Everyone has heard of Istanbul in Turkey, but I wonder how many people know about Kusadasi
I consider my geography to be pretty good but have to admit that I had not heard about Kusadasi until I found out that it was a port of call on my Eastern Mediterranean cruise. Kusadasi is a pleasant enough Turkish village – plenty of shops selling local goods – but what people come here to see are the famous ruins of Ephesus, in the village of Selcuk 30kms from Kusadasi.
Ephesus (Efes in Turkish) was one of the major Greek cities of ancient times, and is home to the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, (550BC) one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Walking through the ruins of this city is not to be missed; even if you are not very interested in ancient history you will find yourself absolutely captivated by the place.
Visiting the Ruins of Ephesus Turkey
It is vital to have a guide (either human or audio) in order to make the most of your experience. We chose to go on the tour offered by the cruise ship because we were worried about timing, but many fellow cruisers did their own tour very successfully and at a much more affordable price! You can even use public transport and hire your own personal guide when you get to the ruins. Make sure you have some local currency. We started at the top entrance and walked down through the ancient town; try and do the same route as it can get extremely hot and it is far more pleasant to be walking downhill! A leisurely stroll including all the sights and plenty of time for photographs will probably take you around 3 hours. The main sites are the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, the amphitheatre and the Temple of Hadrian.
Other things to do in the area
Ephesus was also an important Christian centre and this is purported to be where St Paul wrote the letter 1 Corinthians. Legend has it that Mary spent her last years here, and that the apostle John also lived in Ephesus at some time. You can visit Marys’ house, and the basilica of St John. If you are free to follow your own itinerary go into Selcuk for lunch – it is a very pleasant village with some great places to eat.
Things to take home with you
Fabulous Turkish delight – there are so many different varieties! Also visit a carpet shop and take home a beautiful hand-made carpet to remind you of Turkey every day.