Kusadasi is a beach resort town and a favorite cruise ship destination. It is only 12 miles from the port to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the areas major attractions. Kusadasi is considered one of the most important destination cities in the Aegean because of its important historical sites that include Ephesus and its House of the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Artemis, Seven Sleepers, Didyma, Priene, Miletos, Hierapolis – and the spa town of Pamukkale.
Kusadasi has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures during the day are usually in the mid to high 90’s. The city is sunny for 300 days a year, making it a popular winter vacation destination.
Where Your Ship Docks
Cruise ships tie up at a pier near the waterfront of the city and Pigeon Island. Kusadasi is a small resort town that offers extensive shopping, nice beaches and easy access to some of the most impressive ruins in the world.
An easy walk from the pier is Scala Nuoava Village and its bazaar for shopping that will take only a couple of minutes, it’s only 5 minutes to the nearest grocier and pharmacy, 10 minutes to Hand of Peace Statue and 15 minutes to Pigeon Island with its Güvercinada Fortress and picturesque harbor. For the most popular destinations near the port a tour is highly recommended. If you want to go off on your own there are a number of the major rental car companies near the port. Rates are usually under $25 a day.
The currency is the Turkish Lira with an exchange rate of around 1 Lira to US$0.15. Credit cards are welcome at most businesses and there are ATM machines and exchange offices near the port.
Kusadasi offers some excellent shopping bargains like Persian rugs but it is most famous for its location near some of the most significant archaeological sites in the world. It is also popular for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife and the hospitality of its people.
The area was once the gateway to Asia from Europe and boasted one of the most prosperous cities in the region. The Greek/Roman city of Ephesus. It was visited by St. Paul and St. John and during those visits the apostles christianized the city. It is also where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent the last years of her life.
Ephesus – was an ancient Greek city on the coast. It was built in the 10th century BC by Ionian Greek colonists. The legend says that Androclos when he searched for a new Greek settlement site, he turned to the Delphi oracles for guidance. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.
House of the Virgin Mary – The house was discovered in the 19th century from the descriptions in the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, a Roman Catholic nun and visionary. The Catholic Church has never taken a position on the authenticity of the house, yet it still attracts a steady flow of pilgrims. Anne Catherine Emmerich was sainted by Pope John Paul II.
The Temple of Artemis was also called Artemesium, temple at Ephesus and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancint World. The massive temple was built by Croesus, king of Lydia, about 550 BC.
The Cave of the Seven Sleepers – In Christian and Islamic tradition, the Seven Sleepers is a story of a group of youths who hid inside the cave near the city of Ephesus around 250 AD to escape religious persecution and emerged some 300 years later looking just as they had when they entered.
Didyma Priene and Miletos – The major ruins of Didyma are located a short distance to the northwest. It sits on what in antiquity formed the Milesian Peninsula. Didyma is the most significant site in the territory of the great ancient city of Miletus. Historically the connection between Miletus and Didyma was by ship, but sediments from the Meander River silted up and closed the harbor of Miletus.
Hierapolis – Pamukkale – “Holy City” is about 50 miles west of Kusadasi and was an ancient Greek city sited on hot springs in classical Phrygia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.