If slides, rides and dolphins interest you then you can choose Aqualand with over 25 rides set in a 25 acre site on the outskirts of Kusadasi just opposite Kusadasi’s 10,000 capacity conference centre due to open Spring 2009. Or Aqua Fantasy which certainly lives up to its name. Or a trip to Adaland, described in the New York Post as one of the Top 10 Aqua Parks in the World with Dolphinpark or its 2008 addition - Seapark which is an interactive experience with 2,000 tropical fish, swim with sharks and alligators……………Nemo has been found, living the dream in Kusadasi!
– one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World
Bafa Lake near Soke (25km from Kusadasi on the Aydin Road) is a natural wonder caused by the silt deposits brought down by the Buyuk Menderes River. On the lake are two islets on which Monasteries and Churches were built, early Christian frescos are clearly visible on some of the ceilings.
More that 255 different bird species are native to this area and the slight salt content attracts mullet, sea bream, eels and carps so fishing is a vavourite pastime for the Locals and Visitors to this area.
With over 30 km of coastline in the Kusadasi bay area it is no surprise that we have – 10 Blue Flag Beaches.
My favourite is La Costa on the Long Beach Road just behind the Fantasia & Onura 5 Star Hotels.
Bird Island (Kusadasi in Turkish also called Pigeon Island)
Visit the Museum inside the old Byzantine Castle or relax at one of its many cafes / clubs.
From Kusadasi around the Kusadasi bay area price usually includes lunch.
Unforgettable experience hot towel, full head message, exfoliation and much, much more.
Cave of the Seven Sleepers – one of the most sacred places in the Christian World.
Cave of Zeus.
Just before the entrance to the National Park you’ll find the Cave of Zeus. Usually visited while on the jeep safari.
Cinaralti Restaurant Davutlar (opposite Degirmen Park)
Just opposite Degirmen Park on the Davutlar Road.
808 year old sycamore tree – excellent garden restaurant, main dishes are chicken or lamb. Traditional Turkish Cuisine.
Acres of park with duck pond, stables, farmyard zoo, camels and Kangal Dogs.
Small cafes scattered around the pond and the main house is decorated in traditional style. Traditional Turkish cuisine, lamb and chicken dishes are a speciality.
Close to Priene yet on the edge of the National Park, you’ll find the Old Village of Doganbey. The village is like an open air museum, demonstrating the most beautiful examples of Turkish and Greek architecture carrying the traces of past civilizations. The visitor and information centre is housed in a historical building, alongside a chapel and a church. The village, previously know as Domatia was populated by Greeks until the population exchange in 1923 when it became a Turkish village. Some of the buildings where restored in 2001. The site is open 8.30 - 18.00, 7 days a week.
At Adaland Aqua Park – watch the dolphins perform or for an extra charge you can swim with the dolphins. Open 10.00 to 19.00 everyday.
Davutlar – Thermal Baths:
For a truly Turkish experience please visit the Radon Thermal Baths, full body massage, facials or just enjoy bathing in the radon pools.
Is the site of the ruins of the Temple of Apollo which was one of the most sacred places of antiquity. A double-colonnade portico surrounds the colossal temple. Not far from Didyma lies Altinkum Beach. There are frequent dolmuses from Soke to Didim and Altinkum. There are also frequent dolmuses from Didim to Akkoy.
(17km Kusadasi) Ephesus was one of the most important centres of the ancient world in terms of civilisation, science, culture and art in its history dating back to 4,000BC. It was a major harbour in its time. Many ancient civilisations made Ephesus their home, the traces of Ionian, Roman, Byzantine, Selcuk and Ottoman civilisations exist to the present day. The first foundation of Ephesus city goes back to the Neolithic Age (6,000BC). The ruins are spread over a large site and also host the Temple of Artemis which is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A minimum of 1.5million Tourists visit each year.
The Archaeological Museum of Ephesus
This museum is one of the most visited museums in the World. The rich variety of artefacts is in excess of 50,000 pieces and increases yearly with new findings from the ongoing excavations.
Golf – coming shortly!
This 18 hole golf course is the first in Turkey to offer a mixed use residential development. Learners can book lessons with certified teachers on the driving range, then move on to the putting green. The Clubhouse is conveniently located at the 1st and 9th holes with a dining terrace with panoramic views of the course.
Kipa (Tesco) mega store on the Long Beach Road
Kipa Express in the Friday Market beside Saydam Clinic and just up the road from the new Kusadasi private hospital.
Tansas large store just opposite the Otogar
Tansas Mini on a pedestrian street alongside Amber
Migros large store just opposite the Otogar
Migros large store just beside the Marina
Our nearest Neighbour is only a boat ride – daily departure to the island of Samos from Scala Nuova Harbour – purchase your ticket the day before. Samos town leaves a lot to be desired so why not take a taxi on your arrival, to Kokkari this trip will cost about €10.50. Kokkari is a small fishing village and is well worth a visit, you will need to get a taxi back from there at about 4p.m to ensure that you don’t miss the 5pm return trip to Kusadasi.
