about two hours east of Selçuk (Ephesus)
and 2.5 hours west of Pamukkale
(map), is a bit off
the beaten path, and somewhat tricky
by public transport.
It is best
visited on the way to or from Pamukkale.
For example, you might drive from Selçuk (Ephesus)
or Kuşadası eastward
up the Meander valley for about two
hours, turn south at Nazilli,
and proceed via Karacasu to Geyre,
the village next to the site.
(It's not quite
as difficult to get to Aphrodisias today as it was in 1968 when I first
there by oil tanker,
described in my humorous travel memoir Turkey:
Bright Sun, Strong Tea.)
may want to take a tour—contact Anker Travel for that.
If you have your own car,
there's no problem: go to Nazilli (NAH-zee-lee),
a town east of Aydın,
and turn south for Karacasu (KAH-rah-jah-soo,
42 km/26 miles). From Karacasu it's
13 km (8 miles) onward to Aphrodisias.
To go by public transport,
catch a bus or train to Nazilli to
arrive as early in the morning as
possible. There's plenty of bus traffic
along the highway between İzmir, Aydın
and Denizli all day long. From Nazilli,
catch a minibus to Karacasu—they
leave about every 30 minutes, and are
especially reliable in the morning.
From Karacasu there are several minibuses a day to Aphrodisias, leaving about
every 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Return minibuses from Aphrodisias to Karacasu supposedly
leave in the afternoon at 15:30 (3:30
17:00 (5 pm) and 19:30 (7:30 pm),
but you must confirm
these times in Karacasu when you first
Two hours is the
minimum time to spend in the ruins
and museum at Aphrodisias, and you'll
be rushed. A decent visit takes 3
or 4 hours.
There's lots to see, and it's a beautiful
Aphrodisias has a few small hotels and places
to eat, but I'd suggest
you take at least some snacks
and drinks with you (or buy
them in Karacasu), and perhaps a full
if possible. Karacasu has more restaurants,
and Nazilli has a good selection of
all travel services.
Distances & Travel Times
km (59 miles), 2 hours
Denizli: 110 km (68
miles) E via Sarayköy,
2.25 hours (the mountain road via Tavas is
Ephesus (Selçuk): 133
km (83 miles) W, 2 hours
km (490 miles) N, 12 hours
Karacasu: 13 km (8
miles) NW, 15 minutes
km (87 miles) W, 2 hours
km (138 miles) N, 3.5 hours
Nazilli: 55 km (34
miles), 1 hour
km (80 miles) NE, 2.5 hours
Selçuk (Ephesus): 130
km (81 miles) E, 2 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan