Kuşadası: The Favorite Resort in Aegean

Kuşadası is a resort district located by the Aegean Sea coast in Aydın, Turkey. Kuşadası is one of the greatest resort districts in Turkey. It is humble and worth seeing. The stunning Aegean Sea will welcome you on one side, on the other side, the historical beauties fascinate you even more. Kuşadası is suitable for all ages; elders can spend their days peacefully where the teenagers can be up all night. 

It is a very fun and alive district that there are a lot of things to do there. There are plenty of beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. Also, you can enjoy the view of the sea at the restaurants. Then, you can continue to the night at the nightclubs. It is almost impossible to get bored in Kuşadası. 

Where is Kuşadası Located on the Map of Turkey?

Kuşadası is located south of İzmir, north of Söke district and east coast of the Aegean Sea in Aydın Province on the Map of Turkey.

About the City

Kuşadası is attracted by tourists according to delightfully hot weather, especially in the summer. Kuşadası has a population of 121.493, but in the summer, this number is increased even more as some people come to their summer houses and the others come for vacations. 

The central district of Aydın which is Efeler is located in the northwest of Kuşadası, and it is 70 km away. It is 90 km away from İzmir and 157 km away from Çeşme and Bodrum. On the west of the Kuşadası, there is the Aegean Sea, on the north, south, and east there are mountains and hills.

The climate of the Kuşadası is the usual Mediterranean climate. In the summer, the weather is hot and dry whereas the winter passes as cold/warm and rainy. The possibility of snow is very low but not impossible. Also, in winter the humidity is very high. From November to March the humidity is between 70-78% on average. 

MonthsExpected Weather ForecastAverage Temperature 
JanuaryRainy and Cloudy7.8 oC (46.04 oF)
FebruaryRainy and Partly Cloud8.5 oC (47.3 oF)
MarchRainy and Clear11.1 oC (52.9 oF)
AprilClear and Sunny14.6 oC (58.3 oF)
MayClear and Sunny19.5 oC (67.1 oF)
JuneClear and Sunny24.8 oC (76.6 oF)
JulyClear and Sunny28.2 oC (82.7 oF)
AugustSunny28.4 oC (83.1 oF)
SeptemberSunny23.7 oC (74.6 oF)
OctoberPartly Sunny18.5 oC (65.3 oF)
NovemberPartly Cloudy13.5 oC (56.3 oF)
DecemberRainy and Cloudy9.1 oC (48.4 oF)

History of Kuşadası 

Even though the certain date and who founded Kuşadası is not known exactly, it is guessed that Ionians are the founders. In 1413 Kuşadası is joined to the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. From that to the present the Aydın city and Kuşadası belong to Turkey so that lots of Turkish works and pieces can be found in Kuşadası. The caravanserai and the walls that surround Kuşadası were built with the order of Mehmet Paşa.

There were three doors in the walls that provided the entrance to the city. At present, only one door which separates the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa Street and Kahramanlar Street is remaining. The other two doors cannot be kept. Güvercinada is an island that connects to Kuşadası with a road man-made now. Back in the Byzantium period, Güvercinada was a military base and in 1834 the island was completely restored and the famous castle of the island was built.

The name of Kuşadası was inspired by that castle. In the time of the Turkish War of Independence, Kuşadası was occupied by Italy and then Greece. However, the Kuşadası was saved from the Greek invasion on the 7th of September in 1922 and be the land of Turkey again. Kuşadası was the district of İzmir back in time and even some of the people still think of that. However, after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, in 1957 Kuşadası has become the district of Aydın. 

Getting to Kuşadası

There are plenty of options to get Kuşadası based on your locations and opportunities. The most preferred ways to get Kuşadası are by plane and by bus. If you have your vehicle, or you rented a car, it would be a great option for you.

By Plane

It is very easy to get Kuşadası after your land to İzmir. İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport is only 65 km(40 miles) away from Kuşadası. Also to İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport has direct flights from almost every city of Turkey that have airports including İstanbul, Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Samsun, Kayseri, etc. Also, there are direct flights from 65 countries. The main European countries have direct flights such as Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland, the UK and goes on.

