Kusadasi is a popular resort town located on Turkey’s Aegean coast and is a gateway port for nearby cultural and religious attractions. The ancient Roman city of Ephesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located a mere half-hour drive away. The nearby town of Selcuk is home to the Basilica of St. John and the House of the Virgin Mary. These attractions are ideal for history and archeological enthusiasts.
Kusadasi might also be a fashionista’s dream. It’s the place to go if you want amazing knock-off designer goods. Just be sure to haggle! On our day trip to Kusadasi, we pushed pass all of the hecklers and made a beeline for a taxi that would take us to Ephesus. Ephesus is among the world’s best ancient sites and contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Grand Theatre and the much-photographed Library of Celsus which once held 12,000 scrolls. Tip: there’s a lot to see in Ephesus, so plan to spend at least an hour or more wandering the broad boulevards and snapping photos.
Not far away in the town of Selcuk, lie remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Be sure to also explore the ruins of the Basilica of St. John located near the reputed grave of St. John the Apostle. After exploring the ruins, head over the Selcuk Koftecisi located near Selcuk’s main square. Although we didn’t have to time to sample the cuisine, their veal meatballs are apparently delicious.
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Turkey is infamous for their high-quality rugs. If time permits, stop by one of the local rug dealers to learn more about the carpet weaving process or scoop up your very own Turkish rug. On our day trip, we stopped by Turkmen Art and Rug and learned how weavers use silk worms to produce beautiful silk carpets and gawked at all of the gorgeous handmade rugs. Tip: a genuine Turkish rug don’t come cheap but rugs in Selcuk might actually be priced lower compared to Istanbul.