Things To See
Selçuk is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Turkey, due to its close proximity to the ancient city Ephesus, Isa Bey Mosque, the House of the Virgin Mary and St Johns Basilica. Since the town is used as a stopping point for further travel, the actual town remains relatively undisturbed and undeveloped, retaining Turkish tradition and culture. The name originates from the Turkish tribes that settled in the area in the 12th century.
EPHESUS - THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS
Second Largest and The Best Preserved Ancient City Of The World
Ephesus is probably the best preserved city in the eastern Mediterranean, with only an estimated 15% having been excavated. The city hosted one of the seven churches of Asia as addressed in the Bible and it is thought that the Gospel of John was written here. It is also a graveyard of a large number of gladiators.
MAIN SIGHTS OF EPHESUS
There are many spectacular ruins to see in Ephesus. Some of these include; the Marble Sacred Street, connecting to the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsus, the Commercial Agora, Gate of Augustus, Temple of Hadian, the Odeon, The Terraced Houses, baths, brothels and interesting private houses.
THE LIBRARY OF CELSUS
The library of Celsus was built by Gaius Julius Aquila in honor of his father Celsus Polemaeanus, the Roman governor of Asia Minor in 125 AD. It is believed that the library was once home to 12, 000 scrolls, each one located in niches around the walls.
ST JOHN'S BASILICA - AYASULUK CASTLE
This Basilica was built in the 6th century AD, under the orders of emperor Justinian I. It is thought that the Basilica is built over the burial site of St John, also known as the apostle, evangelist and prophet. This fact made the site sacred and was the place for many pilgrimages. The Basilica fell into ruins after Arab raids, only to be converted into a mosque in the 1330’s. In 1402 the building was completely destroyed by the Mongolian Army; however restoration still enables visitors to understand the size and visualise its former brilliance.
An Ottoman Castle located right besides St. John's Basilica, overlooks Selcuk town.
ISABEY MOSQUE - VIRGIN MARY'S HOUSE - MERYEM ANA EVI
The IsaBey Mosque was constructed in 1375 and is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architecture remaining from the Anatolian times. It sits at the foot of the Ayasuluk Hill between the Saint Jean Church and the remains of the Temple of Artemis.
VIRGIN MARY'S HOUSE - MERYEM ANA EVI / KILISESI
The house of the Virgin Mary, known in Turkish as Meryemana, is believed to be the place she was brought to by St John at the end of her life. It is located on top of Bulbul Mountain and also offers great views of Selcuk town.
The structure dates back to the 6th and 7th centuries, with the foundation dating back to the 1st century. The current chapel on the site is a result of restoration. It has been declared an official Catholic pilgrimage site. However the Roman Catholic Church has never announced the sites authenticity, although it did receive blessing from Pope John VI in 1967.
The site is also holy in the Muslim religion, with people believing the Virgin Mary visited and drank from the spring running under the house. There is a ceremony every year on August the 15th to celebrate the Virgins passing to heaven.
CAVE OF SEVEN SLEEPERS - YEDI UYUYANLAR MAGARASI
The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is located on Mount Pion, near Ephesus and is the site of many different religious myths. According to Christian legend seven persecuted Christians fled from Ephesus and took refuge in a cave, possibly a landslide sealed the entrance trapping them inside. Two centuries later an earthquake revealed the cave and the seven sleepers awoke and wandered into town, only to discover, their friends were dead and it was thought they had undergone some sort of resurrection, resulting in a cult following. In the Koran it is stated that the sleepers slept for 309 years in their tombs and Christians built a church above the Grotto. Only after the excavations of the church were the tombs discovered.
The Grotto is actually a Byzantine necropolis, with tombs cut into the rocks. The area is well known for its famous Turkish pancakes - Gozleme.
PLACES TO VISIT
Places near & far, worth visiting while basing your self in Selcuk.
We are happy to help you either directly from the hotel, or through our travel agaency ‘Enchanting Tours’, with either private or, agency guided tours, to the below areas and to other places in Turkey.
SIRINCE ( 10 mins.)