Book with a local tour operator
At Derigmen Park on the Davutlar Road – 10 lira for 10 minutes and free from 19.00 -20.00
Hamam (See Turkish Bath)
Turkey’s third largest city and the birthplace of Homer is Kusadasi’s nearest cosmopolitan city. Izmir is not rich in archaeological remains however, it is a Shoppers paradise with a large selection of American style Shopping Malls and Turkish market stalls
Through the mountains of National Park (Milli Park) or the hills behind Sirince.
Constructed by Grand Vizier Okuz Mehmet Pasha in the 17th Century is currently used as a hotel and restaurant. Famous for its Turkish Nights in this authentic setting.
Kesedagi - Ataturk hill:
For breathtaking views of the Kusadasi bay area
Kirazli Village: (Cherry Village)
Traditional, picturesque Turkish village accessible by dolmus or car.
Ladies Beach Promenade
This palm tree lined, beach side promenade is very popular with Tourist due to the large selection of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Tuesday market – fruit and vegetable Ladies Beach dolmus route.
Wednesday – Centrum – textiles, soaps and spices
Friday – Centrum – fruit and vegetables
Saturday – Selcuk
Kaleici Mosque Centrum:
Constructed by Grand Vizier Okuz Mehmet Pasha in the 17th Century is one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture in town.
Constructed in the area of 1800m2, the mosque has 550 person capacities. The main part of mosque is square-planned and covered by a large leaden dome- with the supports of 12 arches.
Inner part of the dome is ornamented by geometrical designs and plant motives. The entrance door exemplifies the best of wood- working of Ottoman, decorated with mother of pearl. Between the 16 stained-glass windows, are the oil paintings
Decorated with Ion styled columns.
Approximately 22km south of Priene, and like Priene was a great Ionian port. Its 15,000 seat Grand Theatre can be viewed as you approach from the south; the well-preserved ruins of the Faustian baths and the Archaeological Museum are worth a visit. From Soke take a dolmus to Balat and ask to be dropped at the Miletus- turn-off. From Miletus, very infrequent dolmuses head south to Akkoy where you can pick up a minibus to Soke or Didyma. (It may be quicker to return to Soke and start out again for Didyma.)
Kuşadası’s Setur Marina:
(1 of Turkey’s 14 “Blue Flag” Marinas) is one of the largest and best equipped marinas in Turkey.
With a capacity of 629 yachts both a float and on shore, it is visited by between 2,500-3,000 boats each year. The marina is on the latitude of 37 52' 20''N and on the longitude of 27 15' 46''E. Custom, repair service, security are some of the 24 hour services provided in the marina. “Tai Mo Shan” permanently moored in Kusadasi has been selected for the upcoming film “Fernando” (the film version of the stage musical “Mamma Mia”) the cast includes Meryl Streep. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
Enjoy a wonderful meal or a cocktail at the Missina Restaurant and get a view of Kusadasi usually reserved for the lighthouse.
Dilek Peninsula, about 30km south of Kusadasi protrudes westwards into the Aegean; on a clear day it appears to touch the Greek island of Samos. West of Guzelcamli is Dilek National Park a serene, mountainous nature reservation with some excellent walking, riding areas and unspoilt coves for swimming.
With its abundant flora and fauna this area offers an unrivalled experience in nature exploration. Some of the rarest wild animals in Turkey including the Anatolian cheetah and some of the last wild horses have made this area their home.
Nature Lovers and Ornithologists will not be disappointed with a visit to National Park on Dilek Peninsula with its 27.675 hectares (68.357 acres) of park land, 28 species of mammals, 42 species of reptiles, 804 types of plants and 256 species of birds.
Live music every night excellent relaxed atmosphere and excellent service. Located in Kaleici (Old Town) just down the side street from Planet Yucca.
Small seaside town in the Izmir province – enjoy a fish dinner in one of the many beach side fish restaurants.
Outlet shopping Soke:
Brand names, discount prices shoes, casual wear, sports wear and special occasion outfits for all the family.
Pamukkale with its ancient name Hierapolis is famous and popular for its hot springs which are believed to have healing properties. The terraces of Pamukkale were formed by the running hot water that has the temperature of 35°C which contains calcium bicarbonate. The water loses its carbon dioxide it leaves limestone deposits. According to Scientists, the terraces began forming 14000 years ago. Located 220km from Kusadasi many choose to avail of an organised trip. Alternatively you can get a ticket from a bus company in town (there is one located at the Deniz Bank roundabout near the taxi rank) which will book you on all the connections to Pamukkale. This is more reliable than trying to do it yourself as the timetables are in Turkish and can be confusing.
