Kusadasi / Ephesus / Pamukkale: discover Turkey on the road

Turkey is a wonderful country, I discovered it in 2015 and it was love at first sight. Go from Istanbul to the east coast, then drive to Cappadocia, passing from Ephesus to Pamukkale. A journey was full of places to discover and wonderful people always ready to help you in case you are lost.

In the previous chapters, I told you about Istanbul and how to organize your trip to Turkey. In this first part of the journey, I will drive you from Izmir to Pamukkale. Ready? Goooooooo




Izmir is one of the main airports in southern Turkey, connecting Istanbul to the west coast of the country. Flights can cost from € 50 to € 75 in high season. I recommend you rent your car there.

Leaving for Kusadasi, 100km from Izmir, if your navigator isn’t working you will find signs indicating the direction. Driving in Turkey is not very different from Europe, just be careful about pedestrians and animals that cross the streets.

Once in Kusadasi it is where we will stay the first night. I advise you to choose a hotel with at least 3 *, the quality is very low. To eat/dine I recommend the promenade full of bars and restaurants, the city is a tourist destination of Germany and UK, you will notice it for the fish and chips.


Temple of Artemis, Ephesus
Temple of Artemis, Ephesus


Visiting Ephesus from Kusadasi is very simple. You can arrive by car, 20 km away, or choose an organized tour, which takes you by bus and brings you back in the evening. Prices may vary depending on the Tour Operator. Once you arrive in Ephesus you can choose to visit the archaeological site with a guide or without. I have chosen without, it’s all very nice anyway. Book here the tour!

TIPS TIME! Do not visit Ephesus with flip-flops/sandals, the marble is very slippery and you can hurt yourself very badly.

Ephesus is one of the best known archaeological sites in the Mediterranean Sea. It is worthy of note in the Theater, of the small temple of Hadrian, of the Library of Celsus and the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the world.


Thermal pools of Pamukkale
Thermal pools of Pamukkale, book here!


We put ourselves on the road towards Pamukkale, 200km from Kusadasi, in the Denizli province. To sleep I recommend a pension with a swimming pool, excellent quality/price (50€/night). Family management, excellent breakfast, 10min drive from the thermal pools.

Pamukkale, which in Turkish means “cotton castle“, tectonic movements not only caused frequent earthquakes but also allowed the emergence of numerous thermal springs. Book here the tour from Kusadasi!

TIPS TIME! Do you want to see a source of thermal water without the stress of tourists? Pass by Karahayit, 6km from Pamukkale, where you will find the so-called Pluto cave.


Pluto cave in Karahayit
Pluto cave in Karahayit

The water that gushes form with the carbonic acid water that precipitates giving rise to the characteristic formations, consisting of thick white layers of limestone. Since it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they tried to recover this area devastated by tourists. It is possible to bathe in the famous pools but without soap. Always be responsible tourists!

The first part of our work is over, to read the second part: Read here!

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