Before choosing Turkey as our honeymoon destination back in 2014, I have to admit that it had not been top 3 on our bucket list. However, a friend of ours convinced us to read an article and have a look at a few photos and wow! It was love at first sight.
We then spent a couple of weeks researching and planning our trip; we knew straightaway we were going for a less popular resort because we’re not big fans of crowded, noisy places. After careful consideration, we wholeheartedly said YES to KUSADASI!
There are direct flights from the UK to Turkey and the closest airport to Kusadasi is Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (51 miles away). Direct flights from the UK (I compared the prices and arranged them in ascending order), as follows: London (starting from £176 pp in September), Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast. The prices might change depending on demand.
Since I had to spend 4 hours on the plane and I’ve always been anxious during take-offs and landings, I needed my noise cancelling headphones to keep me distracted and my favourite travel pillow.
Once you get there, renting a car is a great option as this will allow you to explore Kusadasi and everything around; in addition, the prices start from as little as £72 for a whole week! On the other hand, if you love to walk and explore like we do, arrange a transport to and from the hotel only and then book a daily tour for your chosen destination (that covers transport for the day, sometimes the meals as well, so less things to worry about).
Since this was our honeymoon destination, I was desperate to have a sea view; nonetheless, I also love to travel on a budget so I had to consider lots of other aspects (food, facilities, rating) in order to find the perfect combination. We ended up booking an all inclusive package at Asena Hotel Kusadasi (literally 30 ft away from the beach) and by the end of our week there, we concluded that it was an excellent choice. On a couple of occasions, we had to get up really early for our daily tour, so the hotel staff had sandwiches or meals ready for us. Thumbs up!
Bonus: For guests with a vehicle, there is free parking available.
Since we got to our hotel around noon, we checked in quite quickly and headed straight to dinner! Now, I knew there was a top floor restaurant, overlooking the Aegean sea, but I never expected such views! The other tourists were incredibly friendly- they asked us to join them since they had decided to spend the afternoon at the roof top pool. And honestly, after a long flight and the hassle of the airports, all we wanted to do was to relax and make the most of our first day. We spent a few hours sunbathing; surprisingly, there were still 30°C at 6 pm!
We started our next day enjoying the view from our balcony, listening to the waves and the cheering of the children. There were already 26°C outside by 10 am.
Lazily, we spent the morning sunbathing on the amazing Ladies Beach (although crowded, I found it very peaceful, so I nodded off). As far as I can recall, we paid €5 for a sun bed, but the prices might have changed meanwhile. In the afternoon, we ventured on the charming streets; there are so many restaurants, shops, and lovely houses to admire, but so little time!
It was just a personal choice, but we love walking so we decided to explore the famous Pigeon Island/Bird Island on foot. We walked from Ladies Beach to Küçükada Kalesi (Pigeon Island) and admired the beautiful scenery, learned about the history of the place and the origin of the name. It comes from the Turkish words kuş (bird) and ada (island), as the island has the shape of a bird’s head (when seen from the sea).
On top of that, we discovered that Kusadasi’s port offered so many boat tours so excitedly, we started planning one!
Our third day ended gloriously, accompanied by a splendid sunset seen from the roof top restaurant, great food and the most relaxing music.
Alternative for the day: Visit the magnificent Ephesus, Turkey and immerse yourself in the history and architecture of the place. I would recommend booking a day tour as it covers the transport and there’s always a guide who speaks English.
If done independently, these are the admission fees.
Our fourth day was spent in Pamukkale, which was the highlight of our trip in Turkey!
Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s most famous attractions and a precious natural site in the world due to its cotton-look terraces. Booking a day tour to Pamukkale might be the best option since it covers transport, a guide and skipping the queue when entering the site.
Even though you might have to wake up extra early, I totally recommend spending the day like we did. We stopped for breakfast at the Pam Thermal Hotel CLINIC & SPA, where we had our once in a lifetime experience – dipping in a pool with hot spring water!
There are plenty of things to explore once you get to Hierapolis and Pamukkale, which form an archaeological museum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I am honestly so glad we booked a full day boat trip on our 5th day! There are plenty of options (some include transport and lunch) with prices starting from £25 pp. Don’t make the same mistake I did – get plenty of sun cream!
Needless to say we had a blast! The Aegean sea, the views, the diving and swimming in crystal clear waters, the freedom…it was a unique feeling!
I totally recommend spending a day exploring the sea and the surroundings.
Shopping in Izmir or relaxing on the beach… We debated a lot whether venturing ourselves in the crowds for some shopping or spending the day sunbathing. The latter won.
We were already tired and wanted to digest what we had experienced and exchange impressions, so we decided to take that day easy. In the morning, we enjoyed a ride with our new friends and came across a splendid hotel tucked away in a small mountain. Later that day, after dinner, we picked one of the local restaurants and experienced a Turkish night. Obviously, we couldn’t have left Kusadasi without enjoying a short escapade on the beach – what an amazing week!
We had breakfast and enjoyed the magnificent views one last time. Although I believed that one week would be quite enough to explore Kusadasi, seeing other people checking in when we left broke my heart. With tears in my eyes, I promised I would return one day.
I hope you enjoyed our one week trip to Kusadasi!