Revision as of 22:24, 27 October 2010
Selçuk is a town in Aegean Turkey.
To get in, you can either take the train, which is slower but more economical (and after a suspention of more than two years, the Izmir-Airport-Selçuk line is back at service as of Sept 2010), or the bus (dolmus) from Izmir. In the otogar, which is located in the center of the village, you can easily go to Izmir, Pamukkale and other places of Turkey.
If you come from Pamukkale, you can take a 20 YTL bus in town easily. They serve with drinks and snacks as well.
There is a small airport in Selçuk but it is only for private planes. Use Izmir Airport, it is only 55 Km to Selcuk.
From Izmir airport you have two options. You can take the bus there, but the terminal is not located in the airport. You can take a taxi (10 lira) to the Selcuk Otogar Station. At the taxi tell them you want to go to Selcuk - Ephesus Otogar. Its about 2km away.
At the station, which really isn't a station you will see a bus stop and some benches. You want to get on the bus (in reality its like a big van) to Selçuk -Ephesus. This sign should be on the front of the mini van. Ask around as there is one person in charge who can help you. From here, it is 7 lira to get to Selcuk's bus station.
The ride will take roughly one hour. It will stop in many stops along the way (some in some remote areas), and just stay on till the very end.
Option two: Go by train.
There is a train station at the airport. As of January 2010, there are 4 trains per day connecting Izmir Airport to Ephesus/ Selcuk and points south.
There are mini-buses (dolmus) to Şirince and Ephesus. To go to the House of Mary you may need to take a taxi .
Rented motorbikes or scooters can be a fun way to discover the surroundings of Selçuk. If you rent a bike note that both Şirince and the House of Mary are up in the hills.
Legend of the Seven Sleepers
The outline of the story is that during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius, around 250 AD, seven young men were accused of Christianity. They were given some time to recant their faith, but instead gave their worldly goods to the poor and retired to a mountain to pray, where they fell asleep. The emperor, seeing that their attitude towards paganism had not improved, ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed.
Decius died in 251 and many years passed during which Christianity went from being persecuted to being the major religion of the Roman Empire. At some later time — usually, during the reign of Theodosius II (408 - 450) — the landowner decided to open up the sealed mouth of the cave, thinking to use it as a cattle pen. He opened it and found the sleepers inside. They awoke, imagining that they had slept but one day. One of their number returned to Ephesus. He was astounded to find buildings with crosses attached; the townspeople were astounded to find a man trying to spend old coins from the reign of Decius. The bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers; they told him their miracle story, and died praising God.
Selcuk is a good starting place for many excursions and visits in the area.
- A major attraction is the Roman city of Ephesus which is located only 4km away from the center of the village. Entrance fee cost 20 TL per person.
- The promenade will also take you to the The Temple of Artemis (Artemision). Although it was one of the "Seven Wonders" of the Ancient world, nowadays only a column is left.
- On the way there one can also visit the Cave of the Seven Sleepers (see the infobox at right).
- The picturesque village of Şirince is located 9km east to Selcuk up in the hills. It offers wonderful views among olive and peach trees.
- House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi), 10 km south on the hills is claimed to have been the house where Virgin Mary spend her last days in Ephesus. The Vatican declared this place as an official Catholic pilgrimage site.
- Pamucak beach
- A nice day-tour can take one to the three archeological sites of Priene, Miletus and Dydima, all Roman cities located a little bit south in the coast. Several hotels and pensions offer this tour or you can also rent a van, with driver or not, on your own.
In the city center there are other very interesting spots:
- The Byzantine citadel and the remains of St. John Basilica.
- The Aqueduct.
- The Museum of Ephesus. Contains objects found in the Ephesus excavation at the site.
A day trip to Şirince (8km out of Selçuk). Nestled in the hills, small little village, narrow winding streets, great wines and lots of small cosy wine bars to try them all out in. Beware staying there though as accommodation is very expensive (90euro)??
- Double Knot Carpets, Corner of Cangiz Topel Cad and Namik Kemal Cad. Run by 20-something locals, this carpet shop is a great place to find a carpet for cheap (prices start under 100 Euro) or just to have a cup of tea. Unlike the shops of Istanbul, the shopkeepers won't pressure you into buying anything, and are glad to offer recommendations on local restaurants and bars or just have a chat.
- Amazon Cafe Bistro
- Ejder Restaurant, Cengiz Topel Cad. no.9 E PTT Karsisi (in the centre of the town), ☎ +90 232 8923296 ([email protected]). Very friendly place with homemade vegetarian food. Delicious.
- Nomadic Art Gallery, (Next door to Rumeli), ☎ +90 537 469 47 04, . Speak to the honest and knowledgable Enis about getting a high quality rug at real prices- not like over inflated Istanbul. They boys are really friendly and there is never any pressure to buy a rug - just sit and chat if you want!
- Dolphin Bar. This is a really cool place. Talip is a great guy & the beer is good.
- Pink Bistro Cafe. Ask Mesut the bartender to show you some magic tricks and you'll be entertained for hours. And try some of Simone's famous çay!
- Rumeli, 25 Ataturk Mah Cengiz Topel Cadessi., ☎ 0 232 892 16 93. 24. A fantastic 24 hour restaurant serving traditional Turkish food, normally for Turkish people. It isn't in any guide books as the owner relies on a heavy after midnight trade of locals - but it is a must see. Different corners are assigned different specialities, soup corner, vegeterian corner, etc. The mushroom pide is especially good! cheap!.
- Urkmez hotel  Namik Kemal Cad. 20 +90 0232 892 6312. The Ürkmez Hotel is run by the multi-lingual Ozkan Brothers (English, German, Spanish). All rooms are newly decorated and comes with orthopaedic mattresses and most have A/C and private balconies. Starting from 11€p.p incl. breakfast buffet on the roof terrace.
- Amazon Pension . Ataturk Mah 1054 +90 0232 892 3215. Breakfast in the garden, free daily shuttle rides to Ephesus, Internet and book exchange. Free use of bicycle.
- The Australia New Zealand (Turkish) Guesthouse  has clean rooms with private bathrooms. Great atmosphere, drinks and dinner on the roof-top terrace. Twin room €8.50. Offers complimentary pick-up from Kusadasi and rides to Ephesus.
- Homeros Pension is a old house converted into a pension which has been richly decorated by the owner, who is a carpenter. The rooms are full of charm and the meals, prepared by the sister and mother of the owner, are very good. They also provide free transportation to Ephesus and back. Phone: 892 3995 and e-mail: [email protected]
- Bella Hotel, Ataturk Mah. St. John Street No:7 Selcuk (200m from Otogar), ☎ +90 232 892 3944, . Small family run hotel with wonderful ceramic and carpet / textile decorations. Very convenient location. Excellent dinner on the roof terrace. Free transport to and from Ephesus. Fax: 0090 232 892 0344 Email: [email protected]
- Atilla’s Getaway, [email protected] (2km from Selcuk centre in the village of Acarlar), ☎ +90 (232) 892 3847, . Has a spring water swimming pool surrounded by fruit trees and gardens. Free shuttle buses to Selçuk/Ephesus, as well as free pick up from Kuşadasi Ferry Port. 12 Euro.
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