1. Visit Ephesus
No trip to this area would be complete without a visit to this magnificent ancient city. It has been under Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and, finally, Ottoman rule, and is one of the best preserved ruins sites in the world. No imagination is necessary when you visit here, because walking along the marble streets of Ephesus , you will feel like you have been transported back in time. You’ll be treading in the footsteps of some of history’s greats – Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra, St John, St Paul and more. If you really want a special experience, there are sometimes concerts held here at night during summer, check with your hotel whether there are any concerts on during your visit. Spoiler alert: the facade of the famous Celsus Library and the Theatre are going to take your breath away.
2. Take a trip to Sirince
Sirince is a former Greek village located on top of a mountain just 8km from Selcuk. It has always been famous for its fruit wines and olive oil products, but recently gained world wide fame when it was overrun with people who believed it was one of just two safe places in the world when the world was supposed to be ending according to the Mayan calendar, at the end of 2012. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours breathing in the mountain air, eating from one of the many small restaurants featuring home cooking, having a wine tasting, wandering its charming cobblestone streets and checking out the locally made handicrafts sold by the local ladies.
3. Take a day trip to Pamukkale
Pamukkale is just over 3 hours away from Kusadasi and makes for a perfect day trip. It is home to the famous “cotton castle”, the white travertine pools filled with healing thermal waters that cascade down the side of a hill and look a bit like a frozen waterfall. It is also home to the ruins of the ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis which drew people from all over the ancient world who wanted a chance to be treated by the thermal waters for which this area is famous. While you are in Hierapolis don’t miss the chance to go for a swim in the Cleopatra Antique pool where you will have a chance to swim over fallen Roman columns. It’s a long day out but well worth the trip. Click here for more information.
4. Visit a local market
Take a chance to visit one of the local fruit, vegetable and clothing markets and see how the locals do their weekly shopping. Selçuk market is on a Saturday morning and Kusadasi has 3 markets – a fruit & veggie market on Tuesdays (Salı pazarı) & Fridays (Cuma Pazarı) and a cheap shoes and clothing bazaar on Wednesday (during summer only) (Çarşamba Pazarı) – ask your hotel for directions, and you’ll have a great time, and be amazed at how great the prices are.
5. Eat some seafood fresh from the boat
In Kuşadası you have the chance to eat amazingly fresh seafood. Just opposite the Caravansary near the port there is a fish market surrounded by fish restaurants. The trawlers come in to port, drop their catch at the fish market, and minutes later you can be eating it. The restaurants buy from the market, but if you fancy choosing your own seafood many of them will also cook your fresh fish from the seafood market for a small fee. If you are in a hurry, then why not grab a “balik ekmek” (fish sandwich) on your way past. Hint: Eat at one of the restaurants at the back of the square and you’ll be able to look down on the small harbour filled with fishing boats while you eat.
For more information regarding day tours of Ephesus & Pamukkale click here.