Kuşadası is a coastal resort town in the Aydin Province of Aegean Turkey. It has become a popular holiday resort, especially for visitors from Northern and Western Europe. It has about 50,000 residents, although that grows significantly during the high season months of May to October.
Kusadasi takes its name from the Turkish for 'Bird Island', a reference to Pigeon Island, which is connected to the mainland of Kusadasi by a short causeway.
The name comes from 'kuş' (bird) and 'ada' (island), as the island has the shape of a bird's head (as seen from the sea). It was known as Ephesus Neopolis, in Greek (Ἔφεσος Νεόπολις), during the Byzantine era, and later as Scala Nova or Scala Nuova under the Genovese and Venetians. Kuş Adası was adopted in its place at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, citizens of Kuşadası often shorten the name to Ada.
The area has been a centre of art and culture since some of the earliest recorded history, and has been settled by many civilizations since being founded by the Leleges people in 3000 BC. Later settlers include the Aeolians in the 11th century BC and Ionians in the 9th. Originally, seamen and traders built a number of settlements along the coastline, including Neopolis.
An outpost of Ephesus in ancient Ionia, known as Pygela (Πύγελα), the area between the Büyük Menderes (Maeander) and Gediz (Hermos) rivers, the original Neopolis, is thought to have been founded on the nearby point of Yılancı Burnu. Later settlements were probably built on the hillside of Pilavtepe, in the district called Andızkulesi today. Kuşadası was a minor port frequented by vessels trading along the Aegean coast. In antiquity it was overshadowed by Ephesus, until Ephesus' harbor silted up. From the 7th century BC onwards the coast was ruled by Lydians from their capital at Sardis, then from 546 BC the Persians, and from 334 BC, along with all of Anatolia, the coast was conquered by Alexander the Great. From that point on the coastal cities in Anatolia became a centre of Hellenistic culture.
Rome and Christianity
The Roman Empire took possession of the coast in the 2nd century BC and made it their provincial capital in the early years of Christianity. Saint John the Evangelist and (according to Roman Catholic sacred tradition) the Virgin Mary both came to live in the area, which in the Christian era became known as "Ania".
As Byzantine, Venetian and Genoese shippers began to trade along the coast, the port was re-founded (by the name of Scala Nuova or Scala Nova - "new port"), a garrison was placed on the island, and the town centre shifted from the hillside to the coast.
The Turkish era
Long afterwards, in 1834, the castle and garrison on the island were rebuilt and expanded, becoming the focus of the town. This was to such an extent that people began to refer to the whole town as Kuşadası (bird island). However, in the 19th century, trade began to decline in favor of other nearby cities with the opening of the İzmir-Selçuk-Aydın railway, which forewent Kuşadası.
During the Turkish War of Independence, Kuşadası was occupied from 1919-1922, first by Italian troops between 14 May 1919 and 24 May 1922, and then by Greek troops. The Turkish forces eventually gained control of the city on September 7, 1922.
Under the Republic of Turkey, the Greek population was exchanged for Turkish people as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922. It was a district in İzmir Province until its transfer to Aydın Province in 27 June 1957.
The city is situated along a gulf of the same name in the Aegean, with the island of Güvercin Ada connected to the mainland by a narrow passage on one end, and the mountain of Kese Dağı behind.
It is located 95 km (59 mi) south of İzmir, the area's metropolitan centre, and 71 km (44 mi) from the provincial seat of Aydın. Its neighbours are Selçuk from north, Germencik from north-east and Söke from east and south.
Kuşadası caters to tourists arriving by land, or from the port for cruise ship passengers heading to Ephesus. In a controversial deal in 2003, the previously public-owned port was leased to a private company and renovated to attract luxury cruise liners. The Grand Princess docks here, along with other cruise ships.
