Kusadasi is one of Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan resorts and a stopping off point for the big cruise-liners. It is a good all round resort, offering great beaches, excellent shopping and some serious nightlife. Kusadasi literally means ‘Bird Island’ and takes its name from the tiny islet known as Güvercin Adasý or Pigeon Island, which is attached to the mainland by a causeway and boasts a 14th century Genoese fort. There are a number of sandy beaches in the area. Kadýnlar Plajý or ‘Ladies Beach’ is central but can get crowded so it is wiser in high season to head a little further out of the centre where the beaches are just as sandy but offer more space. Kaleiçi is the old centre of the town and is a popular shopping and entertainment area. The Ottoman Kervansaray or traveler’s inn is now in private hands but is an impressive building and a landmark in the town centre. Today’s travelers can find comfort in a full range of accommodation in all categories and of all sizes.
Kusadasi’s setting also makes it a good base for those wanting to visit Ephesus which is only approximately 30 minutes’ drive away.
It is also surrounded by some of Turkey’s most beautiful national park including the Kalamaki National Park, which lies on the Dilek Peninsula, approx. 30 kms to the south. Dense pine trees cover the mountains which plunge dramatically down to beaches and crystal-clear sea. Some of Turkey’s rarest wild animals can be found here including the Anatolian cheetah and wild horses. Sundays are often busy with local visitors. Another stunning spot in the vicinity is Lake Bafa which is approx, 80 kms south east of Kusadasi.