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Kusadasi, a terraced town overlooks a stunning inlet on the Aegean Coast and is one of the longest established Tourist towns along the Turkish Riviera. The Kusadasi Gulf spreads south and southeast possessing some of the most attractive beaches, bays and coves on the Aegean coast.Kusadasi has something for everyone – archaeologists, artists, those who savour culinary delights, culture buffs, fishermen, independent travellers, nature lovers, photographers, shoppers, sports enthusiasts, sun worshippers, yachters and wine connoisseurs.
Kusadasi’s proximity to some of the most unique ancient settlements of the world together with religious shrines unquestionably contributes to its major importance as a fulcrum for the entire surrounding area.Kusadasi Setur Marina is one of the best-equipped yacht marinas in Turkey. Offering wintering facilities for boats both afloat and on shore. Greek ocean liners sail twice weekly between Ancona (Italy) and Kusadasi. Cruise liners from all over the World sailing the Aegean anchor here to allow Passengers to explore the town and the surrounding archaeological sites. Greek Island Hoppers avail of the opportunity of visiting Turkey using the daily ferry to and from Samos Island.
Kusadasi is ideal for all forms of water sports including scuba diving, water skiing, parasailing and jet skiing. For those who enjoy water activities on the terra firma there are many water parks Adaland reputed to be the biggest aqua park in Europe and Aqua Fantasy Aqua parks to name but a few.Kusadasi has an unrivalled selection of beaches all within easy and affordable access of town by Dolmus (bus).Kusadasi is an excellent base for excursions to the ancient cities of Ephesus, Priene, Miletus, and Didyma.
2.5km outside town is a hive of activity both day and night, offering a selection of restaurants and bars along its palm tree lined promenade.approximately 5 minutes walk from Ladies Beach is a small sandy beach, peaceful and tranquil. 6km from town, so called, as it is 30km long is a 15minute bus ride south of town. All forms of water sports are available; the collection of 4 and 5 star hotels located here is sufficient to explain its beauty and the facilities available.
Pamucak Beach 10km north of town, close to Ephesus is 5km long provides an opportunity to revisit your childhood, no deck chairs but horse back riding along its sandy shoreline!Baradan Bay Beach 25km north of town is accessible by bus from town or by boat and is very popular with travel agencies who offer half-day / full day boat trips including a fish picnic.
Town Beach yes, right in the heart of Kusadasi, runs the length of the promenade (Ataturk Bulvari) however, from shore to sea is rocky and thus it is not suitable for children.Tusan-Kustur Beach; 5km north of town is one of the cleanest beaches; it has 1km long sandy shore and offers all forms of water sports. Sunset here is a photographic opportunity not to be missed.
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.The areas beaches allow you to experience that “desert island” feeling that we all long for from time to time to enable us to rekindle our childhood fantasies of being “Robinson Crusoe”.
Kusadasi’smost famous landmark is the Kervansaravi, (now a hotel) constructedin the early 18th century. This structure was constructedsimultaneously with the Kaleici Camii (“Old Town”) and Hamam(Turkish Baths) together with the city walls. TheKervansaravi hosts Traditional Turkish Nights where Turkish culturecan be explored through food and dance, folk dancing, Cossack dancingand obligatory belly dancing are performed. TheKaleici area is ideal for shopping and late night revelling. Avisit to Turkey is not complete without a visit to a Haman it is anopportunity to revisit Ottoman times, the wonderful soapy massagefollowed by a manipulation with a loofah provides skin exfoliation inpreparation for those many hours of sunbathing and leaves you relaxedand invigorated, fully primed to enjoy all the activitiesavailable. Thereis a profusion of restaurants with a wealth of choice to satisfy allbudgets, appetites and palates. Turkish food is regarded as one ofthe world’s greatest cuisines due to the abundance of fish, freshproduce, herbs and spices. Virtuallyevery restaurant serves alcohol and locally produced wine is cheap asis Efes Pilsen (light and dark) regarded as Turkey’s best beer.Tuborg, a Danish company also produce two varieties of beer andimported beers are available however, as with all imported goodsthese can be expensive by Turkish standards.
