"Taking Kusadasi tours and shore excursions, shopping and sightseeing is guaranteed to turn out to be one of the most eventful days of your vacation!"
Most cruisers come to the ship completely unprepared for all the excitement that a visit to this Turkish port, especially taking Kusadasi shore-excursions, holds for them.
Let us guess… when you’re planning your European Cruises there’s a few things that will be on the very top of your to-do list: visiting the Athens Acropolis Greece, lounging on a sunny Mykonos beach, exploring Lindos town acropolis in Rhodes etc.
After many years of giving Mediterranean cruise-port and shopping presentations we realized that visiting this little town, sightseeing and taking Kusadasi tours is something an average cruiser doesn't know much about prior to their cruise.
Be honest, if you haven't heard about this port before, you probably don't even know how to pronounce it's name. Of course you don't. And that's why we often took time in our presentations to teach it our guests.
But you know what, in the end, visiting Kusadasi turned out to be one of the most eventful days of our guests vacation!
If you're wondering why, make sure you read our article Why taking Ephesus shore excursions is a must! That's right, the remains of the ancient city of Ephesus are very close to this little town and that is why we put so much stress on taking Kusadasi tours.
Once the cradle of civilization and seat of the Greek, Roman, and Ottoman empires Turkey is today a magical blend of East and West. And in this port you will have a chance to enjoy this exciting combo.
So, what else is so special about this port? Only 30 years ago, it was just a small fishing village. Since then it has grown into one of the most famous seaside resorts on the southern Aegean coast, loved by British, Irish and German tourists especially. Today, many of them are renting or buying villas or apartments in large complexes overlooking the old village from the nearby hills.
Location: Izmir Province, western coast of Turkey
Language: Turkish but English is widely spoken by merchants
Climate: Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers.
Money: Turkish lira (TL) is the official currency but US dollars and Euro are widely accepted. Basically, there’s no need to exchange any money into Turkish lira at all for either shopping or Kusadasi tours.
With the tourists, the market of Kusadasi expanded accordingly. That’s why today, in Kusadasi, it’s easy to get lost in street after street lined with shops… some of them elegant and sleek, paved with marble, offering genuine precious and semi-precious stones, gold and silver… others offering knock-off Swiss watches and brand name purses right on the pavement, in tradition of the real Oriental Bazaars.
During the day, you won’t see many of the local tourists around town as they must be enjoying Kusadasi beaches. But with up to 3 large ships docking at Kusadasi harbour in one day, the town will be abuzz with all the cruisers!
When in Kusadasi Turkey, this is the drill… first, everyone takes one of the Kusadasi tours to Ephesus. There are a few ways you can get to Ephesus ruins and you can read all about it in our Ephesus Travel article.
As the best preserved classical city in the Western Mediterranean, Ephesus ruins should be the #1 must see spot for anyone visiting this part of the world for the first time!
Make sure you plan your Ephesus Kusadasi tours and get to learn the basics of Ephesus history ahead.
Ephesus is one of those spots in the world where biblical history materializes right in front of your eyes. From being just a written word in a dusty history book it comes alive in the form of the baths, Ephesus library, temples, shops…
And what more could transport you 2000 years back in time better than seeing the public latrines or an advertisement for a brothel!
Add just a little more imagination and you can almost see St. Paul and Virgin Mary walking the streets of Ephesus just as you will be doing soon! You will also need some imagination to envision once impressive temple of the Artemis at Epheusus, as not much is left of it today.
But instead of wandering around the site on your own, which can be done in other ports, here we always recommend taking one of the organized private daily Ephsesus tours.
Once you get back downtown after your Ephesus Kusadasi tours, it will be time for that fantastic Kusadasi shopping! The town itself and the shopping area are literally just across the road from the cruise terminal, one of the rare Mediterranean cruise ports of call where there is no transport needed to get where all the action is!
So, don’t worry about getting back to the ship and indulge yourself in some shopping!
Of course, the absolute must buy in Kusadasi is a Turkish rug.
If you’re lucky enough, a rug presentation will be included in one of your Ephesus Kusadasi tours. If not, don’t miss visiting one of the stores yourself!
Once you’ve chosen that perfect rug for your home, don’t miss out on Turkish leather, either. For more best buys & suggestions make sure you read our article Kusadasi Shopping - What to Buy..
Once you’re done with that, it’s time to taste some real Turkish food in one of the local restaurants.
Refreshed and rested, you will enjoy some Kusadasi town sightseeing. After that you can say you’ve experienced this little town to the maximum and it’s time to spend some time in the equally appealing harbour.
Here, you will also find a shop that specializes in baklava, and that’s some tasty baklava, trust us! We actually used to sneak it in to the ship ourselves!
While you certainly won't be able to take that baklava back home with you, you will be able to take some Turkish Delight!
Your cruise ship is only steps away from the Scala Nuova shopping village so you can relax here without worrying too much you will miss the ship.
Throughout all these years I’ve spent working as Port Lecturers on Mediterranean cruise ships, Kusadasi always got raving reviews and we’re sure your experience will be just the same!
Kusadasi Hotels and Shore Excursions:
Hotels in Kusadasi - Planning to stay in Kusadasi to explore Ephesus even more? HotelsCombined.com allows you to instantly search and compare room availability and prices from all major travel websites!
Magical Steps Travel - this is a five star private tour provider for Kusadasi and Istanbul. Check out why they have a 100% guests' satisfaction guarantee and Trip Advisor's certificate of excellence for many years in a row now.