Old meets new
Kusadasi used to be a fishing village but it’s caught on fast. Set on Turkey’s west coast, the place now has holiday resort written all over it, with buzzing bars and a good-looking marina lined with cafés, restaurants and shops. The old town’s still around, but you’ve got modern shops jostling with traditional bazaars along the cobbled streets. Some things don’t change, though – like the selection of beaches.
You’ve got 8 beaches here. Downtown Beach pitches up between the harbour and marina, with views across to Pigeon Island. It’s quite a small, manmade patch but you’ve got sunbeds and cafés here. Or, for a bit more elbow room, head out to Long Beach area – it racks up miles of golden sand.
A duo of waterparks
Kusadasi packs in a pair of white-knuckle waterparks. On the outskirts there’s Aqua Fantasy, all adrenalin-pumping rides, plus pirate ships for the kids. And then you’ve got Adaland – which comes with dolphins on the side.
Day trips to Ephesus
Half an hour down the road you’ve got the ancient city of Ephesus. The scale of the place is huge – you can walk down streets lined with classical columns and statues, take in sweeping views from the amphitheatre and even check out the old public loos. While you’re out and about, you might also want to visit Dilek National Park – 20 kilometres’ worth of canyon walks and deserted beaches.