You'll discover the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey, less than 30 minutes from Kusadasi. Located 3km outside the small town of Selçuk, this was once a thriving city and a busy trading post in the centre of the Mediterranean. This fascinating place is important in Turkish history, as not only was this a major trading centre, but it was also the centre of early Christianity. Today, it's arguably one of the best archaeological sites in the region. It's also one of the most popular tourist attractions anywhere in Turkey.
History around every cornerEphesus is a fantastic example of a Roman port city, complete with its own sea channel and harbour basin. It's believed that it once had a population of up to 56,000 people during the Roman period, making it one of the largest and most important ports on the Turkish coast. Today, only 20% of the city has been excavated. Even so, it's home to one of the biggest collections of Roman ruins in the world, so it's well worth finding some time to visit while you're on holiday in Kusadasi. Take a wander around the spectacular archaeological site and you'll see the hand-crafted foundations, buildings and sculpted stone columns dating from the Hellenistic Age. You can also pay a visit to the remains of what was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Make sure you don't miss the Hercules Gate, located towards the end of Curetes Street, and the Basilica of St John, a church that was constructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. Nearby, you can see the House of the Virgin Mary, which dates back to the 4th century AD. It's said to be where Mary spent her remaining days after the death of Jesus. Step into the small stone structure and you'll find a small but beautiful little church, a tiny house, and a fountain whose waters are supposed to be able to cure the sick.
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How to get thereKusadasi is around 18km from the ruins of Ephesus. The most convenient way to get there is by hire car, which takes around half an hour. You can also catch a dolmus (minibus) to Selçuk from the bus station, or you can catch one from your hotel. They run every half an hour or so, and when you get to Selçuk you can take another dolmus from Ephesus. Turkey has an excellent bus network, and this part of the country is no exception. From Selçuk, the trip takes just 10 minutes or so.