After a month spent living in Istanbul, I took a ten-day holiday from work in order to explore more of the exquisite landscapes that make up Türkiye. We started with a few days in the fairytale that is Cappadocia, watching the balloons rise at sunrise and hiking through fascinating rock formations, before flying down to Antalya for a 24-hour exploration of the city, featuring a beautiful sunset and yummy vegan food. From Antalya, we took a four-hour bus along the Turquoise Coast to Kaş, perhaps one of the most idyllic spots on our trip around the country. Kaş is a true holiday down, with a laidback vibe, pretty little streets and beautiful coastal spots to explore. It's also the gateway port to visit Kastellorizo, a Greek island just out in the bay.
From Kaş we made our way back up the coast northward to Selçuk, which is the city where the famous Ephesus ruins are located. Ephesus in its heyday was said to rival Rome in power and commerical influence. The ruins here are exceptionally well preserved, most well-known of all is the exquisite Library of Celsus at the heart of what was once a bustling and thriving metropolis. The ruins of Ephesus are a forty-minute walk or a five-minute minibus ride away from Selçuk and once inside the grounds, you are free to wander all through the many ruins. It's an incredible experience to wander where people did thousands of years ago.
How to get from Kaş to Selçuk by bus
From Kaş, we took an overnight bus to Aydın which took about seven hours. We bought tickets for this bus in advance from the bus depot in Kaş.
The overnight bus departed from the larger bus depot outside Kaş which you can reach by local bus or taxi (ten minutes drive). The bus was one of those large buses and was surprisingly comfortable with reclining seats and heating.
We had a two-hour wait in Aydın before catching a minibus for an hour westward to Selçuk. We bought tickets for this bus directly at the bus stop in Aydın; the minibuses depart downstairs (floor -1) where the schedule to each destination is printed on the column under each name sign.
Where to Stay in Selçuk
We stayed very centrally in little Selçuk at the wonderful Homeros Guesthouse. It really feels like you're staying at someone's cozy home and the service and welcoming atmopshere made this a great choice. It's in walking distance of everything in town, including the bus stop, and Derviş' family really makes you feel at home.
How to visit Ephesus
The entrance to Ephesus is about a forty-minute walk through orchards from Selçuk. Here is the entrance marked on Google Maps. We entered through the south gate and exited through the north gate from where we took a five-minute minibus back to Selçuk.
The entrance fee to enter Ephesus is currently 200 lira per person and I recommend spending at least two-three hours to wander through the entire expansive ruined city. There are additional museums you can pay extra for to visit inside, but the main exhibition is accessible to all with the general ticket. You can wander the ruins at your leisure, including going inside the fascinating Library of Celsus.
I highly recommend visiting Ephesus in shoulder season both so it is not so hot nor so crowded!