Sightseeing in Kusadasi

Sightseeing in Kusadasi

We provide everything you need for a comfy holiday here in Batihan Beach Resort. And you rightfully aim to get the most out of this rare opportunity to throw away whole year’s exhaustion. Sleep, sunbathe, swim, rest, lunch, sunbathe again, dinner, and another step to achieve that aim… We feel always honoured to host your stay here, but we have a suggestion: The Kusadasi area we are settled in has many exciting beauties around. Why don’t you consider pausing your holiday routine for a day and do some sightseeing?

If your answer is “yes”, here are the very first tips we can think of. The list sorts these tips from the most accessible and closest to the farthest and ones that require a bit of planning ahead. If you are with your car or have rent one, you will go however you want, but you’d better mind the parking problem in Kusadasi. If you do not have any vehicle to go, you can ask our staff about the minibus lines (a.k.a. “dolmush”, remember?).

ps. Do not forget to check out the map below!

At the time of Hayreddin Barbarossa, the great Ottoman admiral, conquered most of the Mediterranean Sea, a citadel was built on this tiny island which gave inspiration with its name, when Kusadasi was named (guvercin = pigeon, kus = bird, ada = island). For many centuries, this fortification secured the town nearby with its quite strategical position, until the world has changed so that it lost its military function. It was connected to the mainland about 60 years ago. Guvercinada now hosts the cruise ships, as well as its visitors, “townspotters” (it has a nice view of Kusadasi from across), and swimmers who swim nearby.

If you want to stroll at the city centre, you can find places for much varied expectations. Seaport areas (both yacht and ferry ports) are a heaven for shopping, while the area around Okuz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai (constructed 1618) is ideal for history-lovers who are in search of authenticity. Not to forget the touristic shopping district in which many shops sell the same products for years (i.e. you can still find video game cartridges for older gaming consoles!), absolutely a colour for the city… And the fish restaurants/diners/buffets next to the corner shops in front of the Caravanserai promise surprising delights. The space is not enough, we should cover the central Kusadasi in a further blog post.

National Park
The beach in front of our hotel is quite nice, however, it is naturally not that natural as any beach in front of hotels and recreation facilities. If you are looking for a sea fun without concrete buildings in the background, we suggest you the National Park at Dilek peninsula. A shiny beach, also known as “Kalamaki” among the locals, is to be discovered by you. Actually, there is not a single beach, but several beaches within several coves. Our suggestion is, if you have your vehicle, to go the last cove one can visit until the road is blocked by the “gendarme”. Minibuses mostly stop at the first cove, people with cars probably do not make it to the furthest point. The last cove is thus the place of the patient minds: Less crowd, calmer, more natural. If you stay there until early evening, you’ll salute the wild boars. Note that there is a small fee at the entrance.

If you decide getting past the Izmir province border, the most complete route you can take is to reach the town Selcuk and follow the Ephesus, Virgin Mary House, and Sirince order. You can buy “gevrek” (remember that?) and pastries from a local bakery, order tea in Ahmet Ferahli Park for breakfast, and then visit the Tourist Information over there to learn about the many museums and places to see around Selcuk, which is quite rich about that. But the most famous, headlining place among these is surely the Ephesus. Dating back to the neolithic times and living its golden age in Hellenistic and Roman periods, Ephesus however lost its attractiveness in centuries after the water strayed away, removing its natural seaport feature. Losing popularity means that it is more unlikely to be repaired and undergone restorations after getting damaged by the natural disasters and devastating wars, therefore it is more likely to be abandoned and ruined. This is actually what happened gradually under the Ottoman rule, until it was discovered by the European archeologists in the nineteenth century. Today, Ephesus carries the UNESCO World Heritage Site title, and hosts its visitors with all the confidence of that. Of course, with all its fascination… You can see the visitors’ information here (unfortunately only in Turkish).

Virgin Mary House
Near Selcuk, over the Mound Bulbul (Bulbuldagi), Virgin Mary (Meryemana) House is the place where Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus is believed to live her final years and it is now kind of a pilgrimage site for the Christians. Not only for them, but considered as a sacred place for all, visits to the Virgin Mary House is always in tranquillity and spiritual atmosphere. One reaches the Church of Virgin Mary under the ancient trees, prays and lights a candle, makes a wish. And then goes back to the starting point through an alternate, green path with breathtaking forest scenery. It is actually a visit in contrast to that of Ephesus: Open-air sun heat versus the shadowy chill beneath the forest sky, the noise of the crowded tourist groups against respectful silence, stony scenery against green scenery. You can find the visitors’ information here.

Famous worldwide for being “armageddon-proof” in 2012, always known locally as a very beautiful village, Sirince is mostly the classical ending to an Ephesus-themed excursion. But it has its own attractions worth spending a whole day. Formally, its main source of income is from fruits, rather than animals. For the last several years, tourism has also been added for that set of sources. In this sense, it is possible to say that Sirince is able to create and market its own brands and traditions. The most famous among these is the home-made fruit wines. You can find many cafe-shops to buy these wines in their authentic bottle covers or to taste each while having some rest.

Photo credits
Header photo, sight from Guvercinada: Cevdet Erbay, over Unsplash.
Güvercinada: Lutz Langer, over Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Kuşadası: Zeynel Cebeci, CC BY-SA 4.0 Link
National Park: Elelicht, CC BY-SA 3.0 Link
Ephesus: Metuboy, CC BY-SA 4.0 Link
Virgin Mary House: Rita1234, CC BY-SA 3.0 Link
Şirince: Peter Tritthart, CC BY 3.0 Link