A foaming sea, good beaches and over 300 days of sunshine a year.... no wonder Kusadasi has grown into one of Turkey's major sea-resorts.
The ancient ruins of the fortress and its gates are a reminder of the impact the Ottomans had on the city at the beginning of the 15th century. These days, you'll still see old houses in narrow streets altered with more fashionable streets, such as the 'Barlar Sokak', the place to go to when you're looking for restaurants and entertainment when the sun sets over the palm-lined boulevard of this harbour town.
The Pigeon Island offers the ruins of a Byzantine castle (better known as the Pirate Castle) and some good views of the coastal town itself. Originally, the island was named 'Bird Island' but when the Ottomans decided to name the city like that (Kusadasi means Bird Island), the island was renamed Pigeon Island.
From Kusadasi, ferries leave to and from Italy or one of the Greek islands - there are daily ferries for Samos in summer. But before you rush off, Kusadasi is also an excellent city from which to explore impressive historical sights including Miletos and Ephesus and the rock formations at Pamukkale .
The accommodation is a mix of hotels and apartments of all categories and varying quality. It is wise to check their location, however, as the ones in town are about 2 mls away from the best beach, while some are a bus ride from the main entertainments etc. There are now more than 200 hotels and pensions in a town which had practically none at the beginning of the 80s.
Kusadasi is halfway down Turkey's long west coast, on the Aegean Sea (97 mls N of Bodrum. 50 mls S of Izmir airport). It is backed by low, dry coastal hills, facing the Greek island of Samos.