With temperatures firmly in the 30s°C – during the summer, Kusadasi is quite literally a holiday hotspot. That said, cooling off in the one of the three huge waterparks is a popular choice for tourists. With a huge selection of slides and activities, the waterparks here are a great option for people who want to have some cool fun in the sun. There are even special kids' pools and slides, making such parks a winner for families.
Step back in time
The Kusadasi region is not short of historical sights. Check out the Ottoman Fortress, a castle built in the 13th century to protect the area from a pirate attack. You can visit the castle museum to find out more about the history of the area, or just take in the breathtaking panoramas of Kusadasi from this prime spot above Pigeon Island.
Also easily accessible from Kusadasi is the ancient city of Epheus, a historically important site. Ephesus was a major trade port of the ancient world, and today there are some amazing ruins, which are worth a visit. Temple of Artemis is not-to-be-missed, especially since it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Nowadays you can see ballet and opera in historic spots across the city, as part of the summertime International Izmir Festival – a must if you're interested in music and art.
Wining and dining
You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out during your cheap Turkey holidays. There are a good number of authentic Turkish restaurants as well as spots serving up international favourites. Be sure to try the seafood – sardines and octopus are among the top choices, and don't forget to sample Izmir Kofte, a spicy casserole.
Head to the beach to dine al fresco – after all nothing beats stunning views across the Aegean Sea while you gorge on mouthwatering Turkish flavours.
Kusadasi after dark
Once the hot sun sets over the beautiful Aegean Sea, Kusadasi's thriving nightlife comes into its own. With two main bar streets, you'll find a good selection of bars and restaurants all within easy reach of each other. So you can start the night off with a cocktail before heading to the nightclubs – or having some fun at a karaoke bar.
If you're visiting the area at the end of June, make sure you check out the Gold Pigeon Music Festival. Hailed 'the Turkish X Factor', the festival features a singing competition held over a series of concerts and events.
If you fancy something a little less hectic, head to the beaches, where the bars are open late and you can enjoy a cool drink by the sea.
Haggle and barter
Head to the local market for a classic Turkish market experience. Bring your best bartering skills and bag a traditional Turkish souvenir – think trinkets and Turkish Delight.