After you arrived, you can either get on Havaş buses or you can use the airlines’ services if they are provided so. Besides, from the airport, you can also use public transportation. Get on the Denizli train from the airport and get off at the Selçuk station. After that, you can get on the Kuşadası mini-buses to get there. If you don’t want to use any of these, you can take a taxi or rent a car.

By Bus

Most of the big cities of Turkey and the districts around have direct buses to Kuşadası. From the south and north, the route of the buses is different. If you are coming from the Ankara, İstanbul, and İzmir route you will continue in the north by using the İzmir-Aydın highway. You will reach Selçuk at first; then continue to end up in Kuşadası. If you are coming from Aydın, Denizli and Antalya way you can use the Aydın-Söke highway to reach Kuşadası.

Besides these big cities, from the districts around Kuşadası, transportation is very easy. Also, the buses are departed very frequently.

CityKm / MileTravel duration by bus
Aydın71 km / 44.1 mil1 hours 27 minutes
Didim75.7 km / 47 mil1 hour 30 minutes
Muğla157.7 km / 98 mil1 hour 40 minutes (to Aydın)
Marmaris210.8 km / 131 mil2 hours 45 minutes
Bodrum153 km / 95 mil2 hours 55 minutes
Fethiye280.7 km / 174.4 mil4 hours 24 minutes (to Aydın)
İstanbul560 km / 347.9 mil8 hours 45 minutes
Ankara671.2 km / 417 mil9 hours 45 minutes
İzmir91 km / 56.5 mil1 hour 45 minutes
Denizli (Pamukkale)188.3 km / 117 mil3 hours 30 minutes
Nevşehir (Cappadocia)791 km / 491.5 mil13 hours
Antalya405.6 km / 252 mil 7 hours

Urban Transportation

Urban transportation is in Kuşadası very common and easy. Most of the time the transportation in Kuşadası is provided by mini-buses. These mini-buses are called “dolmuş”. You can’t see the big vehicles that much so that you can feel that small-town energy and sincerity. The mini-buses can bring you to wherever you want in Kuşadası including any beach, hotel, street, or neighborhood. 

The fee of the transportation varies between 2.00-3.50 Turkish Lira according to your destination. You should be in contact with the driver and tell them where you want to go as you pay the fee. The mini-buses do not stop in the stations, so you have to be careful and tell the driver that you want to get off. There are 7 mini-bus lines and each of the lines passes by the center of Kuşadası. The route of the mini-buses is written in the front but you can always check the schedule and route online.  

Top Things to Do in Kuşadası

In Kuşadası, you can find lots of things to do whether you want to enjoy the sea or see some beautiful historical landmarks. The nature of Kuşadası serves you the fascinating harmony of green and blue. If you don’t know Kuşadası well, here is a guide for you to know it better.

Güvercinada

Güvercinada is located on the edge of the gulf of Kuşadası. Especially in the evening, the lighting there will make Güvercinada even more charming. Back in the 1950s, transportation to there was only provided by sandals. The beauty of the Güvercinada saved from the 1830s to the present with the strong and long-lasting restoration process.

Güvercinada Castle is surrounded by the walls, also in the castle, there is a watchtower which is found interesting by the tourists. In the watchtower, several ship models and the skeleton of Fin whale which was stranded in 1998 are exhibited. You can reach Güvercinada easily by walking just for 10 minutes from the center of Kuşadası.  

Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park

Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park is located on the very edge of Dilek Mountain and the Aegean Sea. It is also known as the National Park of Kuşadası which gain the “National Park” statue in 1996. This national park not only serves you the stunning sea and view but it is also the home of many of the animals. Especially, the endangered animals and endemic species of animals and plants are living here safely.  

The entrance is 6 Turkish Lira for each individual and bicycles; 9 Turkish Lira for motorcycles and 18 TL for automobiles. The entrance fee is increased as the vehicle increased but still very affordable. Also, there is no time limitation. There are 4 bays in the park that you can enjoy swimming in the beautiful Aegean Sea and sunbath. Sunbeds are free in the bays but limited, so you have to act quickly to get yourself one.

