This stunning resort town is a stone’s throw away from Ephesus, making it an ideal base. It was once just a picturesque fishing village and still boasts crystal clear waters and sensational beaches.
Dominating the gulf bearing the same name in the Aegean Coast, Kuşadası is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey. Thanks to its clear sea, beautiful nature, wide harbour and proximity to the ancient cities, Kuşadası was one of the earliest tourism destinations and it still continues to be popular with its lovely beaches, sun, cool breezes. It has many restaurants serving delicious Aegean food and has some top-quality hotels. It also has many outdoor activities such as trekking and scuba-diving which all go to make Kuşadası a lovely holiday resort to suit all expectations.
Through thousands of years, Kuşadası has been an important harbour city. Due to its strategical importance, the city fell under domination of different civilizations; for a while it even was home to the most famous pirates of the Mediterranean. Built in 1618, Öküz Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai proves that the city was a trade centre during the Ottoman Empire. It has hosted merchants from many nations, soldiers in military campaigns and adventurous travellers for hundreds of years. Today the caravanserai serves as a hotel for visitors who want to spend the night in a historical setting. Kaleiçi Mosque is also another Ottoman Structure in Kuşadası.
One of the most beautiful spots in Kuşadası is Güvercinada or Pigeon Island, which is attached to the mainland by a causeway and is home to a fortress, built in Byzantine Period. Literally meaning ‘Bird Island’, Kuşadası takes its name from this tiny island, once a shelter for pigeons. The fortress, surrounding the island, was later rebuilt by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, the famous admiral of the Ottoman Navy. To the locals this fortress is also known as "Pirate Fortress" because it was used to protect the harbour from pirates for many years. As well as historical structures, visitors should also visit the famous and popular shopping centre in the Kaleiçi quarter, where there is also night-long entertainment.