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One great day trip outside of Izmir is a trip to the national park near Davutlar.
The area is a natural wonder, being on the peninsula next to the Greek island of Samos. The locals use the park to go on picnics - a great idea for more long term residents of Izmir, but also for those interested in adding something different to their trip to Izmir/Ephesus/Kusadasi.
The main attraction is the somewhat stoney beaches that has crystal clear water - you can see marine life clearly. Little fish can be observed, along with the occasional octopus and bigger fish. Take some kind of beach shoe that will help you navigate the rocks to get into the water - footing can be treacherous. Sometimes you can see the wild pigs in the area - keep your distance though. There is a fantastic view of Samos island from many beaches and you can see down the Turkish coast for a magnificant view. For nature lovers, it can be a highlight of your trip to the area.
For those that have no transportation, day tours organized by tour companies can be arranged in Kusadasi. You can arrange to be picked up at your hotel or meet at a central point, and have your guides drive you to the area. Some tours may involve hiking and other fun activities.
One of those hidden gem trips for those tired of the usual, or looking for an alternative.