Many visitors to Kusadasi Turkey will be those who are making a stop during cruises along the Turkish coast and in the Aegean islands of Greece. For others, it will be a stop for a night or two during vacation packages that visit other destinations in the country. For almost all of these, an excursion to see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo in nearby Didyma will be on the agenda. However, there are many worthwhile Kusadasi attractions and things to do in Kusadasi that make this western coastal city a worthwhile destination in its own right.
Kusadasi Turkey is set on the Aegean coast along what is known as the Turkish Riviera or Turquoise Coast. It is a popular resort city both for the Turkish people and vacationers from all over Europe. The Kusadasi beaches are some of the best in the region, rivaling even those on popular Greek islands like Crete, Mykonos, and Rhodes. A feature of these beaches, in addition to expansive, wide stretches of sand, is the crystal clear color of the waters, which, of course, are turquoise.
Because of the beach resort nature of the city, many Kusadasi attractions center around the water. Day cruises on small traditional fishing boats are easy to book in the harbor. If you want something more upscale, you can charter a gulet, a traditional Turkish sailing yacht. These can sleep as few as 2 or as many as 10 or 16 passengers, and are beautiful, sleek ships. You can book a place on one or charter one for a day or more, and cruise along the beautiful coastline snorkeling, diving, fishing, and visiting ancient ruins. This area of the coast is also an international boat building and yachting center. The harbor and marina are full of the yachts of the rich and famous, and large ocean cruise liners anchor offshore.
One of the main Kusadasi attractions is the landmark ancient Kusadasi Fortress, set on Pigeon Island in the harbor. This massive structure occupies the entire island, and gained notoriety in the sixteenth century when it was use as a headquarters by the notorious pirate known as Barbarossa. There is a causeway to walk out to the fortress.
You can also visit the bustling and fascinating fish market, where what you see is apt to end up on your plate at dinner in Kusadasi hotels and restaurants. Things to do in Kusadasi also include shopping, and there is no lack of it here. Three colorful local markets are full of fresh vegetables and fruits, and the harbor area has numerous stalls, shops, and boutiques selling local handcrafts.
The Kusadasi Caravanserai is a popular place to get a taste of the Turkish culture while dining on authentic cuisine. This is one of the things to do in Kusadasi that can be enjoyed by just about everyone. A caravanserai is a roadside inn, built to service the needs of caravans during their journeys. They provided stables for horses, camels, and other livestock, sleeping quarters for the people, and food and water. These are scattered along caravan routes all over Turkey. The Caravanserai in Kusdasi was built by Okuz Mehmet Pasha around 1618, and is wonderfully restored. You can enjoy a sumptuous meal of traditional Turkish dishes and enjoy folk music and dancing, including exotic belly dancing.
Kusadasi Turkey is located about 55 miles south of Izmir. In addition to Didyma, the incredible ruins at Ephesus are also nearby, as are the “Cotton Castle” thermal pools of Pamukkale