20km (12 miles) southwest of Selçuk; 95km (59 miles) south of Izmir; 220km (137 miles) west of Pamukkale; 151km (94 miles) north of Bodrum

Only 20km (12 miles) from Selçuk, Kusadasi long ago earned the dubious honor of hosting -- of all things -- a steady stream of cruise ships filled with masses of tourists making the obligatory pilgrimage to Ephesus. One would never suspect that only 25 years ago, before it was discovered by the yachting set (and then exploited by mass tourism), Kusadasi was a scenic and unspoiled community of fishermen and farmers, with barely a dirt road running through it. Makes you fear for those unspoiled neighboring villages you just came from.

In addition to patronizing the fat-cat cruisers ready to disgorge the contents of their wallets on jewelry and carpets on their way in and out of Ephesus, the town is characterized by three genres of tourism: mass tourism drawn to Ladies' Beach by cheap package prices from Europe, more mass tourism clustered in cement midrise hotels in the town center, and (with a few exceptions) the more selective mass-tourism establishments north of town mushrooming up on the coastline above the yacht marina. Some of the most splendid coastline on the Aegean can still be found in the protected National Park area, while the Kismet Hotel (adjacent to the yacht marina) is still a delightful oasis in a desert of commerce. If your priority is touring the area archaeological sites by day, practicing some retail therapy and partaking of the typically Turkish resort-style nightlife (with a short poolside rest in between), then Kusadasi might actually fit the bill. If rural charm is what you're after, move on.