Foaming sea, beautiful beaches and over 350 days of sunshine a year. No wonder Kusadasi has grown into one of Turkey’s important sea-resorts. The ancient ruins of the fortress and its gates are a reminder of the impact the Ottomans had on the city at the beginning of the 15th century. These days, you’ll still see old houses in narrow streets altered with more fashionable streets, such as the ‘Barlar Sokak’, the place to go to when you’re looking for restaurants and entertainment when the sun sets over the palm-lined boulevard of this harbour town.
The Pigeon Island (just off the coast) offers the ruins of a Byzantine castle (better known as the Pirate Castle) and some good views of the coastal town itself. Originally, the island was named ‘Bird Island’ but when the Ottomans decided to name the city like that (Kusadasi means Bird Island), the island was renamed Pigeon Island.
From Kusadasi, ferries leave to and for Italy or one of the Greek islands – there are daily ferries for Samos in summer. But before you rush off, Kusadasi is also an excellent city from which to explore impressive historical sights including Miletos and Ephesus and the rock formations at Pamukkale.
For those holidaying by cruise ship, Kusadasi is a favourite port of call. Whilst most will go off to the historical sights, some will prefer the local Bazaar. Here haggling is the order of the day! Whilst almost all traders will attempt to stop you, if something catches your eye, feel free to negotiate. All part of the fun.
Be aware also that this is one of Turkeys Genuine Fakes outlets. Here you will see every famous brand that you can think of, but beware of watches, which whilst cheap have a 50:50 chance of working on your return home.