A good base for exploring the Ephesus region is Kuşadası, a resort town on the Aegean which is a popular port of call for cruise ships. If you’re flying into Izmir, Kuşadası is about an hour’s drive south.
From Kuşadası you can take local transportation to Ephesus, which is about a 15 minute-drive away. The resort town also serves as a base for explorations to Pergamum/Bergama and Pamukkale and Hierapolis, site of unusual geological formations as well as ruins.
Kuşadası has a picturesque harbor and beach area that offers pleasant strolling. Adjacent is a shopping area with many small stores and vendors.