Kusadasi translated means Bird Island (Kus meaning bird, Ada meaning island and si meaning of) – Island of Birds. In times gone by, it was noted for the number of migrating birds that chose it as their destination. It is named after a small island recognizable by its Byzantine Castle. It now connected to the mainland by a causeway and is more commonly called Pigeon Island in English.
During the Ottoman Empire, the island was used as a strategic military fort to protect the mainland from invading forces and pirates – the castle is sometime referred to as Pirate Castle.
Kusadasi has a resident population of 42,500 which swells to well over 4 times this number during peak summer periods.
Today, Kusadasi is one of Turkey’s principle holiday resorts with something on offer for the old, young, site-seers, nature lovers, sun-seekers and back packers. Situated on the west coast of Turkey- 90km south of Izmir (Turkeys third largest city) Kusadasi, is reputed for one of the most attractive city of the Aegean, as it is close to the important historical sites including Ephesus, Didyma, Priene, Miletos and other places of interest such as Pamukkale and the Greek Island of Samos.
The natural port at Kusadasi has been in use for several centuries BC. It modern history began in medieval times when Venetian and Genoese traders came here calling it Scala Nuova. In 1412 the Ottoman Sultan ordered the building of the Old Town (Kaleici) Mosque, Turkish Baths (Hamam) and City walls as well at the Caravanserai in order to improve the city’s prospects as a trading port with Europe and Africa.
Kusadasi maintained its modest fishing, farming and port trade until the early 1980’s when it began to increase in popularity for European Tourism.
Kusadasi is served by two major airports – Izmir’s Adnan Menderes International Airport – approximately 1 hour drive and Bodrum’s Milas airport – approximately 1 hour 20 minutes drive.
It is also accessible by Ferry from the Greek Island of Samos. Its main port welcomes many large cruise liners all year round who visit Turkey for Shopping and Sight Seeing.
Internally in is very well served from every major town and city in Turkey with intercity buses arriving at its main Bus Station (Otogar) on the town’s outskirts.