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Thanks to its cultural and historical values, Selçuk is one of the leading tourism destinations in Turkey. The ancient city of Ephesus is just one of the historic districts that make İzmir elite worldwide because of its cultural assets. The first settlement in this district adorned with historical textures dates back nearly eight thousand years.
While several works of art such as the ancient city of Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, St. John’s Basilica, the Byzantine Aqueducts, Selçuk Castle, and mosques from the Ottoman Period guide you through your historical journey, the blue flagged beaches on the Pamucak Coast and alternative tourism choices make your trip to Selçuk unforgettable in any season of your holiday.
Ready for a journey in time?
Of course, Ephesus is the most famous place to visit in Selçuk. This magnificent antique city, which has the privilege to be included in the Unesco World Heritage List, invites you to a magical journey through history with its magnificent structures such as the Great Theater, Celsus Library, and Hadrian's Temple. Although The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, has not survived, you can see many valuable artifacts from the ancient city in The Ephesus Museum.
The House of Virgin Mary is another popular destination in Selçuk. The house received visits from Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979, which strengthened the belief that Virgin Mary lived spent her last days in Ephesus. This site has become a frequent destination for pilgrims since the image of the Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. A special mass as held each 15 August, which attracts numerous visitors.
The list of historical places to see in Selçuk is pretty long, including The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers, Basilica of Saint John, Ayasuluk (Selçuk) Castle, İsa Bey Mosque, and İsa Bey Baths.
Enjoy the sea in Pamucak
With a length of 11 kilometers, Pamucak Coast is one of the longest beaches in Turkey. The beach is sandy and the sea is clear. You can find two blue flagged beaches in the area. The coast is also suitable for all kinds of water sports, and camping. Besides the tracks for exotic activities like horse and jeep safari, the opportunities for water sports and entertainment facilities, and its picturesque sunset makes Pamucak a unique coast.
Other places to visit in Selçuk
If you are planning a trip to Selçuk, we recommend you to spend at least a few days here to make the most out of it. Just Selçuk Bird Sanctuary, home to many bird species; and Şirince, one of the most famous villages in Turkey thanks to its historical houses, churches, and wine; can both take a full day to see.
Aside from places to visit, Selçuk offers many activities to do for fun too. If you are interested in extreme sports, you can skydive, after getting some training if you need to. Selçuk is also suitable for mountain climbing.
Where to visit
One of the most visited places by history enthusiasts in İzmir is the Ancient City of Ephesus, a treasure on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In Ephesus, you should visit the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, the House of the Virgin Mary, which is a place of pilgrimage for Christians, and the Church of Saint John. The works from the excavations in the city are exhibited at the Ephesus Museum. We are sure that the atmosphere of the region will fascinate you. After Ephesus, you should visit Şirince Village. With its architectural structure, narrow streets with bougainvillea, small wine cellars under the houses, and vineyards gardens, you will feel like you’re in a fairy-tale place, that brings the nostalgia and peacefulness together. Selçuk Ephesus City Memory Center is another place that will attract the interest of history enthusiasts. Here, you can learn about the ancient and recent history of Ephesus in the center from many documents and objects. If you want to spend a day in nature, Selçuk Bird Sanctuary, which is home to dozens of bird species, is perfect for you. Here, you can get to know birds in bird observation houses and go hiking to enjoy nature at the same time.
What to do
You can explore the historical texture of the region and take beautiful pictures. We also recommend you to enjoy the sea and sun all day long on the blue flag beaches around Selçuk. You can get to the nearby bays and shores with daily boat tours and if you are interested, you can go scuba diving or snorkeling. You can taste wines in Şirince and join the vintage entertainment during the season. We also recommend that you do not miss the International İzmir Festival events organized in the summer.