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Selçuk and surrounds

This tiny little village, just slightly inland from the Aegean coast sure packs a punch. With a population of only 30,000 people, Selçuk is home to the ancient city of Ephesus, the 6th century basilica of St John, the house of the Virgin Mary, as well as a grand fortress high on the hill and a 14th century mosque.

Selcuk castle

Once a major Roman city, in 1st century BC, Ephesus had a population of over 250,000. Walking down the main street towards the library of Celsus is one of the greatest experiences in Turkey. Recently opened, the ‘terrace houses’ provide tourists with an insight into the life of weathy Ephesians – with elaborate dining rooms, basilicas and extensive mosaics, the ‘terrace houses’ are not to be missed.

Ephesus

From April to September Selçuk is a popular nesting for Storks! Their favoured spot in town is on top of the Roman aquaduct that runs through the village.

Storks

Once a Greek village, Şirince was a victim of the population exchange in the 1920’s. The village is in the hills above Selçuk and is famous for olive oil and fruit wine. A traditional village lunch of Turkish gözleme and stuffed zucchini flowers is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, overlooking the olive groves.

Şirince

Şirince is not only a pretty village, but is now considered to be a haven from destruction when the world ends on December 21, according to the Mayan Calandar. My friends in Selçuk say the hotels and guesthouses in the village are completely booked out!

Read this article from the Hürriyet Daily News for more information.