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Izmir vs. Kusadasi? Which works best as a base?

Izmir vs. Kusadasi? Which works best as a base?

Aug 19th, 2009, 05:29 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Izmir vs. Kusadasi? Which works best as a base?

Hi everyone. We are starting to plan a trip to Turkey early next year.

As part of the itinerary, we want to do a full day tour of Ephesus to see the ruins and then a full day tour of Pamukkale to see the limestone travertines. We will be flying into Izmir from Istanbul (or possibly Kayseri if we visit Cappadocia first).

My question is - should we base ourselves in Izmir or Kusadasi to visit these places? I understand there are decent length drives each way. But is Izmir more convenient to stay or Kusadasi? Which town is prettier (we'd like to do a bit of shightseeing in the town where we base ourselves).

Thanks in advance for sharing your tips!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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I would definitely choose Kusadasi over Izmir. Kusadasi is much closer to Ephasus. Kusadasi itself is a pleasant enough larger town, although it's too touristy for my tastes. We stayed in Selcuk, very near Ephasus, and were very happy with our decision. The town has a very nice pedestrian-only downtown filled with great restaurants and some shops, and there are several sights in Selcuk worth visiting (the remnants of St. Johns Bascilica, the Ephasus Museum, and one of the oldest mosques in Turkey).

tcreath is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Hi Tracy, thanks for the info. I had not previously considered Selcuk before. Not only it is very close to Ephesus, but I think it's a quicker drive to Pamukkale (takes about 3 hours I think).

My question is - how long does it take to drive from Izmir Airport to Selcuk? On the way back, we will by flying from Izmir to Istanbul, and based on how long it takes, we have to figure out the return flight timings. Thanks!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Baby_Bear, the drive from the Izmir airport to Selcuk is only about 45 minutes on a nice, fast road. We were in Turkey in February and had a great time. If you click on my name you can find my trip report if you are interested. We stayed at the Hotel Bella in Selcuk and were quite pleased.

tcreath is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Thanks Tracy. Really appreciate the info. It looks like Selcuk is the place to base ourselves. I am particularly pleased by the fact that the drive to Pamukkale is only 3 hours - on the day we visit there, we were kinda dreading a 4 hour drive each way from Kusadasi. 3 hours each way sounds loads better! They seem to have some nice hotels too.
Baby_Bear is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Another vote for staying in Selcuk.
NanBug is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 12:38 AM
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If you want some nightlife and shopping malls as well, definately Izmir.
dennise_a is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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I'm a little late coming into this discussion, but my vote is also Selcuk. It's only a few minutes' drive from Ephesus and we absolutely loved the Ephesus Museum in Selcuk. We stayed at the Hotel Bella, across from the St. John Basilica. Their rooftop terrace is not to be missed! You can also check out my trip report entitled "Two Continents..." under my former user name ellencmog.

ellen75005 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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I've stayed in Selcuk and Izmir. Selcuk is great for visiting Ephesus and some of the other archeological sites nearby. There is a museum and a few sights, Mary's House, Church of St. John there but not a great resturant scene.
However, you might want to spend a day or two in Izmir. Izmir has some fine restaurants, a couple of interesting museums and I liked the shopping in the bazaar and the Alcansak district. Izmir has a huge selection of hotels in all price categories and the walk along the seafront park is really outstanding. As an avove poster pointed out, it is only a 45 minute drive or 1-1/2 hours on the train to Selcuk.
Kusadasi is a port town for ships and didn't interest me too much but some might find it ok.
I did the Miletus, Didyma tour and that takes you to ancient Greek cities in Turkey. I liked it and a hotel or tourist office can sign you up on a bus tour. They visit some carpet or ceramic shops but the work is good.
mes2525 is offline  
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