Places to visit
Go for cheap holidays to Turkey and experience a relaxing time off with your family and friends. Both families and couples looking for a fantastic getaway will surely enjoy visiting this country. One of the most visits here in Turkey is İzmir. People searching for the ultimate getaway should come to this place to witness its beauty. As you tour İzmir, it would be recommended to head to the town of Selcuk.
Selcuk is a touristic town in the southern part of Izmir. It is 90 km away from Izmir and 9km away from the coast. It has extraordinary historical sites and, also, natural beauties. It is surrounded by forests in the south and by orchards in the east, by the sea in the west and fields in the north. The lake called Birds' paradise is in the south east.The town's people's consciousness of living together with archeological sites, ruins and natural beauties is at its peak in the town.Most of the hotels in and around the town are well adopted to their surrounding and very well equipped with modern comfort to satisfy all the needs of the visitors. The touristic facilities on the coast cover only a small part of the whole coast and the big part of it is still untouched and stays with its original beauty.
The town is an important center of the world in terms of archeology, religion, history and culture while in the antiquity, it was famous with Ephesus which was one of the largest cities of Asia at its time and Temple of Artemis which was one of the seven wonders of ancient times. Ephesus became one of the most important centers during the early Christian era with St. John, St. Paul, St. Lucas and Ecumenical Council which was held in Ephesus in 431 AD. This is why it was announced as a place for pilgrimage for Christians by The Pope. Known existence of synagogues in the region, which haven't been excavated, yet, proves this place's importance for the supporters of Jewish Religion, also.Early Turkish, Islamic-Ottoman period constructions and a lot of Selcukian art works created during 12 th Century AD are very important cultural remains which worth seeing.
Sirince village,9 km in the east of Selcuk, as being an old village, still keeps its urban character of last century. It is a nostalgic village with its houses, wine, fruits, traditional food and authentic texture and life.Sirince, with its natural beauties and historical values is anice village. It is 8 km away from Selcuk and in the east of Selcuk. It is considered that the village was built and settled during trhe reign of Aydınogulları. lts former name was “Ephesus on the Hill”. The churches, monasteries and typical Turkish houses showing the Turkish village life are worth visiting. The village is surrounded by vine yards, orchards, and olive trees. The village became more and more famous by its web like streets, generally two storied houses, hardworking and hospitable residents, excellent wine and natural beauties.
Temple of Artemis in Selcuk
In Ionia the "Lady of Ephesus", a goddess whom Hellenes identified with Artemis, was a principal deity. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was probably the best known center of her worship apart from Delos. In Acts of the Apostles, the Ephesian metalsmiths who feel threatened by Paul's preaching of the new faith, jealously riot in her defense, shouting "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Ephesus has a very wide and dense archeological site. The excavations are still going on since 130 years. Total excavations made until now constitute only 3-4 % of the whole city. But, when this completed work is compared to the excavations done in similar ancient sites, in terms of labor spent in the excavations and the size of the cities, then you can understand that it is undisputable. Ephesus Museum where the findings from the excavations are kept is the most important and the richest local museum of art in Europe. The Artemis Statues exhibited in the museum are the most famous ones among the other similar cult statues. Almost every week a scientist gives a lecture and each every fifteen days a contemporary art exhibition takes place at the saloons of the museum. The ancient parts of the museum, which are used as galleries, now enable the contemporary artists to exhibit their arts and crafts.
The Grand Theatre, Odeon and Celsus Library welcome the concerts of classical music and demonstration of the famous artists. In last 15 years most of the famous orchestras performed their enchanting music's at the theatre. Many famous artists had a chance to perfor their arts at this authentic atmosphere. Because of such performances in the ruins of Ephesus, Selcuk becomes a town of culture between the months from April to November every year. The city has not been deteriorated by the men's and nature's effects over the ages. With its historical, cultural, artistic and natural attributes it has an immense tourism potential for a memorable vacation. A must for any tourist itinenary.
Selcuk is only 9 km away from the coast and 16 m high from the sea level.It is, also 50 km away from Aydın, 20 km away from Kusadası and 75 km away from Izmir which is the main central city of the region. Ali the mountains and hillsides surrounding the town, except the coast are covered with forests. The forests are rich in pine trees, plane trees, bay trees, 'myrtle trees and olive trees. In the mountains nearby there are many different kinds of animals like rabbits, wild pigs, wild ducks etc. Therefore, it is an ideal area for hunting. World wide famous fruits grown in the region are grapes, peaches and tangerines. Melons and watermelons are also famous in the country. The water resource of the plain is the Little Meander River. The plane area where the town was located was a protected inlet during the prehistoric era. Later, it was silted up by aluvions brought by the Little Meander. In 2 nd Century AD, the city of Ephesus was by the sea. The sea receded almost 5 km since then up to now. Fine sand covers the coast almost in 500 mt. widths in some parts. The sea is suitable for different kinds of sea sports. The Mediterranean Climate prevails in the region; summers are hot and dry and winters are moderate and rainy. In general, the region does not have snow and the temperature rarely drops below 0 C. Owing to moderate climate, the coast of Pamucak enables the aquatics and natural sports to be done during ten months of the year. Hiking is possible in the forests around the town. The forest road between Camlık and Sirince is a very nice route for horse rides. Parachute practicing courses are delivered at the Ephesus Airport
Isa Bey, the son of a notable person, called the architect Ali from Damascus to build this mosque in 1375. Most of the architectural pieces and columns used in the construction were brought either from the ruins of Ephesus or Temple of Artemis. This mosque, is symmetrical in plan, is known to be the most ancient sample for both Turkish type with early courtyards and Anatolian mosques, which have transepts and columns. In addition to monumental height of the main gate in the west the mosque is magnifigue one with its rich detailed decoration and faience mosaics of the south dome. With regard to second Congregation Place it has for the first time in Turkish architecture and it is the most important work of the transition period in Turkish style between Selcukian and Ottoman architecture, it has occupied a significant place in the history of art.
