Area Beaches

Although Kusadasi built itself up around the idea of a beach resort, it wasn't until 2001 that the city took it upon itself to create an actual waterfront and beach. There's a pretty stretch of sand that's certainly an improvement to what was there before. It's free, fairly crowded (as all the beaches in Kusadasi are, especially on weekends), and being in the town center, it funnels vacationers from the cement blocks opposite the shoreline. The waterfront promenade does make for a great sunset stroll though. Time and effort permitting, I recommend that you skip this beach and try the Papaz Beach Club to the left of the causeway to Güvercin Ada.

The town's most popular (and notorious) beach has for years been universally known as Ladies' Beach for the overabundance of exposed (mostly foreign) boobs. It's actually not a bad beach, it's located about 3.5km (2 1/4 miles) south of the town center, easily reachable by any dolmus. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes, changing rooms, umbrellas, and lounges.

Acting as a buffer between the Greek island of Samos less than a mile offshore and the Turkish mainland, Dilek National Park (Dilek Milli Parki; tel. 0256/614-1009), on the Dilek Peninsula, houses a military base as well as a mountainous natural preserve. A day trip to the quiet isolation of the park's beaches, where pine trees act as natural shelter for picnickers, is definitely a better alternative to the ordinary, albeit lovely, sand or pebble beaches of central Kusadasi.

To do this, you'll really need a car to make it worth your while. Although minibus service leaves from the otogar every half-hour to take you the 20km (12 miles) to the park, you'll still have to get to your chosen beach, which will tack on up to an additional 9.5km (6 miles). Naturally, the closest beach, Içmeler Köyü, is the most crowded, with its sand and shady stretches located only .8km (1/2 mile) from the entrance. There are no public facilities at this beach. Aydinlik Beach and Kavakli Burun are less frequented (5km/3 miles and 7km/4 1/3 miles, respectively, from the entrance), with nothing but pebbles between you and the shoreline. Both of these have toilet and changing facilities, along with basic snack bars. The last beach, a pine-enclosed, pristine pebble stretch opposite the Greek island of Samos, is Karasu Cove. Freshwater showers are available, as well as toilets and changing rooms. There are snack bars open at each of the beaches during high season. The park opens daily at 7am and closes promptly at 6:30pm. Admission is 4TL per person or 10TL per car including passengers. For a convenient dinner spot on your way back from the park, try Degirmen.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.