Hello - I'm visiting Turkey and Greece in a couple of months. I have a flight from Istanbul to Izmir, which I found out is the easiest way to get to Ephesus. Can anyone tell me how I get from Izmir to Ephesus, and from Ephesus to Kusadasi, where I'm staying the night before taking a ferry to Samos, Greece? Or, if you can point me to any resources, that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Lonely Planet Turkey is the best guide. You can get to Ephesus via bus to Selçuk, which is actually closest to Ephesus. Or of course you can do any of the tons of tours they'll have to offer - but beware, unless you get there as early as possible, you'll be there with hoardes of people. You can get almost anywhere in Turkey by bus - the connections are very good and there should be frequent service among these sites you're trying to go to.
there is a train from Izmir to selcuk, and from selcuk it's 5 min to efes. you stay overnight in selcuk then take a bus to kusadasi, it's not very far.
A great online resource is Turkey Travel Planner. Here's his page on Ephesus and Selcuk, with links to getting there from the airport. http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Aegean/Ephesus/index.html We flew Atlas Jet, which had a free shuttle from Izmir Airport to Selcuk; I believe at least one other airline also has this. If yours does, take advantage; the train back from Selcuk to the airport was packed. We had to stand the entire way - not fun with luggage.
Thank you all for your help! I have a follow-up question: can anyone recommend some decent hotels or rooms in Kusadasi, Samos and Kos? Kusadasi is just a transfer city, so definitely nothing fancy there, even an budget equivalent of a Holiday Inn or Ibis would be fine. But in Samos and Kos I would prefer to have something with character and preferably secluded, not necessarily in one of the main cities. Any help would be appreciated!
I have no hotels to recommend to you, but while you're on Kos, be sure to take a day trip (or even better, an overnight trip) to the nearby island of Nisyros. It's a tiny island with an active (but not erupting) volcano. You can walk around right inside the crater. It's really a unique experience. Beautiful little untouristy island. If you can spend the night, rent a car or motorbike and get to the volcano early in the morning (I think it opens around 8) to have it all to yourself. The daytrippers come on buses around 10 am, I think.