The ancient religious centre of Didyma, with its Temple of Apollo, was a marvel of the ancient world. Not only was it stunning architecturally, it was a beacon for the faithful because of its celebrated oracle (who would, sadly, come to an unhappy end with the advance of Christianity).
'Old Datça', capital of an Ottoman district stretching into what is now Greece, is much more atmospheric than its newer counterpart, Datça. Its cobbled lanes wend beckoningly between whitewashed stone houses draped with bougainvillea, providing a blissful escape into the untroubled coast of yesteryear.
The farming town of Tire, 40km northeast of Selçuk, lies on the fields beneath the Bozdağlar Mountains. Its popular Tuesday market provides a slice-of-life view of rural Turkey, sprawling across the town centre and filling whole streets with the aroma of freshly picked herbs and grilling kokoreç (season lamb or mutton intestines). A smaller market takes place on Friday.
Some 26km south of Kuşadası, the Dilek Peninsula juts westwards into the Aegean, almost touching the Greek island of Samos. Most of it is given over to the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes National Park. It's also a good springboard for three fabulously rich archaeological sites: Priene, Miletus and Didyma.
Pamucak, 7km west of Selçuk and 12km north of Kuşadası, is a popular beach day trip, though better beaches exist to the north and south. On weekends, Turkish families flock here, often leaving their trash behind, so it's not always the cleanest stretch of sand. Still, it's fine for a swim.