Me and my boyfriend recently took a 10 day trip to Kuşadası in Turkey and had the most wonderful time. Kuşadası is a beach resort town on Turkey’s western Aegean coast. Due to its close proximity to the Ancient City of Ephesus, the town is a major cruise ship destination.
Its seafront promenade, marina, and harbor are lined with hotels and restaurants. The population of Kuşadası is just under 70,000, but during the summer months swarms of people flock to the town; tourists, seasonal staff and people who have holiday homes in the area. As a result, the town can see nearly half a million people throughout the summer period.
We visited in September, towards the end of the season. Throughout our stay the temperatures never dropped out of the 30s during the day. We had sunshine for the full duration of our holiday, something that was very much-needed!
Here is a round-up of things to do in Kuşadası if this destination is on your radar.
Visit a Hamam and experience a traditional Turkish Bath
A visit to a Hamam early on in your visit to Turkey is recommended, in order to prep your skin for the tan that you are likely to get on your trip. We visited a traditional turkish bath on our 3rd day in Kuşadası, and it was such a fun experience. First off, you are led to a sauna, that on first entering does not seem that hot. But within minutes our bodies were heating up and producing sweat, raising our body temperature and cleansing our skin through the release of toxins. After 10 minutes or so in the sauna, we were then taken to the bathing area, showered down and then laid down on marble. Our bodies were washed with a traditional turkish soap method, then rubbed down with an exfoliation mitt to remove dead skin. Afterwards we were given a hard massage across our legs, arms and shoulders, before having a bucket of water thrown over us. It was quite an experience! After this we both decided to extend our visit and have a full body chocolate massage, which smelt incredible. Our feet were also scrubbed with a large hard pumice stone which made me giggle A LOT. After all of this we felt completely relaxed and pampered, and spend the rest of the day lazing around the pool.
Eat at Cafe Roma
Kuşadası has many places to eat, you are definitely spilt for choice! One of our favourite places was Cafe Roma, a small outdoor restaurant on the marina front, close to the port stop. I had an amazing banana and chocolate pancake. My boyfriend has a wonderful kiwi and strawberry fruit dish which looked like a work of art. Yum!
Visit Kuşadası Market
Kuşadası is a shopping haven, with a bustling market full of turkish goods. It is famed for its amazing selection of leather items. We spent a couple of evenings wandering around the pretty markets. Stall holders really want your business and so you will often get called out to come in and take a look. Haggling is very much encouraged, and expected, so many bargains can be found!
Drink Turkish Tea
Turkish tea is delicious, and can be found everywhere is Kuşadası. It is also extremely cheap, so I had quite a bit of it during my stay. It comes in a lovely glass cup with a saucer and some sugar. You can get various flavours of turkish tea, and my boyfriend really enjoyed turkish apple tea.
Cruise the Aegean Coastline on a Boat Trip
Towards the end of our stay, we went on an on day boat trip around the Turkish coastline and around the Greek Island of Samos. The boat left around 9.30 and returned at 5.30pm. During that time, we cruised to Samos before stopping off at various coves along the coast to swim and explore. It was such a wonderful trip; the sea in some parts of this area are crystal clear and the sand white. It was a really hot day so we spent our time on deck sunbathing at the top of the boat. Traditional turkish music played throughout the trip and people got up to dance some traditional turkish dances.
Visit The Ancient City of Ephesus
Ephesus is an ancient city in Turkey’s Central Aegean region, near modern-day Selçuk, around half an hour from Kuşadası. Its excavated remains reflect centuries of history, from classical Greece to the Roman Empire – when it was the Mediterranean’s main commercial center – to the spread of Christianity. A bus picked us up from our hotel and after picking up some other tourists along the way, we made our way to Ephesus by coach. We had a wonderful tour guide on the coach, who talked about things of interest on the journey, such as the trees that lined the roads and what fruits they produced. He talked about the history of Turkey and was clearly very passionate about his country and its history. Once at Ephesus we spend around 3 hours walking and exploring this amazing place. Only 10% of Ephesus has actually been discovered, and the 10% available to explore is huge! We had such a great time walking around and learning some fascinating things from our wonderful tour guide. He was so clued up about Ephesus and he really made the tour a great experience. It was very hot the day we visited, so lots of water and sun cream is highly advised!
Kuşadası was a wonderful place to visit, a perfect balance of relaxation and exploration for 10 days. See you again Turkey!
Street photography by my boyfriend Andrew Mackenzie Photography: