Ephesus is one of Turkey's major sightseeing attractions. This vast and beautiful Greco-Roman city was once home to 250,000 people, and the glorious monuments that remain point to it being a vibrant and rich metropolis.
Supposedly founded by the Ionian prince Androclus in the 10th century BCE, Ephesus was not only a center of trade but a great pilgrimage center, with the Temple of Artemis built in worship of the mother goddess.
You can find a beach for swimming even in the city center. While there is a beach right in the middle of Kusadasi the town’s most famous swimming spot is Ladies Beach. You can get there in minutes by taking a dolmus from the times when men and women did not bathe in the sea together. However, nowadays that is most certainly not the case. The long open beach, lined with palm trees, has numerous outlets providing food, drink and deserves its popularity.
Ayasuluk Castle, locally known as Ayasuluk Kalesi or Selçuk Kalesi, lies on a hill in the town of Selçuk, in the province of Izmir in Turkey. It is situated just a mile from the site of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus. Ephesus was initially a harbour city but the continually silting up of its harbour eventually made it an inland site situated 5 km from the sea at present. At the beginning of the Byzantine era, Ephesus was still predominantly at its harbour location. During the 6th century the city declined and was split up. The old city at the harbour was enclosed by a defensive wall, making it considerably smaller and thus better to defend. The Ayasuluk hill had been part of the outskirts of the city and was now a mile outside the city. The Byzantines then built Ayasuluk Castle, using stones from disused Greek and Roman buildings, for its construction. On the slope of the hill they built the Basilica of St. John. Defensive walls coming down from the castle, encompassed the basilica. Effectively turning the site in a citadel with the castle as an upper castle and the area with the basilica as a lower castle.
Şirince is a cute little village with a fun history, beautiful views, wonderful food, hospitality, and so much more. It's perhaps the perfect synthesis of a traditional Turkish village and traditional Greek village. In fact, the town, whose name actually means "cute" in Turkish, used to be called "Çirkince," meaning "ugly." This was an ironic take on the beauty of the village and also used to ward off others. As people wised up to how spectacular the village's location and architecture really was, they changed the name to Şirince in 1926.
Dilek Peninsula National Park
Dilek Peninsula National Park in Kusadasi ( Dilek Peninsula – Great Menderes Delta National Park) is among the most important natural heritages of Turkey, with an area of 27.598 hectares. Dilek Peninsula, declared in 1966 as a national park, covers 10.985 hectares. Great Menderes Delta, declared in 1994 as national park, covers 16.613 hectares. The national park can be reached via the Kusadasi (Kuşadası) – Soke (Söke) highway, and lies roughly in the middle of the two towns. It is possible to stay in the national park in tents or caravans, and there is food available. Dilek Peninsula National Park in Kusadasi has extraordinary beauty of Mediterranean flora with blue and emerald colored clean beaches.
Saint John's Basilica
The impressive ruins of the Byzantine Church of St. John mark the spot where St John the Evangelist was buried.The church is on the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill near the center of Selçuk. St John is believed to have spent the last years of his life in Ephesus writing his version of the Gospel. Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) believed that a tomb dating from the 300s was John's, so he built a great church above it in the 500s.In later centuries the ruined church was pillaged for building materials, but restoration allows you to see its extent and to imagine its beauties.