Sirince is located a short distance from Selcuk, it is an old Greek village (now Turkish after the 1923 ex change) set amidst grape vineyards, fruit orchards and olive groves. Sirince means "pretty" which it is, with stone and stucco houses, red tiled roofs, representing a typical depiction of Turk-Greek culture…
KUSADASI ( 20mins)
Located on the Aegean Coast, it is a major resort town and harbour for cruise ships. Its close proximity to the Greek Island Samos, makes it a prime stop for tourists. The towns population of 50,000 hitting half a million during the peak travelling months….(Tickets and trasnfers for Samos Ferry available from the hotel).
TIRE ( 45 mins)
Largely relies on agricultural products, especially figs, cotton, corrn and other grains. Cash crops, such as tobacco, sesame. Fruits like watermelons, cherries, peaches, grenadines and dried fruits, walnuts and chestnuts. Tire center has an attractive old quarter with many impressive examples of Islamic architecture. A lively Open Farmers Market held every Tuesday well worth a visit…
Is the third largest city in Turkey, with the second largest port and a very modern setting in comparison to other cultural centers. Izmir is regarded as one of the most progressive cities in Turkey….just a little over 1 hour by train or bus.
Cesme is located on the west coast of Turkey, in the province of Izmir. It is a town that thrives on tourists and is well known for its clubs, beaches, restaurants, boat trips, wind surfing and easy access to the Greek island of Chios…between 2-3 hours by bus.
2000 years ago, Bafa Lake was a bay in the Aegean Sea called the "Gulf of Lade". Deposits in the river Menderes the bay to silted up and was slowly separated from the sea. This area forms one of Europe´s biggest bird refuges. The mountains are an excellent area for hiking and trekking tours. Since 700 A.D hermits and monks have left their mark. Byzantine monasteries and hermit caves are a favourite destination. Wondering the village of Hierakliea you will find many ancient ruins....1 ½ hours by car.
Priene was an important city in the ancient Greek Ionian times, around 300 BC. It is thought that the Ionians held congress and festivals in Priene. However, it was not of as much importance as Miletus...1hr 15 mins
Miletus is a much less frequently visited ancient ruins. Accurate settlement dates are unknown, due to rising sea levels, there are still magnificent ruins of a theatre, constructed during the Hellenistic period, in the 1st century AD...2 hrs 15 mins
Didyma was an ancient Greek - Iodian sanctuary and cult centre for the city of Miletus. The Temple of Apollo remains very awe inspiring. It is located about 15 kilometres from Miletus and in ancient times was connected by a ‘sacred way’….3 hours
Pergamon is located near the modern city Bergama, most famous as the home of Asclepion, the healing centre, Red Basilica….3 hours
Aphrodisias is one of Turkey’s finest archaeological sites. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The city was built near a marble quarry, eventuating in extensive exploitation, the city became known for its marble statues, many on display in Aphrodisas Archeological Museum...2 ½ hours
In Turkish Pamukkale means ‘Cotton Castle’. The city is located in the inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes Valley. Tectonic movements on the basin of the Menderes River triggered the rise of multiple hot springs. Here the old Roman Baths and health centre grew. Therapautic thermal waters, White Calcified Travatines....3 hours
Hierapolis is an ancient city located on the top of Pamukkale and is a World Heritage site. There is a mixture of Pagan, Roman, Jewish and early Christian influences. The hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the 2nd century, people came to Hierapolis to soothe their ailments….3 hours
DILEK MILLIPARK (National Park)
Agean Coastal reserve area, 4 lovely beaches, picnic areas, hiking trails. Closet distance to Greece, being only a short disctance to the Greek island of Samos….1.5 hrs
TEOS (Sagacik – pronounce Saar-ghick)
Sigacik lies between the headlands of Doganbey Burnu and Teke Burnu. Teos was founded in 1050-1000 BC. İncluding the largest of all Temples to Dionysus, Hellenistic walls, a theatre, acropolis and gymnasium. Today Sigacik is a magnet for wind surfers, sailors and rock climbers.A traditional village, but up to speed…being part of the ‘Slow Food’ movement.
Every Sunday is market day. Organically grown vegetables, fresh food prepared by the village ladies, crafts, and on the waterfront (if you havn’t sampled too much walking through market) fresh seafood restaurants….1.50 hrs