Overlooks the plain of the Buyuk Menderes River. It was an important port city around 300 BC; its layout followed a grid formation. The five standing columns of the Temple of Athena remain, the theatre has finely carved front seats that were reserved for VIPs, the Byzantine church, stadium and gymnasium are also worth viewing. There are half hourly dolmuses between Priene (Gullubahce) and Soke: the last back to Soke leaves Priene at 7pm
Many of the Tour Operators offer a three hour quad bike safari – have lots of fun in the sun!
At Adaland – 10 Turkish Lira per person.
Kusadasi Rugby Club
– Kusadasi Kartals (Eagles) organised “Kusadasi Rugby Festival 2008”, Turkish and Expatriates look forward to further International Club Games.
Scala Nuova Harbour:
Centuries ago Scala Nuova was the port of Ephesus and the main port of the Aegean region. “…great modern Turkish sea-port which carries on a considerable trade with Egypt and the neighbouring districts and islands…” (The Encyclopaedia of Geography: Comprising a Complete description of the Earth published 1839)……….today, following privatisation in 2003 the port area is a Shoppers paradise with it’s stunning array of quality shops, cafes, bars etc. 1,174 vessels (boats and ships) transferred a total of 424,949 passengers to Scala Nuova Kusadasi’s Harbour in 2006. Explore the port area – just pass through the security check, most of the security Personnel speak English and will be happy to assist you. Or combine your stay in Turkey with a day trip to the Greek Islands of Samos aboard the daily ferry from Scala Nuova (1st April to 31st October please book in advance as during the summer season the ferries fill up very quickly).
- Basilica of Saint John Selcuck – this Church was built over the tomb of St John the Divine (Book of Revelations in AD 95)
- Market every Saturday
- Selcuk Fortress – dating from the Ottoman Empire this fortress is located on a hill in Selcuk near Ephesus & Kusadasi.
- Hotel Kalehan an ideal stop off – set menu for dinner / lunch, or refreshments in the garden / by the pool
Sirince village is 12km from Ephesus and famous for its old village houses, wine vineyards and peach orchards. It was founded in the 5th Century AD. All the houses are built of stone and brick. Thousands of Tourists visit the village to take photographs, taste the special pastry made on sheet iron and sample the large variety of home made fruit wines produced locally – cherry, apple, peach and strawberry are the most popular. Get a dolmus to Selcuck and then a dolmus to Sirince. Please check the return timetable as in late summer this service can finish at 7 or 8 pm.
For shoppers, Kusadasi holds many promises. The town has one of the largest shopping bazaars in Turkey. Over thousand of shops sell the most coveted items of the visitors – namely Turkish carpets, soft leather jackets, exquisite jewels and souvenirs. Almost every shop accepts credit cards, traveller cheques and major currencies. High quality for low price and the friendly behaviour of the sales persons are the two main features of the shops of Kusadasi.
With 10 Blue Flag Beaches all within easy reach of Kusadasi this area is a Scuba Divers Paradise. The Beach Clubs and Diving Schools cater for all experience levels and equipment is supplied. Some Tour Operators offer Amateur and Professional 5 day courses and are PADI registered. So if the sun, sand and other activities get too much for you, you can leave Kusadasi with a diving certificate.
For the Brave and Not So Brave – you can enjoy the feeling of free fall or a Tandem jump (two persons jumping with one parachute). With a Tandem Pilot you can make a free fall from 3,000 meters altitude. After 30 seconds of free fall (180km/h) the parachute is opened. Enjoy the fascinating scenery of the Ancient City of Ephesus with the surrounding beautiful landscape for a full three minutes to the drop zone.
A Video can be arranged to capture your adventure - from your exit of the aircraft to your safe landing
Take a Micro light Flight lasting 15-20 minutes over Ephesus
Turkish Bath (Hamam):
Two of the many Turkish Bath houses in Kusadasi have operated since the 16th and 18th Century – one is near Bar Street and the other is beside Kaleici Mosque in Centrum however, my favourite is the modern one at Kustur Club with its traditional dome.
Kervansaray Hotel Centrum every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night but please book in advance. Traditional Turkish music, folk dancing and belly dancing. Beers, wine and buffet are included in the ticket price.
Turk Ev at the side of the main PTT in Centrum however drink prices are expensive to cover the cost of the entertainment.
Thermal baths (see Davutlar)
Trains – steam:
Visit the past – this museum is the retirement home for steam engines, located on the Aydin Road.
The Virgin Mary Church (17km from Kusadasi)
The House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus, this site is sacred for both Christians and Muslims (Muslims also believe in the virgin birth and honour Mary as the mother of the Prophet Jesus. Mary is the only female mentioned in the Koran by name). The House of the Virgin Mary (17km north of Kusadasi) has been visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XV1 on 29th November 2006.