Besides the sea, you can also enjoy doing picnic in nature. Sometimes wild pigs will be hanging around you but don’t worry they are familiar with people and cause no harm to you. Also, you can do trekking in nature. The facilities of jeep safari, horse safari, and ATV safari are available if you want to give it a try.

Ephesus Ancient City

Ephesus Ancient City is located in Selçuk district of İzmir and it is only 30 minutes away from Kuşadası. It is not only having the importance of the Aegean region but the whole of Turkey. It is predicted that the ancient city is built around B.C. 9000 and it was the hometown for Greeks and Romans. It was a “port city” back in time but this feature has been lost. 

In the city, there are leading Liman Street, Great Theatre, Celsus Library, and Artemis Temple. Artemis Temple belonged to Kybele the goddess of Ionians while they were living here. Also, the city is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Zeus Cave

Zeus Cave is found at the entrance of the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park and has a great historical value. The name of the cave is inspired by the sky god Zeus which is one of the most important gods in Greek mythology.

There are rumors that when the god of seas Poseidon was being mad at Zeus, he run upside down the seas with his prong. So that, when it has happened, Zeus was hiding there to defend himself from the anger of Poseidon. Also, there is one more rumor about the cave that says when the queens and princess were swimming there, they saw the half face of Zeus as they looked very carefully.

During the time, the rocks of the cave are abraded and the water of the sea is filled there. There is a little pond in there to freshen up in the very cold water. It is worth seeing. Make sure that you bring non-slip flip-flops or shoes when you visit the Zeus Cave because the rocks are very slippery. 

Hand Statue

The hand statue is the signature structure of Kuşadası that is found in İsmail Cem Camaraderie and Peace Square. The hand figure is in white and there are several black pigeons inside the hand. The statue symbolizes peace and unity. You can enjoy the stunning view of the sea when you go to see the statue. 

The park around the statue is very crowded in the evenings because in the morning and afternoon it is impossible the sit in the park. After all, the sun hit directly. However, you should come and watch the sunset here in the evenings. Imagine the beautiful photographs you can take there.

Hill of Lovers

Hill of lovers is located in Kese Mountain where you can enjoy the stunning view of Kuşadası. On the hill of lovers, the view of the endless Aegean Sea will fascinate you and pull you to itself. On the hill, there is a giant Atatürk statue which can be even seen from the center of Kuşadası. Güvercinada also will blink at you when you are there. There are pergolas around the hill so that you can sit and watch this beauty.

Hill of lovers is wanted to gain the value as a touristic area because of that there are some ideas and projects are planning for here. Building of view terraces, restaurants, amphitheater, tower and car park to revive this place and turn into a lively touristic place.

Öküz Mehmet Paşa Caravanserai 

One of the most important signature structures in Kuşadası is Öküz Mehmet Paşa Caravanserai has a two-staged and thick-walled structure. The mystic touched caravanserai was built in 1618 from the Öküz Mehmet Paşa who was the grand vizier back in time. It is located across the Aegean Port. It was restored several times and some of the rooms of caravanserai are turned in hotels in the present. Also, in the courtyard, there is an open-air restaurant which has 400 people capacity. 

Oleatrium Olive and Olive Oil Historical Museum

Oleatrium Olive and Olive Oil Historical Museum are opened to connect olive with Anatolia, Mediterranean, and Aegean. The museum can be called new since it was opened in 2011. The word “Oleatrium” is in Latin and has the meaning of olive courtyard. The location of the museum is in Davutlar town of Kuşadası. In the museum, you can learn the transformation of olives into olive oil from Ancient times in the best way.

In the exhibition rooms, the technologies that used in the production of olive oil and usage areas are presented in chronological order. Each of the exhibition rooms has different and appealing concepts such as Rome Period, cellar, winery, Roman bath, etc.

Adaland

Adaland is located in the Çamlimanı site of Kuşadası and it is a great complex of the aqua park that the families with children can have the time of their lives. In the facility, you can find slides, rafting, a pool, and any fun activity that can be done in the pool. Especially the children will never want to leave Adaland. The facility is free for 0-3 aged children. There are very special water slides that you can hardly found in anywhere.

