Travel by ferry to Kusadasi, "the island of birds" in Turkish and discover the most popular cruise port in Turkish Aegean, a perfect resort for superb holidays!
Kusadasi is located in a beautiful bay in the Aegean region of Turkey and is considered one of the strongest tourist attractions! It is a popular resort, known for its sparkling turquoise waters, wide sandy beaches, bright sunshine and a large marina with a capacity of 600 boats.
One of its most important advantages is the fact that it is located in close proximity to important cities such as the glorious ancient city of Ephesus, only 20 minutes by car with millions of visitors every year and with its majestic ruins being one of the most important tourist attractions in Turkey and of course the unique Izmir.
The area is an art and culture center from the earliest recorded historical data and has been inhabited by many civilizations since it was founded, the Lydians, the Persians and from 334 BC along with all Anatolia conquered by Alexander the Great became a center of Hellenistic civilization. At the end of the First World War the Ottoman government was defeated, so Kusadasi was given by treaty to the Italians and under their rule the city was filled with Turks, Greeks, Jews, Armenians.
In the area there are many sites of historical and tourist value in and around the city such as the Panionian Market, the Roman Baths, Ilitsa Hill, Skala Nova, the Castle on the island of Dove Island, the Bastions surrounding the city, Mosques, Turkish Baths and the Dilek National Park.
In Kusadasi you will find countless small shops for unique shopping and the Covered Bazaar where you will find everything from spices, leather goods , perfumes and antique furniture.
Apart from its wonderful beaches the city of Kusadasi has a very intense nightlife with disco bars, lively "Turkish Nights", hundreds of restaurants with specialties from all over the world but primarily from the Turkish cuisine which is one of the greatest cuisines in the world. Also in the area there are numerous holiday villages and hotels located on the coast, but also pensions for more advantageous holiday packages.
Apart from the oriental aura with the hookahs , spices, perfumes, awesome bazaars , the voice of the muezzin calling the faithful there is also the modern side of Kusadasi with the wonderful holiday packages that rank it in recent years as one of the most popular holiday destinations!
In the area there are many sites of historical and tourist value in and around the city such as the Panionian Market, the Roman Baths, Ilitsa Hill, Skala Nova.For sunset, a romantic stroll to Pigeon Island, where you can see the ruins of a Byzantine castle, is a must.
It is such a must for so many reasons to visit this special place, thus, we advise you to book your tickets as soon as possible in order to find availability!
Ferry connections to Kusadasi
Currently, the ferry connection to Kusadasi is provided from the ports of Samos, Pythagorio and Vathi. The distance between Kusadasi and Samos is approximately 35 nautical miles and the travel time is approximately 3.30 hours, depending on the vessel. The frequency of crossings is only 2 times a week during the winter season, while during the summer season, the connection is on a daily basis.
The Kusadasi Ege Port is located directly opposite the city of Kusadasi and is the busiest cruise port in Turkey, plus, an important port of call in the Eastern Mediterranean. It has two piers and can berth up to four large ships or four smaller ships and two large ships. It provides many services and a modern passenger terminal with areas for duty free shopping, a first aid unit and a passenger center equipped with internet and other communication facilities. From your ferry dock to the terminal building you walk about two minutes and another few minutes through the port's Scala Nuova shopping village until you reach the main street of Kusadasi town. In the Scala Nuova shopping village you can find unique shopping, food and beverage opportunities for shopping enthusiasts. The port takes on a different color depending on the time of day; the morning hours are quiet as traders enjoy Turkish tea before the afternoon rush, however it is an ideal time to plan a day trip to Ephesus upon disembarkation.
In the harbor area you will find antique shops and cafes and outside the terminal building is a welcome information desk with a person ready to provide you with any information you may need.There are several buses and taxis available upon your arrival at the port.
From Izmir Airport to the Port of Kusadasi
There are no direct flights to Kusadasi. The closest airport is Izmir Airport (Adnan Menderes havalimanı) and to the Port of Kusadasi the distance is approximately 66km. There is also the airport of Alikarnassos but Izmir is the preferred choice due to the multiple European connections.
The easiest way to get from Izmir airport to Kusadasi is by bus, by train or by a rental car.
The bus (public transport) option is the most economical but takes more time. There are buses of HAVAŞ company and the bus stop is located next to the exit of the inner terminal.
A more convenient way - regular buses of small private companies from Izmir to Kusadasi. There are companies who will take you directly to the hotel.
From Izmir, one can take the train to Selçuk and then 30 minutes by bus to Kusadasi. The railway passes through the airport. Once out of the terminal, go through the special passage, following the signs to take a high-speed train to Selçuk. Tickets are cheap for this type of transport and during the day the train runs frequently.
Car rental is an ideal solution because the prices are very affordable and the commute is much more comfortable. Car rental is available at the airport.
Mode of Transport in Kusadasi
The transportation network in Kusadasi is well-developed and, by using the public means, you can reach any important spot of the city. It is worth mentioning that the prices are relatively cheap, even for taxis, especially if you use them before midnight. Just remember to ask for the fares before you get in.
