İzmir Airport to Ephesus Drive

Last Updated on July 20, 2022

Turkey’s Aegean region is a good place to have a rental (hire) car. If you’re planning to rent/hire one at İzmir‘s Adnan Menderes Airport, here’s how to do the easy drive from there to SelçukŞirinceEphesus and Kuşadası.

First, have a look at my İzmir Region Transport Map and also this map of the Turkish highway system.

If you plan to take the Otoyol (high-speed highway), which I recommend (instead of the older highway), be sure your rental car has a toll sticker to pay the highway tolls. You cannot pay the tolls any other way! More…


If your car needs fuel—yes, some agencies do not fill the tanks—you can buy it at a fuel station on the way out of the airport. There are several other fuel stations outside the airport on the road south.

(Returning your rental car to the airport, there is one fuel station on the highway to the airport after you leave the Otoyol (expressway), and another just inside the airport grounds, on the left as you enter.)

Leaving the Airport

As you exit the airport, follow the green signs for Efes(Ephesos) and Aydın (not for İzmir). You’ll enter a multi-lane divided highway with traffic signals, which is the traditional highway south to SelçukŞirinceEphesus and Kuşadası.

After 10 minutes’ drive, the highway intersects the E87/O31 Otoyol (high-speed, limited-acces toll highway).

You now have the choice of continuing on the older, slower D550 highway which goes through towns and is much slower, but is free (no tolls) or, if your car is fitted with a toll sticker or transponder, you can enter the Otoyol.

The Old Highway (D550)

In normal traffic conditions, taking the old highway only adds 10 to 15 minutes to your trip to Selçuk. You’ll pass through the towns of Mustafakemalpaşa, Torbalı, Pamukyazı and Sağlık before passing beneath the E87/O31 near Belevi(interesting old ruins!). At this intersection, traffic to Selçuk leaves the E87/O31 and joins you on D550 south.

E87/O31 Otoyol (Fast Highway)

Note that you cannot pay tolls with cash! You must pay via either OGS toll transponder or HGS toll sticker. The toll for the drive from the airport interchange to the Selçukinterchange is about TL2, by the way. More…

As you enter the Otoyol, there are no signs here for Selçukor Ephesus, so follow signs for Aydın.

After 10 minutes’ drive you approach the first interchange, for Torbalı. Do not exit. Continue on the Otoyol, following signs for Selçuk and Aydın.

Just over 30 minutes’ drive from the airport is the Selçuk interchange, clearly marked for SelçukEphesus and Kuşadası. Leave the Otoyol by this exit (the toll is about TL2), following signs to Selçuk and Efes (Ephesos). After passing the toll gates and curving to the left, look for a castle on the high mountaintop in front of you, a reminder that this is indeed an ancient land.

On to Selçuk

Follow the divided four-lane D550 highway south. About 45 or 50 minutes after leaving the airport you will see a stone fortress on Ayasoluk Hill looming above Selçuk, and enter the town.

Selçuk Fortress
Selçuk fortress on Ayasoluk Hill.

Look for a small sign on the left (east) side of the boulevard pointing the way to Şirince(8 km/5 mi). If you’re not going to Şirince, continue along the boulevard. After one km, at a traffic signal, turn right for Efes (Ephesus) and Kuşadası.

—Heading toward Ephesus and Kuşadası, soon you’ll pass the Artemision archeological site on the right, then the Ephesus archeological site on the left.

—At the next traffic signal, turn left for Kuşadası (15 km), or go straight for Pamucak beach.

—82 km (51 miles) from the airport, you’re in Kuşadası.

To return to Adnan Menderes Airport from KuşadasıSelçukŞirince and Ephesus, just follow highway signs for İzmir and the airport. I recommend the Otoyol to save time and energy, but remember you must have a toll sticker to pay the tolls.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Distances to/from İzmir Airport

Motor Fuel in Turkey

Safe Driving in Turkey

Highway Signs & Signals

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İzmir Region Transport Map

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