TheTurkish equivalent to Greek ouzo is Raki, an aniseed-flavoured grapebrandy (usually diluted with water). Gin, vodka and brandy areproduced in Turkey and thus are much less expensive than theirequivalent imported varieties. Bars,nightclubs, jazz clubs, discos, beach clubs and cafes remain openinto the early hours of the morning there are many live music venuescatering for all ages, preferences and endurance levels.
Taxisare readily available and taxi ranks are strategically located. Thefleet still includes a number of 1960s Chevrolet Impalas. Thedistance travelled determines the fare payable, the price isdisplayed on the meter and prices increase after midnight as theDolmus service ends.Shoppingis a favourite pastime with Locals and Visitors alike, everythingthat could possibly be made from leather is available, textiles,delicate embroidery, lacework, footwear and souvenirs made from onyx,copper and inlaid wood are in abundance at very reasonable prices onevery street corner.
Potteryhas become a popular choice with a rapid increase in Turkish andInternational designers utilising historical designs to reproducespectacular memorabilia. Goldand silver jewellery will capture the attention of even the mostreluctant Shopper, the variety of stones, settings and designs makeit extremely difficult to resist temptation!Turkeyis famous for its carpets. Prices are determined by quality, age,condition and material (wool or silk).
Be prepared, the Salespersonwill go to great lengths to explain the “story of the carpet”. Allshops are open seven days a week and are generally open from 9am to12pm. Tax-free shopping is available from authorised Retailers.OnTuesday and Friday there is a fruit and vegetable market in townwhere an enormous variety of locally produced fresh produce isavailable, the experience of browsing among the stalls examining theproduce, bantering and bargaining with the Vendors is one that eventhose Visitors availing of all-inclusive packages offered by somehotels should not miss.
Kusadasi is an excellent base for excursions to the ancient cities of Ephesus, Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. Pamukkale one of Natures Wonderlands is a 3-hour drive however it is worth the effort. It has been described as “Nature’s cotton candy wonderland”
Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean; the city of Ephesus was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple was rebuilt several times and was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
The Romans, between AD 41 and 117 reconstructed the site’s Great Theatre, with a capacity for 25,000 people the structure was designed to provide views for all Attendants and has natural acoustics; today it is a major concert venue.Ephesus also boasts the Church of the Virgin Mary, tradition states that St. John retired to Ephesus to write the 4th Gospel and that Mary the Mother of Jesus travelled with him.
The great Basilica of St. John in Selcuk marks the site of his grave. Mary is said to have retired to Ephesus and the Church marks the site where she lived. Having received official sanction from the Vatican, mass is celebrated here every Sunday throughout the year and special masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Priene(Gullubahce) 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.
Miletus (Milet) is 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.
Didyma(Didim), site of the ruins of the Temple of Apollo was one of the most sacred places of antiquity. A double-colonnade portico surrounds the colossal temple. Not far from Didyma lies Altinkum Beach.
Pamukkale thermal spring waters laden with calcareous salts running off the plateau’s edge have created this breathtaking formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The thermal springs have been used since Roman times for their therapeutic powers
Kusadasi is within easy reach of Izmir, buses leave Kusadasi Otogar every 20 minutes from May-September with reduced services during off-peak months. Izmir is Turkeys third largest city hosting the International Arts Festival (June/July) and the International Fair (August/September). It is believed that Homer lived here during the first millennium B.C. Izmir’s Archaeological, Ethnographic museums house superb collections of antiquities, provide an insight into local folk art, crafts and customs. Izmir’s Ataturk museum details the life and times of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) Turkey’s national Hero.On the 10th November every year the whole country comes to a standstill on the stroke of 9.05am for a minutes silence to commemorate his death in 1938. Ataturk was responsible for completely revamping Turkish society. No amount of narrative could describe the Turkish peoples ongoing affection and admiration for this man, suffice to say that his portrait hangs in a prominent place on the wall of almost every Turkish home, Business place and Recreational outlet.