Kusadasi, home to CLC World’s resort Kusadasi Golf & Spa, is a resort town and popular destination for tourists visiting this exquisite country. Love seafood and fun holidays? You’re in the right place. There’s also a lively atmosphere, excellent shopping and great attractions within easy reach.
Got 48 hours in Kusadasi? Then we’ve got a great itinerary for you.
You’ll need your energy, so start the day right with a hearty Turkish breakfast (they really don’t do any other kind). Tuck into a selection of cheeses, olives, tomato or cucumbers, butter, honey, jam, omelette and bread, all washed down with Turkish tea or a thick Turkish coffee. Fuelled? Let’s go.
Jump on a Selcuk minibus, they run regularly, and head to Ephesus. Marvel at the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus and the House of the Virgin Mary. The excavated remains are incredible. With so much to see, you’ll easily spend the whole morning there.
A light lunch will keep you going through a relaxing afternoon as you head back into Kusadasi for some beach time. Ladies Beach is very popular with the locals, particularly on a Sunday. Its Turkish name Kadınlar Denizi comes from the Ottoman period, when only women were allowed to swim there.
Alternatively, if you’re staying at Kusadasi Golf & Spa, you have access to the resort’s very own, private Beach Club. Relax on the sandy beach, dip your toes in the sparkling Aegean Sea and perhaps enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the Beach Club’s bar.
With sun-kissed skin and memories of amazing Ephesus it’s time for an evening in the town of Kusadasi. Pop into the bazaar (actually two – the Grand Bazaar and Orient Bazaar) for some excellent deals. Under the light of hundreds of beautiful coloured lamps, haggle for the best price (it’s expected) and now you’ve made the ‘deal of a lifetime’!
The harbour is lively, with Pigeon island at one end and an opulent marina at the other. Stroll along the harbour, grab a bit to eat, enjoy a drink, see and be seen.
The modern Atatürk Boulevard has restaurants to suit every palate. For an Instragram moment, stop at El Heykeli, about half-way along where the land juts about with wonderful views and a sculpture of a hand releasing doves.
While Day One was doves, shopping and archaeological splendour, Day Two is pigeon and natural wonders.
Back in Kusadasi town, follow the 350 metre causeway out to Pigeon Island. A citadel built on the order of Hayreddin Barbarossa (1478-1546), the low outer walls date from the Greek Orlov Revolt in the 1770s.
Known locally as Güvercinada, it is laid out as a city park, with excellent photo opportunities gazing back to Kuşadası, its harbour and the backdrop of the countryside. One exhibit is the skeleton of a fin whale that was found at the Dilek Peninsula.
Hire a car and with a picnic in the boot, make your way, only a few kilometres south, to the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, which consists of a rocky peninsula with Mount Mycale along its spine, and the delta of the Büyük Menderes River. The biodiversity is dazzling with 800 different plant species, jackals and hyenas, pelicans and plovers.
There are also remote coves perfect for a refreshing dip. You can also discover the remnants of ancient civilisation at Karina, The Panionium and Priene.
Filled with incredible views, your day of wonder is not yet over. Head to the top of Gazibegendi Hill at sunset for a panoramic view across the city. Gazibegendi literally means, “Loved by the Veteran”, Atatürk’s (modern Turkey’s founder) nickname.
On his visit here in 1924, he was especially taken with the panorama of the indented Aegean coastline. To honour him there’s a Turkish flag and a bronze statue of Atatürk contemplating the view down to Güvercinada.
A café on site is great for a light refreshment as you talk over your fantastic day out.