Kusadasi is situated in the Aegean region along Turkey’s West Coast. It is a perfect place for an unforgettable holiday or a forever home and is full of great things to do and places to go for visitors and residents alike! Kusadasi has a typical Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters, providing a long tourism season. The city is bathed in sunshine for 300 days of the year. The tourism season starts in April and continues right through until late October but is rapidly becoming more popular during the Winter, especially at New Year which is a big celebration in Turkey.
Turkish people welcome you to their country with open arms and warm smiles. Learn a few simple phrases in Turkish, they will not go unappreciated. Turkish people truly go out of their way to make your holiday the best that it can be and the Turkish hospitality is often something that brings tourists back year after year.
Indulge in a traditional Turkish breakfast: A typical Turkish breakfast consists of slices of beyaz peynir (white cheese), honey or jam, black olives, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, clotted water buffalo cream (kaymak), boiled eggs and piles of delicious fresh Turkish bread all accompanied by hot black tea in small tulip-shaped glasses. It’s a great way to set you up for the day. Eat like a local in a Turkish restaurant to get a true idea of the delicious Turkish cuisine for good food and great prices.
Spend the day at one of Kusadasi’s many beaches: One is certainly spoilt for choice for beaches in Kusadasi. Whether you are a sun-loving holiday maker or a resident enjoying a day off, you can choose between intimate tranquil bays or long sandy beaches, either secluded by nature or bustling with activities and watersports.
The beaches in Kusadasi are at their best from May-Oct, with July and August the busiest times of the year. Kusadasi’s most popular beach Ladies Beach is bordered by an attractive promenade lined with small shops, cafes and restaurants making it ideal for a wonderful beach holiday. Long Beach, with it’s golden sand and variety of watersports, cafes and restaurants is also very popular but due to being 18 km’s long it never feels too crowded.
Daily boat trips also depart from Kusadasi and take guests to various protected bays, where swimming conditions are ideal. As the day comes to an end, you can enjoy one of Kusadasi’s remarkable sunsets overlooking the glistening sea and the view of the Greek Island of Samos as a backdrop Ladies Beach, Long Beach, Silver Sands Beach or Love Beach – a perfect day of relaxation.
Kusadasi Nightlife: Kusadasi is one of the best in Turkey, with holiday makers coming to have a good time and the Turks making sure they do so. Tucked away in the heart of Kaleici, the ‘old town’ part of Kusadasi, you’ll find old style bars with live music, grape vines hanging from the ceilings and old Turkish instruments and pictures on the walls you get a true feel of a Turkish tavern.
Enjoy a traditional Turkish Night, held in the beautiful old Kervansaray, Caravanserai every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, is a night out you won’t forget. With traditional Turkish music, folk dancing and belly dancing it makes for a great evening of traditional Turkish entertainment. Beers and wine are included in the ticket price and you can watch the show whilst dining from a delicious buffet. Turkish nights are also held in many other establishments, restaurants and hotels.
PLACES TO GO . . . THINGS TO DO:
Pigeon Island, with its gleaming image, really deserves to be the symbol of Kusadasi. The eye-catching view of the island, uniting with the panoramic colors of sunset attract many visitors.
In the times of Ottomans, the name of the island was given to the town and the town was started to be called as “Kusadasi” (Bird Island). As the island was much-frequented place of birds during the seasonal migrations, it was named as Bird Island. Since then, the name of the island was changed into “Pigeon Island“.
The island was used for military purposes during the Ottoman Era and before, as the location of the island was strategic for securing the shores or preventing the attacks from the sea. The Byzantine castle standing on the rocks, used against pirates, is known as “Pirate Castle”. It is an ideal place for relaxation.
Within the borders of the impressive castle, you may watch the yachts sailing peacefully on the glassy waters of Kusadasi or sit in one of the restaurants by the shore and sample fresh sea-food or other Aegean specialties with the panoramic view of Kusadasi.
Davutlar Thermal Baths: Enjoy a relaxing day at one of Davutlars thermal resorts – the Natur Med Hotel and Radon Thermal. The Natur Med has a mineral content of 5 grams per litre and a temperature of 41ºC and Radon Thermal has a mineral content of over 6 grams per litre and a temperature of 42ºC. Because they contain so many natural minerals – Turkey’s thermal baths are known to have healing properties and therapeutic effects.
Adaland Water Park: Enjoy a leisure day out and dive into the fun at Adaland Aquapark .. This fantastic water park is brilliant entertainment for all the family and is just minutes from Kusadasi with its vast choice of pools, slides, and attractions. Zip down slides and chutes, splash around the many pools, waft down the lazy river, and let the little ones loose on the kids’ attractions.
Visit a Hamam and have a Turkish bath: A Turkish Bath, known as a Hamam, is an experience that should not be missed when visiting Turkey. Relax in the steam room on a heated stone table called a goebektasas while the tellak (member of staff) massages and exfoliates your skin with a coarse mitt. You should visit the hamam during the first few days of your holiday, as it prepares your skin for the sun and makes your tan last longer.
