic period the ancient city made an intellectual progress with the famous sculpture school and public buildings and monuments. Also Pergamum played an important role during the reign of the Romans. The foundation of acropolis in Pergamum depended on social and cultural activities which we can consider it to be the daily life. Because of this, buildings in Pergamum were designed to be used in daily life. More than religion socialization was important as a proof even the temples were one of the meeting places of people where they can join in social affairs just like other large buildings which were designed for this purpose. Pergamum had the fame to be the first city that showed reaction to the functional urbanism of Hippodamus as they preferred ornamental urbanism.

Acropolis buildings were built and designed with the aim of impressing the ones viewing the city from the valley. All buildings except the Trajan Temple were built in the reign of the Hellenistic emperors which are mostly made of andesite and rarely marble. Heroon in Pergamum was the shrine in which the kings especially Attalus I and Eumenes II were worshipped. Eumenes II built the Sanctuary of Athena, dedicated to victory-bringing, in Pergamum which was entered through a propylon. The entrance of the Sanctuary is surrounded by three stoas of the Doric order which opens to a courtyard. Athena Temple is located at the corner near the theatre in Doric order as well which was built earlier.

House of Virgin Mary is located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in crowded place. The house is a typical Roman architectural example, entirely made of stones. In the 4th century AD, a church, combining her house and grave, has been built. The original two-stored house, which consisted of an anteroom (where today candles are proposed), bedroom and praying room (Christian church area) and a room with fireplace (chapel for Muslims). A front kitchen fell into ruins and has been restored in 1940's. Today, only the central part and a room on the right of the altar are open to visitors. From there one can understand that this building looks more like a church than a house.

Another interesting place is the "Water of Mary", a source to be found at the exit of the church area and where rather salt water, with curative properties, can be drunk by all. Paul VI was the first pope to visit this place in the 1960's. Later, in the 1980's, during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of Virgin Mary has a pilgrimage place for Christians. It is also visited by Muslims who recognize Mary as the mother of one of their prophets. Every year, on August 15th a ceremony is organized to commemorate Mary's Assumption.