MEET THE PARADISE OF THE AEGEAN SEA
THINGS TO DO?
Ephesus Ancient City
Remains found in Ephesus city, 19 km away from Kuşadası, shows that settlement dates back to 6000 BC. The city lived most of it’s prosperous times in Ancient Greek and Roman eras and is considered as one of the most valuable ancient cities that exists today, with its Artemis Temple, Celsus Library and theatre. In 2015, Ephesus earned its place in UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
House of the Virgin Mary
The stone and brick house, which is believed to be where Jesus’s mother, Mary, spent her last years, located on Mount Koressos, meaning ‘’Mount Nightingale’’. It was later converted into a church and was named as a Holy Place by Pope Pius XII in 1951, therefore becoming a place of pilgrimage and worship.
Cave of the Seven Sleepers
It is believed that this is the cave where seven Christian youths trying to escape persecution in the time of Roman emperor Decius, found shelter. Several tombs have been found in the cave that was later turned into a church in the Byzantine era. You can find inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers both on the tombs and on the church walls.
The monastery is located on Kuşadası’s Davutlar village, at an altitude of 600m for defense purposes, is predicted to be an 11th century Byzantine building. There are several rooms to explore including dining hall, kitchen, cellar, chapel, monk rooms and defence walls.
The cave is located on Dilek Yarımadası National Park’s entrance. All year round you can swim in the natural pool formed from the combination of both fresh mountain water and salty sea water. The cave’s depth is 4-5 meters, but under the rocks it could reach up to 8-10 meters.
Kuşadası National Park (Dilek Yarımadası – Büyük Menderes Delta National Park)
The park is 28 km away from Kuşadası and can be reached by taking Kuşadası-Söke road. It spreads through an area of 28.000 hectares and is the home to 28 different mammals, 42 different reptiles, 209 different types of birds and 804 species of plants. Panionion, the gathering place of İonia city, is also inside the park’s borders.
Öküz Mehmet Paşa Caravanserai
The stone-built caravanserai was built in 1618 by Öküz Mehmet Paşa and is near Kuşadası Port. It was restored in 1968 and serves as a hotel and touristic facility today.
On Güvercinada, which is a small island bound to Kuşadası through a breakwater, stands a castle. The castle has a history that goes back to the Byzantine Empire. Restored by the Ottomans, Güvercinada Castle consists of two parts; one is the inner castle built by Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and the other is outer castle walls built by İlyas Ağa. The castle was designed as an defensive outpost preventing attacks that may come from the sea and other islands.
Şirince, 30 km away from Kuşadası, is a delightful mountain village with cobble-stone paths and houses dating back to 18th and 19th Century. It is thought that the village was set high in the hills to avoid pirate attacks. Şirince is especially famous for its viniculture and vines and is considered as one of the few areas which preserved its original historic architecture.