Kusadasi is really a unique touristic township along Turkey’s Aegean coastline, where the local population expands ten-fold during the summertime months. The modern, European style resort town of 50,000 is heavily reliant upon the touristic trade generated from cruise ships. Arriving to the local port, cruise ships assist with the growth of the local population to around 500,000 every summer.
Within the population growth are Turkish employees who head to the city each year for the extensive number of employment in the service sector. Located between another popular resort town of Bodrum to the south and the large city of Izmir to the north, Kusadasi is really a favoured destination for all holiday makers visiting Turkey.
The picturesque town features a sensational turquoise bay in-front, backed by the Kaz Dagi Mountain behind. Exceptionally well connected to the surrounding main towns and the rest of Turkey, Kusadasi can be accessed by either the Izmir or Bodrum international airports. There are also daily ferry services from the Kusadasi port to the nearby Greek Island of Samos.
Being truly a predominantly touristic area the city suits a big number of foreign residents, with many arriving from Northern Europe. Having developed from a rural village, the city started to convert to a touristic centre in the 70s, originally catering for domestic Turkish holiday makers. In the 80s Kusadasi started to attract foreign visitors and developed further to interest the mass touristic market.
Reforms on the port area to cater for cruise liners dramatically changed the city right into a major resort centre. The Kusadasi port has been the centre of the city throughout its history, acting as both a significant and minor stopping point across the Aegean coast. Originally founded in 3,000BC, the port area has seen many changes over its lifetime. During the fantastic civilisations of the ancient world, once the east and west were joined by the travelling merchants to the Orient, the city thrived as a final port across the Caravan Routes. Later in its history throughout the Middle Ages, Kusadasi became a preferred refuge for pirates operating the surrounding seas.
Kusadasi’s history of pirates is retained through the town’s most prominent landmark, a turreted fortress used as a foundation by the pirate Barbarossa situated on a tiny island just off the harbour. Other significant historical landmarks in and near the city of Kusadasi range from the ancient city of Ephesus, the Artemis Temple, the Apollon temple, the Basilica of St. Jean, the Seven Sleepers, the House of the Virgin Mary and the Caravanserai, amongst some other landmarks of historical significance.
These days Kusadasi continues to evolve, catering to the demands of tourists and property investors. Ample sailing and water sport opportunities are available for the enthusiast, while several golf courses are in the act of construction to provide further options to today’s golf clubs of the surrounding areas. The lively town offers an abundance of restaurants, beach clubs, hotels and bars, while retaining its tradition of survival from the strategic location of its port.