Kusadasi Port of Call
Hagia Sophia at night © Moyan Brenn
One of the biggest cruise ports in Turkey, Kusadasi is a popular stop on Mediterranean cruises from Venice, Piraeus, or the Greek island of Samos. The city is blessed with roughly 300 days of sunshine each year, making it an ideal port of call or holiday destination for sun-starved vacationers.
Formerly a sleepy fishing village, Kusadasi owes its huge tourism industry to its proximity to archaeological sites like the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. Kusadasi itself is not without charm however, with attractions like Turkish baths, beaches, bustling markets, and waterfront cafes which serve mouth-watering meze platters.
Cruise ships in Kusadasi dock at a terminal in the main harbour, walking distance from the city centre.
Kusadasi is easy to explore on foot, with a compact city centre friendly to pedestrians. Nearly all cruise ships offer shuttles and organised tours to further destinations, but if you want to go on your own you can find taxis at the docks (but be sure to negotiate a price before setting off).
The main attraction in Kusadasi isn't inside the town itself, but is to be founda little distance away at the ancient city of Ephesus, which is home to popular sites like the House of the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Cybele at Artemis, as well as the ruins of a library, theatre, and many grand residences. Cruise passengers are well-catered for on excursions to Ephesus, which are organised by nearly every cruise line.
Selam Restaurant - Good seafood and steaks for reasonable prices.
Chez Maurice - Local Turkish cuisine served right on the beach.
Saray Restaurant - Tourist-friendly restaurant with an eclectic menu.
The main bazaar has a bustling atmosphere, but cruise passengers should be aware that prices are inflated just for them. Better bargains are to be had in less-busy areas. Bargaining is a necessity if you want a good deal, so starting from one third of the stated price is a good place to begin. Touts can be persistent, and will go to great lengths to entice you into their shops.
Silver jewellery and fragrant Turkish honey.
Go hiking and have a picnic in the Dilek Peninsula National Park.
Swim with dolphins or ride the waterslides at Adaland.
Be pampered with a massage or sauna session in the Turkish Baths.
View ancient historical sites on an Ephesus Shuttle Tour.
Sun yourself on Kadinlar Denizi (Ladies Beach).