What to See & Do in Selçuk (Efes)

The Ephesus Archeological Site is tops on the list of every visitor to Selçuk, but the town holds other important sights as well (map).

Ephesus Archeological Site

The best-preserved ancient city on the Mediterranean is among the top sights visitors want to see in Turkey, and the effort is well rewarded. Just 3 km (2 miles) west of Selçuk, you can walk there (30-40 minutes) in fine weather, or ride if you wish. More…

Virgin Mary’s House

Legend has it—and the pope has acknowledged—that this stone cottage on a hilltop above Ephesus may be where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. A place of pilgrimage for the faithful, it is surprisingly expensive to visit for the casual traveler. More…

Ephesus Museum

You haven’t seen all of Ephesus until you’ve seen this fine museum in the center of Selçuk. All the best artifacts from Ephesus excavations are on view here, in newly-renovated buildings and galleries. More…

Artemision

The great Temple of Artemis (Diana), the Artemision, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. There’s little left of it, but you want to have a look, and learn a bit of its fascinating history. More…

Ayasoluk Hill

Selçuk’s landmark is the hill in the midst of the plain, crowned by an ancient fortress. The fortress has been restored and may be open for visits by the time you arrive.

St John Basilica

Legend has it that St John ended his days in Ephesus and a great church was built to cover and honor his grave. You can visit it. More…

İsabey Mosque

Just down the hill from the St John Basilica is another monument to faith, a fine medieval Seljuk Turkish-influenced mosque you’ll want to visit. Nicely restored and again open for worship, it’s also open to visitors of all faiths. More…

Roman Aqueduct

From Ayasoluk Hill to the train station in the center of town you see them: the high stone pillars and bits of arches that were once the Roman aqueduct of Ephesus. Today their use is equally noble: Selçuk’s famous storkshave built their substantial nests atop them.

Seljuk Turkish Buildings

There are a few buildings from the late Seljuk Turkishperiod south of the Otogar—a few türbes (saints’ tombs), a small mosque—as this was the western extent of Seljuk Turkish expansion—hence the town’s name, Selçuk.

Şirince Village

High in the hills a few kilometers east of Selçuk, Şirinceis a well-preserved Ottoman village popular as a day-trip from Selçuk, or for a meal, or even to use as a base for exploring the Ephesus area. Frequent minibuses make it easy to go to. More…

Pamucak Beach

Just 7 kilometers (4.5 miles) west of Selçuk on the Mediterranean, much of the wide swath of Pamucak Beachhas been saved from development. It’s the quickest swim near Ephesus (not counting hotel pools), but services—including lifeguards—are minimal or non-existent. More…

Priene-Miletus-Didyma Tour

Perhaps the most rewarding excursion after Ephesus itself, this day trip to three ancient cities (and a beach, if you wish) at the mouth of the Mander River, should be on your list if you have the time. More…

Belevi Monumental Tomb

Dating from the 3rd century BCE, this monumental tomb 15 km (9 miles) northeast of Selçuk, the second-largest in Anatolia (after the Mausoleum in Bodrum), was built for Lysimachus, but he was never in it. Today it is ruined, but still impressive. More…

Aphrodisias

The ancient “City of Love,” 160 km (100 miles) east of Selçuk in the fertile Meander River valley, can be visited on a day-trip, or on the way to Pamukkale and LaodiceaMore…

Pamukkale & Laodicea

The gleaming white calcium travertines of Turkey’s “Cotton Castle” lure travelers from around the world, and the newly-restored monuments of Biblical Laodicea are a bonus. You can visit them on a day-trip excursion from your Selçuk base, or go for an overnight, or visit them in a day and continue on your way in the evening. More…

Bodrum

With your own car you can drive south to the resort town of Bodrum, visit its Crusader Castle of St Peterhousing the world-famous Museum of Underwater Archeology, spend time at the beach, and return in the same day. More…

İzmir

Turkey’s third-largest city is an easy train or minibus ride away. Its list of touristic sites is short, and the sites are minor, but the market area and seaside promenade are nice. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan


Selçuk Hotels

All Ephesus Area Hotels

Selçuk Town

Selçuk Transport

Şirince

Kusadaşı

Priene-Miletus-Didyma Tour

Aegean Region

Istanbul Love Bus...the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

Visit our Facebook group:

FREE Custom Itinerary