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Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

Maine
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Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

Hi,

This is my first post in a travel forum. I'm traveling with my 72-year-old mother to Greece and Turkey for 2 weeks in April to fulfill a life long dream of hers. She has chosen to visit Athens for several days, then Ephesus and, finally, Istanbul for 5-6 days. We want to take a ferry to Turkey in order to visit Ephesus on our way to Istanbul.

My question is this: Is it realistic to think that we could disembark from an overnight ferry on Samos Island, take an early ferry to Kusadasi, take a bus to Selcuk, drop off luggage at bus station, taxi/walk to Ephesus, tour Ephesus, taxi/walk back to Selcuk and take a bus to Izmir for the night? The next day we would hope to take a train-ferry to Istanbul. Does this seem possible? I welcome any suggestions as I'm just beginning to plan the trip.

Thanks so much!

Carolyn

Maine
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1. Re: Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

I'm thinking that this plan may be overreaching and am hoping to stay down in the Kusadasi/Ephesus area and explore some other historic sites for a day or two before heading to Istanbul. Do any of you have ideas about other places in that area that would be interesting to add to our itinerary?

Am I in the right place to ask these questions?

Thank you,

Carolyn

Hurghada, Egypt
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2. Re: Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

Hello Carolyn, I agree your original plan was probably overly ambitious and there is plenty to see in and around the town of Selçuk apart from Ephesus, of course. A few suggestions:

Mary’s House (Meryemana) which many believe the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. This peaceful site is sacred to both Christians and Muslims.

İsa Bey Mosque, built in the late fourteenth-century, and ancient baths;

Ayasoluk Hill and the Basillica of St. John – the final resting place of the Evangelist.

The Temple of Artemis (Artemision), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Scant remains now but stunning panorama across Selçuk, with views of Ayasoluk Hill, the Basillica, İsa Bey Mosque and a glimpse of the ancient İsa Bey Baths built in 1364 just in front of the Mosque. A wonderful photo opportunity!

There’s also the Cave of the Seven Sleepers. In 250 AD, seven Christian youths fled the city to avoid persecution and took refuge in the cave. According to a touching legend they slept for 200 years and on awaking realised Christianity was now the main religion. When they died they were buried in the cave and a commemorative church built over their graves.

Then, of course, you may consider visiting the mountain village of Şirince just 8kms east of and above Selçuk. There is a regular Dolmuş (inexpensive, shared mini-bus) service from Selçuk. It's a well-preserved, originally Greek-built village and makes for a pleasant couple of hours or so exploring the cobbled streets, strolling through the small but interesting bazaar - and maybe sampling some of the wine for which the village is famous. However, the main highlight of a visit is the idyllic scenery and the distinctive domestic architecture.

And don’t forget to keep a look out for the Stork’s nests around the town! On the top of the remaining columns of the ancient Aqueduct system, for example on the same street as the Basillica.

If you don’t have your own transport, Selçuk is a fairly compact town and some of the places above are quite easily reached on foot from the centre; others by a short taxi or Dolmuş journey.

Enjoy your stay in this lovely town with your mother and please let me know if we can help further with your plans.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 14:28
Maine
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3. Re: Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

Thank you so much! This is perfect! Sirince sounds wonderful. My mother is set on not missing one moment in Istanbul because she is very interested in history. When I travel, I love the off-the-beaten-path places. I think this area should satisfy both of us. I am going to encourage at least a 2 night stay in the area of Selcuk to explore some of these places on our way to Istanbul.

Again, thank you!

Carolyn

Hurghada, Egypt
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4. Re: Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

Yes, you should try to include Şirince in your itinerary and April is an excellent time of year for a visit.

As with all these lovely locations, the word gets around and in the summer months the village can sometimes be very busy, especially at weekends.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 16:27
5. Re: Kusadasi to Izmir to Istanbul

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