You can enjoy turning 360 degrees in Loop Pink & Loop Blue slide or fly in the Slide & Fly, also the Amazon Family Slide is just made for the families. For the adults, the facility provides Jacuzzi, spa, and massage areas. So that, both you and your children can have fun at the same time. 

Beaches

There are lots of beaches in Kuşadası where you can enjoy the fascinating Aegean Sea while you are sunbathing. Many of the beaches do not require any entrance fee. Here are some of these beautiful beaches for you.

Ladies Beach

Ladies Beach is located 2-3 km away from the center of Kuşadası. You should follow the Güvercinada road to reach the beach. Even though the name of the beach is “Ladies”, anyone can enter the beach. The sea and the beach are sandy so it is soft to step on. Also, the sea is shallow and the families with children. It is safe and sound. Also, the entrance is free.

In Ladies Beach, there are showers and restrooms that you can use for free. If you want to get an umbrella or sunbed you have to pay rent but it is very affordable. You can do some shopping from the stores behind the beach if you want to take a look. 

Sevgi Beach

Sevgi Beach is located in Davutlar town of Kuşadası with its long and beautiful coastline. It is one of the most preferred beaches of all. Especially for the ones who have summer houses in Kuşadası usually prefer there. It is very crowded in the summer months so that you may want to go early to keep yourself a seat. There is no entrance fee but if you want to rent a sunbed you should pay a humble amount. Also, it is 24 hours open so if you want to hang out at the night it is available.

Kuştur Beach

Kuştur Beach is located in Kuştur area of Kuşadası and it has a blue-flagged sea. It is very close to the central of Kuşadası, but you can get there by bus line 1 in 15 minutes. The beach and the sea are sandy. However, sometimes you can encounter rocks in the sea, so it is good to be careful. The entrance is free but the umbrellas and sunbeds are here for rent if you want. 

Day Trips from Kuşadası

If you want to explore more about Kuşadası and around, you have to experience the day trips. Especially, your mind will be blown by the hidden and beautiful bays in the stunning Aegean Sea. If you want to know the opportunities, here is a guide for you.

Boat Trips

Boat trips are the best options if you don’t want to spend all of your days in a hotel. The freshness of the Aegean Sea in the open air. If you are on vacation with a crowded group of people, boat trips are best for you. You will have a really great and fun time. You can discover the hidden bays of the Kuşadası with the boat trips. The boat trips may have slightly different routes but the big portion of the routes are the same for them.

If you come to Kuşadası and go on a boat trip you have to visit Soğuksu Bay, Kelebek Bay, and Pine Bay. The boat trips usually last around 7 hours. The trip starts in the morning and ended in the afternoon. Also, the trips include lunch. You have to be on the boat at least 20 minutes before the trip. Swim as much as you can and enjoy the beautiful water of the sea.

Samos Island Trip

If you have a passport and visa if it is required for you, you have to see Samos Island before you return. Samos Island is also known as Sisam Island is one of the most charming Greek Islands and it is very close to Kuşadası. The clear water, the stunning view, and the sun will load you lots of energy. Getting to Samos Island is takes 1 hour 30 minutes of ship trip. In the Samos don’t forget to Panagia Spiliani Church and have the ancient vibe of the island. Also, don’t come back without eating the greatest Greek food.

Diving Trip

If you haven’t dive in yet, the diving trip will be one of the most exciting experiences for you without any doubt. The underwater life will be open with all its magnificence for you. The Aegean Sea is a home for different and beautiful kinds of living things. So that, you can see the fish in different colors and the unique sea plants live. How exciting! 

The licensed and professional equip will teach and guide you while and before diving. The trip is included food, insurance, and equipment. It is the time to learn new things.

What to Eat

There are plenty of options in Kuşadası whether if you want to have street food or dine in some fancy restaurants with sea view. If you want to have your meal in casual and local restaurants the best advice for you would be “kokoreç” and “çarşaflı toast”. You can have the best kokoreç in the Aegean because there would be no addition to shade the meat. Çarşaflı toast is the special street food of Kuşadası. You should try this when you get there.