In Kusadasi, the best mode of transport is the Dolmus which is more like a shared taxi/ minibus which is probably very common in Turkey. The Dolmus operates in various locations, passing by all the major hotels and attractions. There are different routes and the names of the destinations are written on their front or side windows. Although there are dolmus stops at every corner on busy streets, you can simply stop it by raising your hand as soon as you see it coming. Just let the driver know where you plan to go and he will tell you which line to take, and where to get off. They will remind you where to get off once you reach your destination. It's a cheap, reliable service available on a continuous basis from 7am to midnight, 7 days a week. Find out more, in Dolmus Kusadasi.
Taxis are a convenient solution and definitely reduce the time in half. We recommend calling one of the taxi companies rather than waiting on the street. Taxis are yellow with the names of the companies on the side; and the fees are paid according to the meters that the driver activates when you get in the taxi. The meters operate double between 12:00 am and 6:00 am. If you want to be more organized, you can always book one in Kusadasi Taxis.
Holidays in Kusadasi
In recent years holidays in Kusadasi have been chosen by more and more travellers as the once picturesque fishing village has developed into a wonderful resort and one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. It combines sunshine, wonderful long golden beaches, many entertainment options and amazing ancient monuments for history lovers.
In Kusadasi the visitor will experience the culture of an Eastern country by walking through the big bazaar and discovering incredible things at prices that will be the result of the bargain (it is enforced by custom) with the merchants, trying a Turkish bath in a traditional environment and enjoying its relaxing and curative properties due to its many natural minerals.
For nature lovers there are many options such as exploring the seabed for ancient treasures and the mountains of the National Park located 30 km south of Kusadasi. Whether you enjoy hiking the mountain trails or lying on a beach relaxing, the national park is a little slice of paradise. It's a great place to snorkel or enjoy a picnic on one of the four main beaches.
Worth mentioning are the water parks in the area, one of which, Adaland, is considered one of the top ten in the world and the largest in Europe, with incredible activities for children and families with water pools, slides, rafting , dolphin shows and much more for a really fun day out.
Visiting unique places such as the preserved mountain village of Sirince is a beautiful experience where you will relax in its small cafes and wineries among the vineyards and olive groves and taste traditional dishes such as "gozleme" and fruit wines for which the place is famous.
Finally, a trip to Ephesus is a must as there are amazing ancient ruins, some of the most important in the entire Mediterranean.
Kusadasi is the ideal place to rest and relax under the blue Mediterranean sky on one of its beautiful beaches.
Best Beaches in Kusadasi
There are many beaches in Kusadasi, all with one thing in common: crystal clear waters. There are busy beaches, very well organized where water sports such as banana, jet skiing, water bikes and sailing are available, and you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas for a small fee, as well as quieter beaches with beautiful natural scenery.
- Downtown Beach: is located between the port and the marina and is very popular due to its proximity to the city and the large number of hotels. It has a great view of Pigeon Island and is an ideal place to sunbathe and watch the world go by. There are sunbeds, umbrellas and a small café on the beach and across the road there are a variety of cafes and shops along the avenue
- Ladies Beach: known in Turkish as Kadinlar Denizi, is one of the most popular and busiest beaches in Kusadasi with one kilometer of sand and clear shallow waters. The name comes from the time when the beach was separated only for female bathers. Today Ladies Beach is open to all and with a palm tree lined promenade full of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and the many hotels it is like a resort in itself. It is organized with umbrellas , sunbeds and the possibility of water sports
- Long Beach: named after the fact that it is 18 kilometers long, was divided into sections as more and more cafes opened along the coast and gave their names to this part of the beach. Today only the beginning of the entire beachfront is called Long Beach, and this is the part with the most activity. It is also home to one of Kusadasi's three water parks
- Diamond Beach – Gold Beach: is located in front of the old holiday resort Nazilli Sitesi and Aydin Tur Sitesi.On the way from the main road to the beach you will pass the Nazilli Bazaar, a great place for fun shopping. A little further on there are many small restaurants making Turkish gozleme and other Turkish snacks. There are also a few small cafes on the beach
- Silver Sand Beach: is located in the SSK area, a very old holiday complex of the people working in the SSK (social security in Turkey), at the beach front. On the beach front is a lovely cafeteria offering snacks and drinks during the day and dinner in the evenings
- Paradise Beach: follows the Silver Sand Beach. At Paradise Beach there are a few small restaurants, cafes and bars along the road and along the beach, sunbeds and umbrellas
- Kustur Beach: one of the most popular beaches in Kusadasi known for its cleanliness, located 3 km away from the town center. Is not a very crowded beach but is well organized with umbrellas, sun beds, and cafes available on the beach. It’s mostly sandy but some places are pebbly as well
- National Park Beach: not only for the Kusadasi area but it is also a very significant beach in Europe. There are some small bays in the national park. It’s one of the popular places in Kusadasi and is a place worth seeing with its nature. National park is 30km away from town center and has the cleanest waters in Kusadasi. It gives chances to have a picnic under the trees when watching the sea
Hotels in Kusadasi
The hotel options in Kusadasi are many as it has developed into a popular resort!
