Beaches, bazaars and Ottoman history come together in Kusadasi beach resorts, perched on the Aegean coast south of Selcuk and Izmir.
Day 1: Kusadasi Stroll
Get to know Kusadasi’s history and sights on a walking tour of this beach city’s town center. Walk out across the causeway to the Pigeon Island fortress, dating back to the Ottoman era, or relax on one of the public beaches lining the coast. Most activities target the beach, including windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing. Away from the water, practice your bartering skills in the Kusadasi bazaar, and haggle for jewelry, rugs and glass evil eye trinkets.
Day 2: Kusadasi Cuisine
Turkey’s Aegean cuisine highlights seafood, so take the opportunity to sample the local specialties while you’re in town. Start with a pre-dinner drink at a seafront bar and watch the sun go down over the marina, or take a stroll under the palm trees lining the waterfront esplanade. Find a courtyard restaurant to enjoy a meal served under the stars, beginning with a platter of meze appetizers. Dinner could be a Turkish dish of shellfish freshly fished from the sea, grilled meats and salads, kebabs and bread pide.
Day 3: Day Trips Through History
Day trips from Kusadasi travel back into the past, to several centuries before the birth of Christ. The Temple of Apollo at Didyma was the site of a famous sanctuary of the Oracle. Today you can take a wander past monumental columns carved with the face of the Medusa, and imagine life in the era of the ancient Greeks. Didyma is around 73km (45 miles) south of Kusadasi. For Roman-era ruins of baths and temples, take a trip to Sardis around 160km (100 miles) from Kusadasi. The best-preserved Roman ruins of all are at Ephesus, just 18km (11 miles) from Kusadasi, with its monumental gates, columned facades, temples and theater.