For those who are lovers of history and culture, don’t miss the chance on these “must see” attractions
Ephesus: The history of Ephesus goes back to 3000 BC. It is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. It was a pilgrimage centre of firstly Cybele, then Artemis and finally the Virgin Mary. It was the birthplace of the philosopher Heraclitus. Amazons, Greeks, Lydians, Romans and many other civilizations lived and gave traces here. You should not miss it.
Merymanna – The House of the Virgin Mary is a popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics, where Virgin Mary spent the latter part of her life. 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.
Pay a visit to the old Greek Village of Sirince: Located 30kms from Kusadasi, this picturesque village with small cafes and wine houses with a magnificent view over fields, orchards, vineyards and olive groves is worth a visit. Eat traditional Turkish pancakes known as ‘gozleme’ in one of the many cafes and try the fruit wines which Sirince has become famous for producing. Take the dolmus to Selcuk and then another to Sirince from the Selcuk bus station.
This pretty old Orthodox village, 12 km away from Ephesus and 30 km from Kusadasi, was once Cirkince (“ugly”). Indeed its habitants gave this name on purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village.
Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly at all and called it Sirince (“pretty”). As the village is located on the top of a mountain, anyone will enjoy the impressive wine yards’ and peach trees’ views on his way.
Today the village is a perfect synthesis of Turk-Greek culture as of the 1920’s: after the Independence War, people exchange between Greek and Turks has occurred and all those typical Greek houses, though they kept their original outside characteristics, have received the local layout inside. The most beautiful specimens are open to visitors. And even in the courtyard of one of them, one will discover a nicely restorated Orthodox church.
All the narrow streets of the village belong to the women, selling handcrafts of all kinds, olive oil. Another attraction of Sirince is its wine: try its taste in small cafés or in the former municipal school restorated.
Though Sirince is developing its tourism very quickly, it has been able to preserve its authenticity and the meaning of its name.
Dilek National Park: The ideal place to escape from town fuss and noise is a well-merited rest and beach afternoon in the national park (since 1960’s) of Kalamaki in the “Dilek Peninsula“. Located approx. 30 km South of Kusadasi, it is only 1-2 km far from the Greek island Samos.
The Kalamaki beaches count several bays of which the most important ones are Icmeler (1st bay and only sandy one), Kavakli and Karapinar. Winters are mostly rainy and Summers dry. This explains that water sources are the main place where fauna gathers for drinking. The most dense specie is the wild pig so do not be bewildered when you see a wild pig family wandering around in the afternoon.
Due to its clean environment, Kalamaki is also ideal for picnics. All necessary facilities have been thought of : water from the mountains, lavatory and picnic tables and benches. And while you walking around, according to the season, look at the various kinds of flowers in almost any color and do hesitate to taste the wild strawberries.
Whether you like hiking in the mountain trails or lying on a beach relaxing, the national park is a little piece of paradise. The National Park is a protected area, where many endemic plants and endangered animals live. You can hike along trails while admiring the most beautiful colors of nature, swim in the turqoise sea or sunbathe on the unspoiled beaches. You can enter the National Park by car, bicycle or by walking.It’s a great place to snorkel or enjoy a picnic on one of the four main beaches.
Pamukkale: is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Turkey. The big attraction is a vast white cliff side with scallop-shaped basins of water and frozen waterfalls. It looks as if it’s made out of snow or cloud or balls of cotton, it really is an amazing sight. It’s a weird and wonderful experience to walk along the top of the cliff, where centuries of mineral-filled water spilling over the edge has left snowy white cascades. Take a dip in the enchanting thermal spring known as Cleopatra’s pool. With collapsed Roman columns at the bottom and surrounded by beautiful blossoming flowers, it’s a very relaxing experience.
Step back in time in Kirazli Village: Kirazli Village, known in English as Cherry Village, is worth a visit if only to see the real, peaceful Turkey that still exists. This picturesque village which can be reached by dolmus or car, makes you feel like you’re in a different world after the hustle and bustle of Kusadasi. Kirazli is a nice place to wander around, there are some lovely restaurants serving meals from organic local produce – Kirazli is big on organic farming – where you can enjoy a slow meal and the peace. There is a weekend cherry festival in June and it’s then that the village is at its busiest. There are displays of traditional dancing and handicrafts and stalls everywhere selling fruit.
This picturesque village which can be reached by dolmus or car, makes you feel like you’re in a different world after the hustle and bustle of Kusadasi. Kirazli is a nice place to wander around, there are some lovely restaurants serving meals from organic local produce – Kirazli is big on organic farming – where you can enjoy a slow meal and the peace. There is a weekend cherry festival in June and it’s then that the village is at its busiest. There are displays of traditional dancing and handicrafts and stalls everywhere selling fruit.