While most visitors flock to Kusadasi for sun, sea, and sand, this holiday hot spot on Turkey’s Aegean coast offers plenty more. With three days there, you can take your pick of everything from boat trips to tours of must-sees such as Ephesus. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Kusadasi.
Day 1: Outdoor adventure
Spend much of your first day on the beach or in the water. Laze around on Ladies Beach, or go scuba diving. Alternatively, join a boat trip that includes swim-and-snorkel stops at beaches and bays unreachable on foot. Or, take a Jeep excursion to places difficult to reach independently, such as pine-forested Dilek National Park or Zeus Cave, a grotto with inviting turquoise waters.
For something different, clip-clop through the countryside on the back of a horse, or visit the hill village of Sirince to sample homemade wines and learn about traditional Turkish life.
Back in Kusadasi, enjoy a stroll and dinner on the seafront before checking out Bar Street—its myriad neon-lit drinking spots make it party central.
Day 2: Historical and natural highlights
Devote your second day to the historical or natural treasures beckoning from around Kusadasi. Topping the agenda for many is Ephesus, one of the world’s best-preserved Greco-Roman cities. Opt for a tour to benefit from the knowledge of a guide and to ensure you don’t miss must-sees such as the Library of Celsus. Alternatively, see the white-terraced cliffs of Pamukkale, and the Roman spa ruins of Hierapolis just above. Other options are the ancient Greek sites of Priene, Miletus, and Didyma, as well as the Pergamum, whose relics include a remarkable theater and ancient healing center.
Day 3: Wild card
On your last day in Kusadasi, see anything you may have missed that still calls to you—maybe Pamukkale, Ephesus, or other ancient sites. If you’ve had your fill of history, consider crossing over to Greece on a ferry trip to Samos for a day of sailing, taverna-hopping, shopping, and swimming. Alternatively, stay in Turkey and join an ATV tour of sand dunes, or take the family to Adaland, a gigantic water park.
Wind down your trip with an evening Turkish bath. Visit a spa to recharge with a sauna, scrub, and essential-oils massage—you’ll leave feeling brand-new. Then, relax over classic Turkish food on the waterfront as you watch the sun set.