It is known that Virgin Mary came to Ephesus with St. John approximately 6 years after the death of Jesus Christ Depending on a dream of a German nun called A. Katherine EMMERICH, Lazarist priests discovered in 1891 that it was the house where Virgin Mary spent her last days. The house, which has some cupulas on and cross plans, was restored in 1951. The house was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and by Pope Jean Paul II in 1979. Today it is a place of pilgrimage and visited by Christians all over the world since it was declared to be a sacred place by The Vatican.
One of the seven wonders of antiquely, the famous Temple of Artemis, is in Selcuk. The Temple was destroyed and then rebuilt many times throughout the history. Indeed, it was rebuilt seven times according to Plinius, the writer of antiquity. It was the continuation of mother goddess, “Cybele Cult', which existed in the past it was the first and most magnificent construction made of marble in the world. Some columns, with relief's on, were given by Lydian King Croissos, as a gift to the temple which had 60 x 1,25 mt. in dimensions. The Artemis of Ephesus was the only mother goddess, carrying both eastern and western features together.
The name of the city goes further back to 6000 BC. it was Apasas then. The city of Ephesus was built by Lysimachos who was one of the generals of Alexander The Great in 300 BC. The city lived its most brilliant ages during the Hellenistic and Roman times. It was the capitol of Asia Minor as being the largest harbor settlement with a population of 200.000 people. Ephesus, which is in the boundaries of Selcuk today, was the center of Christianity during Byzantine period.
After the death of St Paul, St John became the leader of all churches connected to the one in Ephesus and he wrote his “Gospel” here at Ephesus.St John who spent his last days of his life on this hill was also buried here after he died. First a monument on his grave and later in 4 th Century AD, around this monument, a c church with a wooden roof was built. Hundred years later (527-566) the Basilica with domes on, of which walls remain today was built by Emperor Justinian. This cross-shaped building consists of a courtyard, narthex, and a main hall with five naves. The grave of St. John is in the middle under the domed section.
The hill was protected by the fortified castle during the Byzantine, Selcukian and early Christian era. The walls, which still stand today, were built during the early Christian era. Later, a considerable restoration was made during the Selcukian period. The main entrance gate in the castle's wall
Was built in 6 th C AD by the stoned moved out from the Roman buildings' ruins. There are some cisterns and a small chapel in the castle.
Ephesus museum is one of the most important and richest museums of local art in Europe. Exhibiting only the works created in this region makes this museum very important one in Europe. It is a very rich local museum. Most of the works displayed in the museum are from Ephesus, St. John's Church, from surrounding ancient ruins and from the Moseleum at Belevi. lndeed they are all important as archeological findings from Ephesus and Anatolia. Most of the works from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras are among the ones from Archaic, Mycenaean and Turkish eras.
Camlık, open air, steam power locomotive museum is on 160 acres land and only 7 km away, in the south of Selcuk. The Great Turkish Leader Ataturk had visited Camlik village by his private train and he had established his headquarter on top of this hill. He managed and controlled all the military operations during the national war of independence from this hill. Many steam powered, 50 to 80 years old trains which have served for many years for the State Railways of Turkish Republic, are exhibited here.
Water Birds' Protection and Reproduction Area of Gevekirse Lake in Selcuk is in the north of Ephesus and covers an area of 1000 hectares between Ephesus and Pamucak coast At this area 30 to kinds of birds and some mamals live. As a sample, loons, pelicans, many kinds of wild ducks, woodcocks, henna partridges, wild boars, foxes, jackals are some kinds of these birds and mamals living in the area.
Another important ruins remained from Byzantine era in Selcuk are the aqueducts. You can see the ruins of the Byzantine aqueduct in the town extending from the eastern hills to the Ayasuluk Hill passing by the current train station and on both sides of the railway. These restored aqueducts' peak parts serve for storks which are a symbol of the town to set their nests on The other aqueduct which was built at the time of Emperor Augustus is known as the aqueduct of Gaius Sextilliw Pollio and it is on the 6 th km of Selcuk-Aydın Highway.
As it is believed by all the people, storks bring prosperity and health for that season to those who see them in the air first time. The storks make their nests on the peaks of the ruins of the aqueducts. They live with the town in harmony and they are a complementary of the town scenery. They are the messengers of the beginning and end of summer. They come generally by April and leave by the end of September and in the meantime they have they babies here.
We particularly encourage you not to miss the opportunity to walk among the storks, watching the charm of new borns and listening to the calls made by clapping their beaks while they play with each other.
Three km away from the town there is an airport where the planes wit a capacity of 90 passengers can land. Seventeen km away from the town, there is a high capacity harbor, which makes transportation by sea possible. Selcuk is a town where transportation is possible by sea, air, road or railways. Adnan Menderes international Airport is about 70 km away from the town. The transportation to Selcuk from Izmir and also from other parts of the country is possible by ES state highway or by a motorway and also, by a railway.
An electrical railway line project between Aliaga-Izmir-Menderes is planned and 60 % of it is already completed. After this will be extended to Selcuk, the transportation will be much easier.
Pamucak beach is only 9 km from Selcuk and 6 km from Ephesus. It is about 12km long and has gold sand. There are several other beaches and bays very close to Selcuk. it is very suitable for sea sports and camping.
There are four “five star” and one “four star” hotel on Pamucak beach. Total capacity is 3.600 beds now. With the new “five star” hotels to be built, total capacity will then increase up to 15.000 beds..