My Favourite Planet decided that Selçuk deserved its own section. It is a modest little town and is often skipped by tourists, especially package tourists on excursions who rush to see the magnificent remains of Ephesus
3 km (2 miles) southwest of here. Since the archaeological site now has its own restaurants and tourists shops, there is less reason for tourists to come into the town. After the usual programme of tour, lunch and shopping, they are whisked off in their bus to the next destination or back to their hotel or cruise ship.
But Selçuk is worth visiting, and not only for its Ephesus Archaeological Museum
, whose exhibits help understand the history and former grandeur of the place. It is an easy-going town, and its pedestrianized shopping street with its cafes and restaurants provide a welcome break from the more crowded seaside resorts. You may also find that prices, e.g. for accommodation, groceries and carpets, are lower here than in the more touristy areas.
The remains of the Byzantine aqueduct
, the early Turkish Isa Bey Mosque
(Isa Bey Camii, built 1375), the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist
and some of the old houses and small mosques also lend the place some of its charm. The people also have their own gentle charm, and many of them have learned some of at least two languages (mainly German and English) the better to serve visitors. They also offer an unconditional welcome to the storks
who return here each spring and build their nests on every available perch.
Each winter Selçuk hosts a bizarre camel wrestling championship, a must for all true sports fans.