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 Selçuk,
Ephesus 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
You'll enter a multi-lane divided highway
with traffic signals, which is the
traditional highway south to Selçuk, Şirince, Ephesus and Kuşadası.
After 10 minutes' drive, the highway
intersects the E87/O31 Otoyol (high-speed,
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 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 Selçuk interchange
is about TL2,
by the way. More...
As you enter the Otoyol, there
are no signs here
for Selçuk or 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 Selçuk, Ephesus and Kuşadası.
Leave the Otoyol by this exit (the
toll is about
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.
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
—At the next traffic signal, turn
left for Kuşadası (15
km), or go straight for Pamucak
—82 km (51 miles) from the airport, you're
To return to Adnan
Menderes Airport from Kuşadası, Selçuk,
Şirince 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
—by Tom Brosnahan