The area features several well-known local beaches, including Ladies Beach, the beach at the centrum, the beaches between the Batıhan Hotel and the Nazilli Site, the beach at Güzelçamlı, and the Dilek Peninsula National Park beach, referred to by locals as simply Milli Park.
Agents sell holiday flats and villas. ٍSuch as a massive Project called Star neighborhood City, Villas Project Such as Beverly hills
the city consider a secure investment for land and apartments as per statistics the capital appreciation up to 7%
There are ice-cream, carpet, leather, and software vendors, as well as bookshops selling books in English, German, Russian and other languages.
Relatively old houses near the seafront, some of them converted to bars and cafes, are the remnants of old Kuşadası, which has with time become a modern, European-like town in appearance. The hills behind have been settled with large hotels and blocks of holiday flats. The building boom in the late 1980s and onwards has continued well into the hinterlands of Kuşadası.
Kuşadası falls within the area code (+90) 256, which is also shared by some nearby inland cities and towns, such as Aydın.
Transportation - Get In
Visitors can arrive by highway (from north, south, and east), ferries (from Samos) or cruise ships, which ply the Eastern Mediterranean. Docks are right downtown, and terminals offer a good selection of stores including a duty-free shop.
Transportation - Get Around
Taxi drivers in Kusadasi tend to be helpful and are normally happy to give you recommendations for restaurants, et al. But you must be careful and guard against fake taxis and scammers; make sure that the identification plate of the taxi starts with 09 T .
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The "downtown" area near the waterfront is quite modern, with many stores and an open air bazaar. Offerings range from typical souvenirs to fine jewelry and Turkish rugs. Hawkers frequently implore passersby to come inside, but with patience, visitors can find quality items at prices often somewhat better than in large cities. Bargaining is expected, and essential in the bazaar.
- Mosaic Rugs, Mahmut Esat Bozkurt Cad. No:8, . Located next to the Port, a showroom displaying traditional Turkish handmade silk and wool carpets with an exhibition area where staff happily explain the rug making process. Learn about silk production, natural color dyes and the art of traditional carpet weaving. No obligation to buy, but should you wish to purchase a traditional Turkish rug to adorn your home then world wide delivery is available.
Beaches in Kusadasi
There are numerous beaches in Kusadasi, All with one thing in common crystal clear waters and picture perfect weather. Water sports such as the banana boat, jet ski, pedalos, and para sailing are available on some of the busier beaches and sun-beds and umbrellas can be rented for a small fee.
Situated between the Harbour and the Marina it is very popular because of it’s close proximity to the town and a large number of hotels. With a magnificent view over Pigeon Island and the spectacular cruiseships docked in the port, it makes for an ideal place to sunbathe and watch the world go by. There are sun beds, beach umbrellas and a small cafe on the beach and over the road there is a variety of cafes and shops along the boulevard.
Ladies Beach – known in Turkish as Kadinlar Denizi, is one of the most popular and busiest beaches in Kusadasi.
The name derived from the time the beach was segregated for female bathers only. Nowadays Ladies Beach is open to all and with a palm tree lined promenade full of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and the many hotels it is like a resort in itself. Ladies Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area, not only because of it’s excellent position close to the center of Kusadasi, but also because of the clean, shallow waters, 1km of sandy beach and facilities available such as water sports, changing rooms, umbrellas, sun beds, and toilets. Lifeguards are also on duty between 08.00 – 19.00.
The evening sunsets at Ladies Beach are not to be missed. Sip a glass of wine or an ice cold Efes in one of the many cafes whilst gazing at the breath taking sunset behind the Greek Island of Samos, is a memory everyone will treasure and take home with them.
Whether you like lazy days swimming and sunbathing, browsing around souvenir shops, relaxing in one of the many beach front cafes or an action packed day of water sports – Ladies Beach has it all.
"Ladies Beach" minibuses (dolmus) will take you directly from the center of Kusadasi to Ladies beach every few minutes. It takes 15 minutes to walk there from Kusadasi.
