Where to stay for visiting Ephesus
The ancient citadel of Ephesus lies on Turkey's west coast in the province of Izmir. In the height of summer, it receives many day trippers, from the cruise ships stopping at the port of Kusadasi and visitors from the resorts in the south of the country. If you wanted to stay and explore the area in more depth and are happy to hire a car, there are some lovely accommodation options in the vicinity in charming and boutique hotels. Self-driving in this part of Turkey is very straight forward, with an easily navigable motorway network and there are some very characterful places to explore.
Selcuk is the (charmless)gateway town to Ephesus. A modern town, it is has plenty of hotels and restaurants. There is also a small archaeological museum (closed in 2013 for renovations) It is possible to stay in one of the many hotels here, but you would probably only want to stop for one evening as there isn't much else of interest to keep you here.
A hill-top town close to Selcuk, this is a popular day-trippers destination as part of their Ephesus tour. However, once the crowds have gone, this is a charming town and a lovely place to sit back and enjoy the views. Previous to 1923, Sirince was a prosperous, predominantly Greek town, with inhabitants forcibly removed during Ataturk's population exchange. The Turkish population that moved in since were able to take advantage of the region's burgeoning tourism industry, thanks to Ephesus and the cruise ship business. It is a picturesque town and it's altitude means that if you are visiting in hotter months, you have some respite from the heat.
Our suggested accommodation in Sirince is the Terraced Houses.
30 minutes west of Izmir airport lies the Cesme Peninsula, famed for being the wind surfing capital of Turkey. Alacati, one of the peninsula's most well-heeled towns, also holds the honour of being the home of one of Turkey's original boutique hotels (there are now over 200 in Alacati alone) Alacati is akin to Salcombe or Rock in the UK. A fashionable town oozing sophistication and wealth. In the summer months, the hotels are full of Turks on holiday. In the shoulder season months of May/ June and September / October the town is quieter and the perfect place to enjoy some of the area's more upmarket bars and restaurants.
In nearby Cesme, there are several beaches and a small port, which is surrounded with fish restaurants. From May - September, you can take a gulet boat out to some nearby islands and bays for a snorkelling and swimming trip.
Our suggested accommodation in Alacati is the Tas Otel