Kuşadası is a beautiful port town in southern Turkey, about an hour outside of Izmir. It's just 18km away from Ephesus and Meryamana (the fabled final home of Mary, mother of Jesus). The town is nestled into the hillside and enjoys an amazing port that hosts cruise ships on a daily basis throughout the summer cruising season. The bizarre there is amazing, huge and clean. The shop owners are charming, kind and willing to negotiate a good deal. There are oodles of restaurants and bars and pubs. The location is great, the people are great and the atmosphere is fantastic. Check out my pictures for a little taste of what it's all about:
The library at Ephesus. I suggest going to Ephesus right at the time of opening or later in the day or early evening. The the height of the day it is extremely hot and overrun with all the tourists coming off the cruise ships. It costs about 20 TL to get in and it's well worth the price. I also suggest taking the horse carriages at the bottom gate to the top gate and then walking back down. It's nice to ride in the carriages and they take you to the Tomb of the Seven Sleepers. I think it cost at total of 40 TL to take the carriages and you can fit 4 people in, so it's not a bad deal and it's a nice way to see the gorgeous countryside.
As I said before, the area is stunning and a haven for cruise ships, but it's so beautiful that your sunset shots could literally be their own post cards.
This is a shot of one of the bizarre streets. It was typically quiet in the early hours of the day but picked up as the day went on and most shops didn't even think about closing until eleven pm or midnight.
This was the view from our budget hotel room. For my friend and I, it cost a total of 406 TL for 5 nights. The hotel was comfortable, clean but very basic but it suited our needs just fine. A great place to look for hotels is at booking.com.
This is the fabled site of Mary's final home: Meryamana. The house is not the original, but is continually rebuilt on the foundations of the original. The atmosphere here was amazing, serene and full of respect and reverence.