There are luxury resorts and 5 star hotels with many facilities, all inclusive hotels,mid-range hotels with many amenities and more budget hotels. The list is long in order to satisfy all the visitors.
Some of the hotels worth checking out are the following:
- Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa
- Palm Wings Beach Resort Kusadasi
- Pine Bay Holiday Resort
- KoruMar Hotel de Luxe
- Atlantique Holiday Club
- Le Bleu Hotel & Resort Kusadasi
- Double Tree by Hilton
- Ladies Beach Residence
- Asena Hotel
- Charisma De Luxe Hotel Kusadasi
- Arora Hotel Kusadasi
- Ephesia Holiday Beach Club
Things to do in Kusadasi
Kusadasi is a vibrant resort with intense oriental color that is found in every corner and an excellent tourist infrastructure.It offers cultural activity and unique options for relaxation and fantastic shopping at unique opportunities in its famous open-air bazaar!
Some of the best attractions and landmarks in Kusadasi are:
- Ephesus Ancient Ruins: the ruined city of Ephesus, is a true marvel, for it is a place of great historical, cultural and architectural significance. Having such ancient treasures like the remains of the giant Temple of Artemis, the lavish Library of Celsus, a still existing large 25,000 seat amphitheater, the well preserved temple of the Emperor Hadrian and well looked after Terrace Houses (Houses of Rich)
- Ephesus Archaeological Museum: is an archaeological museum in Selçuk near the Ancient Greek city of İzmir, Turkey. It houses finds from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Its best-known exhibit is the ancient statue of the Greek Goddess Artemis retrieved from the temple of the goddess in Ephesus
- Pigeon Island: is the symbol of Kusadasi and is one of the best places to watch the panoramic view of the beautiful city, enjoy watching the sunset, have a drink at one of the cafe and enjoy the scenery.The Island was used for securing the shores or perverted the attacks from the sea. The Byzantine Castle is standing on the rocks and used against pirates
- Adaland, Aqua Fantasy & Tortuga Water Parks: visit one of Kusadasi's water parks for a fun experience for both young and old. Adaland is one of the largest water parks in Europe where you'll find a huge wave pool, super slides, a fun tropical beach and more. Another water park within walking distance from Kusadasi is Aqua Fantasy Aquapark, which is perched right on the edge of the Aegean Sea and is one of the most popular in Turkey. In case that's not enough to keep you busy, there is also a pirate-themed water park in Kusadasi for all to enjoy with a range of pools and plenty of slides
- Sirince Wine Village: is a charming village famous for its fruit wines made from all kinds of locally available fruits. It is only 40 minutes from Kuşadası and is easily accessible
- Selcuk Market: a visit to the bustling stalls of the Selçuk market and bazaar is a must. The process of bargaining with the vendors is a ritual! The world-famous gold workshops, delectable Turkish products and food market in Selçuk will satisfy even the most demanding
- Go to a Hamam and have a Turkish bath: traditionally, Hammams are important social centers for Turks, a meeting place for friends and neighbors and it is worth having this experience which is a fun process for westerners , especially for the not prudish ones!
The traditional hammam is more than just a heated sauna and a cold shower as steam heat is used instead of dry heat.It is definitely an experience that should not be missed when visiting Turkey
- Gazibegendi Hill: is one of the best places to have great views of Kusadasi. When you get to Gazibegendi Hill, the first thing you will notice is the statue of Atatürk, sitting and looking at the view and it is a popular spot to take a photo. Kusadasi residents love to go there to have a nice meal at the restaurant/cafe built by the municipality and enjoy the beautiful scenery
- Enjoy an evening out at the Turkish Night: a "Turkish Night", held in the beautiful old Caravanserai and is an unforgettable experience. With traditional Turkish music, folk dancing and belly dancing it makes for a great evening of traditional Turkish entertainment
- Visit Kirazli Village: known in English as Cherry Village, is worth a visit as it is a picturesque village that makes you feel like you’re in a different world after the hustle and bustle of Kusadasi. There are some lovely restaurants serving meals from organic local produce - Kirazli is big on organic farming.There is a weekend cherry festival in June
- Visit a mosque: is a profound experience that will introduce you to the Turkish religion. Be sure to follow the rules, dress appropriately so as not to disrespect the worshippers and take off your shoes before entering the mosque.
- Discover the ancient Greek City of Aphrodisias: is located near the present-day village of Geyre, which is about 170 km from Izmir. Wander around the archaeological zone and take a look at the theater and the ruins of Hadrian's Baths. A visit to the museum which has a collection of sculptural treasures, Greco-Roman statues and ceramics dating back to the Bronze Age is a must