Over the years Long Beach, which got it’s name from the fact it’s 18 km’s long, has been divided up into sections as more and more cafeterias have opened along the coast, and gave that part of the beach their names. Nowadays only the beginning of the whole beach front is called Long Beach, and this is the part with the most activities. Aqua Center, one of Kusadasi’s three water parks is also located on Long Beach. Kusadasi Long Beach is 6km south of Kusadasi and can be reached by “Sahil Siteleri” minibuses (dolmus) in every 15 minutes.
Diamond Beach – Gold Beach
Diamond Beach / Gold Beach – (Show on the Map) – Mainly called Gold Beach, this part is in front of the old holiday resort Nazilli Sitesi and Aydin Tur Sitesi. This part of the beach is also called “Siteler” meaning the “sites”, as this was where the most holiday houses were originally. On the way from the main road to the beach you will pass the Nazilli Bazaar, a great place for fun shopping. Further along are many small restaurants making the Turkish Gozleme, and other Turkish snacks. On the beach are also some small cafeterias.
Silver Sand Beach
The Silver Sand Beach– is located in the SSK area. This is the name of a very old holiday complex of the people working in the SSK (social security in Turkey), located at the beach front. On the beach front is a lovely cafeteria offering snacks and drinks during the day and dinner in the evenings. Silver Sand Beach is easy to reach from Kusadasi, and the “Davutlar” minibuses pass by Silver Sand Beach. However, there are 2 Davutlar bus lines, and you need to ask for the SSK, or directly Silver Beach.
Paradise Beach – comes after the Silver Sand Beach. At Paradise Beach are some small restaurants, cafes and bars along the road and along the beach, sun beds and umbrellas, a small fish market open in the summer season only, a pastry shop, and a “Healthy massage for the tired body” massage service. The same Davutlar minibus as Silver Sands will take you there. To be sure that you have the right bus, ask for the “Mersin Beach Hotel”.
Love Beach – is the last part of the beach before Guzelcamli, that has an offical name. There is a shop by the beach and a small cafeteria which also serves Turkish breakfasts. At the beginning of Love Beach is a small marina with speed boats and fishing boats docked, and next to it is a cafe open all year round offering snacks and drinks, and also BBQ services for the picnic area next door. To reach Love Beach, you can take the Davutlar minibus, asking for “Sevgi Plaji”, which means “Love Beach” in Turkish.
3 km away from the town center but there are dolmus until 24.00. One of the other popular beach in Kusadasi with its cleanness. Kustur beach is not a very crowded beach as ladies beach. Umbrellas sun beds, toilet , cafes are available on the beach. It’s mostly sandy but some places are pebbly as well.
National Park Beach
National Park Beach – (Show on the Map) – Not only for Kusadasi area but it is also a very significant beach in Europe. There are some small bays in the national park. It’s one of the popular places in Kusadasi and is a place worth to see with its nature. National park is 30km away from town center but it is easy to reach by dolmus. It gives chances to have a picnic under the trees when watching the sea.
Nearly all bays toilets and cafes are available. National park has the cleanest waters in Kusadasi. Kusadasi.biz team also advice you to visit the national park for the ones who are planning to come to Kusadasi.
Things to do
There are some good beaches both south and north of Kusadasi. All beaches are commercialized with hotels surrounding them. South of Kusadasi is the ladies beach, lost paradise beach and the long beach
- The World’s Most Beautiful Clean Beaches in Kusadasi. The Kusadasi Beaches are world-famous beaches. Kusadasi beaches have received Blue Flag for clean sea and unique sand. Caretta Caretta sea turtles prefer lay eggs to Kusadasi Davutlar Beach. All Kusadasi beaches have sand and After 50 meters the depth be 160 centimeters.
Kusadasi nightlife can get very busy during the summer and offers many entertainments to nearly every age group. Much nightlife in Kusadasi centers around the Bars Street, which is well known to vacationers.