Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast and the center of the seaside district. The city stands on a bay in the Aegean with the peninsula of Guvercin Ada sticking out into the sea; this is also where the city received its name from.
Kusadasi has a residential population of 65,000 rising to over half a million during the summer when the large resort fills with tourists (from Turkey itself, northern Europe and the Balkans), plus the hotel staff, bar staff, construction workers, and drivers who are needed to work in the restaurants servicing all these visitors. In addition to the visitors from overseas there is a substantial community of foreigners resident in the area.
Kusadasi caters to tourists, arriving by land, and as the port for cruise ship passengers heading to Ephesus. There are beaches including the Ladies Beach, the beach at the centrum, the beaches between the Batihan Hotel and the Nazilli Site, Guzelcamli Town beach and the Dilek Peninsula National Park beach. There are vendors of ice-cream, carpets, leather, and software, and bookshops selling books in English, German, Russian and other languages.
There are many opportunities to spend time with the family or even enjoy a relaxing day all alone by visiting the City Walls – There were once three gates. One remains today. The Kaleiçi Mosque built in 1618 for Ottoman Grand Vizier Öküz Kara Mehmed Pasha. The Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai is near the docks. It was built in 1618 as a strong-room for the goods of seamen. Guvercin Adasi or “Pigeon Island” in English – the peninsula at the end of the bay, has a castle and swimming beaches, including a private beach and cafe with a view back across the bay to the harbor of Kuşadasi.
There are public beaches at the back of the peninsula, towards the open sea. Kirazli Village is traditional Turkish village 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from Kuşadasi. Yilanci Burnu is a second peninsula beyond Güvercin Ada, possibly the location of the original settlement of Neopolis. Some walls are visible. There are beaches and beach clubs here. Several aqua-parks with wave-pools, white-water slides are located near the town.
Kadikalesi – Venetian/Byzantine castle, 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) along the Kuşadasi-Davutlar road, Panionium – 25 km (16 mi) south of Kuşadasi, on the Davutlar-Güzelçamli road. Once the central meeting place of the Ionian League. The ruins are in poor condition and their authenticity is disputed.
Dilek Peninsula National Park is just south of Kuşadasi, and begins at the town of Güzelçamli many bays and beaches, including the bay of Kalamaki are located in this park. Many other relics left from the Ottoman Empire and its rich history can be found throughout.