If you want any fancier meals to have you can go to the restaurants on the coastline. Especially, you should try the fish restaurants. The “rakı-balık” is classical for Kuşadası which you eat beautiful and fresh fish and seafood with drinking rakı. Also, you can try delicious mezzes in these restaurants while you are enjoying the view. The Turkish melodies are all over these restaurants to go along with the enjoyable meal.

Nightlife

If you think that the nightlife in Kuşadası is boring just because it is a very peaceful district, you are very wrong. Different places could match your taste of fun. If you want electronic music and dancing a lot, there are plenty of nightclubs waiting for you in the street of bars which is called “Barlar Sokağı” in Turkish. 

However, if this kind of fun is not your kind there are a bunch of bars and pubs where you can find in the coastline. In the bars and pubs, the nights pass softer. You can enjoy your drinks and talk with your friends while you listening to a piece of good music there. Besides, if you like the rakı-balık event and take it to the next level, you should try new generation taverns where you start to dance after the dinner with 90s Turkish pop.

Shopping

Kuşadası provides you different places of shopping whether it is souvenirs, clothes, furniture, or local food. Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs for yourself to remind Kuşadası and also for your friends and family. You can find souvenir shops all around Kuşadası since it is a very touristic district. Also, you should visit Kuşadası Bazaar to do some clothes and furniture shopping. You can find stores for leather clothes and usually, they are cheaper than the prices in grand cities.

In the bazaars, you can buy spices which will make a huge difference as a taste. Don’t forget that the plants grown in the Aegean region are not tasted anywhere else. Also, you can find home wine shops around the central of Kuşadası. You should give it a try. For traditional and ethnic rugs, the bazaars are the best. The rugs are of high quality and very charming. When you touch them you will understand the difference. Don’t miss this chance.

Events

Kuşadası Youth Festival is one of the most important festivals in Turkey. It is not just for young people if you are over the age of 18 and like good music; that’s all you should have. The festival lasts about 4-5 days. Very famous singers and music groups are getting on the stage at the festival. The Festival is arranged with the help of the Kuşadası Municipality and takes place in Sevgi Beach. 

If you are staying in a hotel or rent a summer house you can go back when the concert is over. However, it is also possible to stay on rent on the beach. The prices of the tickets are differed according to this kind of thing, so you should be checking before you decide where you stay.

Where to Stay

Two accommodation types are popular in Kuşadası which are hotels and seasonal rent houses. There are lots of hotels in Kuşadası for every budget. The hotels in the central of Kuşadası are pricier. However, every area of Kuşadası is preferable since transportation is very easy. 

Also, if you are on a vacation with a crowded group of people renting a house for the season would be a great option. You can rent houses in different sizes according to how many people you are. Some of the houses even have their special pools.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kuşadası

If you still have questions in your mind about Kuşadası, here are some frequently asked questions about Kuşadası; let’s take a look at them!

When is the best time to visit Kuşadası?

Kuşadası is the best from June to the end of September. The weather and the sea will be stunning. However, off-season also is an option if you want to have a calmer vacation. You can visit Kuşadası in May; the weather and the sea will be hot enough.

Is Kuşadası safe for children?

Yes, it is. The sea of Kuşadası is shallow enough for the children. Also, the general situation of the Kuşadası is safe for children, there are lots of people with children who visit Kuşadası every year.

Do I have to rent a car in Kuşadası?

If you want to visit the towns near Kuşadası or travel comfortably renting a car is a very good and easy option. However, if you think that would be expensive for you; never mind. The transportation in and to the near towns of Kuşadası is very easy so that you don’t need anything extra.

Which places I can visit near Kuşadası?

Kuşadası is very close to the many districts of İzmir and Bodrum. However, one of the most important places you have to see before the return is Ephesus. You will be fascinated by the beauty of the ancient vibe in Ephesus. It is only 20 minutes away from Kuşadası by car, but urban transportation is also available. Also, the entrance is free if you have Müze Card. 

Why Ladies Beach is called “Ladies”?

The ladies beach is called so because back in time the ladies that collect olives around are dive into the sea from this beach to fresh up. From that day to the present the beach is called Ladies Beach.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...