Friday, February 6, 2015

A Day Trip to Ephesus

The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus are located just outside of Selçuk, Turkey.  While there are a number of tours that will take you to Ephesus, they are by no means necessary as the town is very easy to access from İzmir.  The ruins themselves are very impressive and well worth the visit if you are in the area.

Getting There:

You can take a train directly to Selçuk for only 5TL per adult (children are 3,5TL).  The trains leave from the Basmanı Gar, which you can get to easily by bus or metro.  The trains are comfortable and take about an hour and 30 minutes to get to Selçuk.

Once in Selçuk, you can either take a taxi or dolmuş to the ruins of Ephesus.  In my experience, the taxis in the area were quick to take advantage of tourists.  They will probably charge 20-30TL for the trip, so while they are an option, I do not recommend it.  The dolmuş buses leave from the Selçuk bus station, which is an easy walk from the train station.  They cost 2,5TL per person and drop off at the entrance of the ruins.


Be aware that the price to enter the ruins is a bit much.  As of this fall, it was 30TL per person, though young children were free.  Audio guides and access to extra areas were available for an additional fee.

A Day Trip to Eski Foça

If you're looking for an easy day trip from Izmir, Eski Foça (also known as Phocaea) is a good alternative.  It is a small but quaint town with clean, clear waters and ancient Greek roots.  It is known for the local population of the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seals.  Other attractions include a local castle, old windmills, boat tours, and a small public beach.

Getting There:

You can get to Eski Foça from Izmir entirely via public transportation.  It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get there.

To get there, take the IZBAN metro line in the Aliaği direction (NOTE: watch the trains that come in and do not get on a metro that says "Menemen" - you need to go one stop further than Menemen).  Get off at the Hatundere stop and exit the metro, the 744 bus to Foça will normally be waiting right in front of the platform.  The combined fare for the metro and bus is 4TL one way.

There is also a dolmuş that runs directly from İzmir to Foça, but unfortunately I do not know the prices, times, or locations for this.


The bus/metro cost 4TL combined.

The public beach is free, and there a number of other beach clubs in the area

There are also a variety of boat tours that leave from the area, but I do not have pricing information on these.