Selçuk’s narrow, inviting streets and serene atmosphere could single-handedly draw crowds to wine and dine. The town of Selçuk, however, is only a secondary draw when compared to the region’s distinguished historical sites. Modern-day Ephesus, or Selçuk, is a town filled with eclectic souvenirs and surrounded by many historical and captivating sites. There are 5 major Archeological attractions within 10 kilometers. Selçuk has enough attractions to fill 2-3 days. For travelers who want a slower-paced visit, up to a week spent in Selçuk would be wonderful.
It would be easy to wander through the town of Selçuk for hours and not find all it has to offer. From its delicious restaurants to antique jewelry and carpets, to refreshing ice cream and small boutique hotels, Selçuk has it all. During your stay, be sure to check out the carpets and silk products sprinkled throughout nearly every street in this town.
Selçuk invites its guests to start their mornings with a Turkish breakfast, with kahvalti restaurants spread throughout the town. Once you’ve enjoyed fresh eggs, cheese, vegetables, and fruit, you will be ready to experience Selçuk’s many attractions.
Ephesus Archeological Site rightfully draws most who choose to visit Selçuk. Its historical and biblical significance add depth to the experience of walking through its Great Theater, Harbor Street, Library of Celsus, and more.
The nearby Temple of Artemis, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is located just a few kilometers from Ephesus, and walking distance from the town of Selçuk. The remains of this temple have been worn down over time, but one pillar remains, allowing tourists to imagine what it must have looked like in 550 BC. The statue of Artemis, which was found at this site, can be seen in the Ephesus Museum, which is located just 700 meters down the road from the remains of the temple. The Ephesus Museum is a must for those visiting the region, as it is where many of the treasures found at the site of Ephesus are preserved. This museum provides a more thorough understanding of the ancient city of Ephesus.
St. John’s Basilica is a unique archeological site located within walking distance from Selçuk’s town. This is where St. John’s tomb is located. One of the New Testament’s four gospels, the Gospel of John, was written from Ephesus by St. John in his later years. During this time, John looked over Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Virgin Mary’s House is located just a few kilometers up the road from this basilica.
There are also many nearby hotels to choose from during your stay in Selçuk. We recommend Ayasoluk Boutique Hotel. This hotel is newly renovated and has remarkable hospitality, excellent food, a pool, and carpet and souvenir shops.
Trains running the route İzmir–Adnan Menderes Airport–Selçuk–Denizli are useful, and frequent minibuses connect Selçuk with İzmir, Ephesus, Şirince and Kuşadası. Long-distance intercity buses are not as frequent.
Here’s how to drive from the airport to Selçuk, or you can take a train right from the airport to the town center.
Excursions: Şirince & Kuşadasi
During your stay in Selçuk, be sure to check out the nearby towns: Şirince, and Kuşadasi.
Just 8 km east of Selçuk, Şirince is a wonderful village known for its fruit wines and olive oil. Kuşadasi is a beach town and port for many cruise ships. It is worth visiting this beach town to take a dip in the Aegean during your stay!
Selçuk also has storks! The town is a favorite nesting place for the leggy birds, who take up residence here on the pillars of the old Roman aqueduct, the disused minaret of a ruined mosque, the one remaining column of the Artemision, television aerials, and any other safe perch, from April into September.
-By Tom Brosnahan
-Updated by Abigail Goosen