Visit the ancient sites of Ephesus, Miletus and Didyma
Shoppers will not be disappointed on cruises to Kusadasi as it is, indeed, a shoppers paradise. There are tourist shops galore, right from the shopping centre at the port, where there are several port-side cafés with wifi and views across to Pigeon Island, after which Kusadasi or ‘bird island is named. A little further on there is the well signposted Grand Bazaar where haggling is a must. A busy place with plenty to keep a shopper happy.
Excursions from Kusadasi include visits to the Ancient Greek city of Ephesus, which really is a must see if you have not been before. There you will see the 25,000 seater theatre and Library of Celsus. Other sites are often included in the same excursion such as the House of the Virgin Mary and St. John’s Basilica.
If you have already visited and enjoyed Ephesus, an alternative would be an excursion to Miletus and Didyma, as we did on our last visit to Kusadasi. Miletus was once one of the most important cities in the area, being a vital port for trade and commerce. According to the New Testament it was visited by the Apostle Paul who met the elders of the church of Ephesus there in AD 57. It eventually declined due to the silting up of its 3 harbours.
The site is not as well preserved as Ephesus, but fascinating nevertheless complete with 15,000 seater theatre, Roman bath house, temple with ionic columns, and granary.
Miletus is a much quieter, less well visited site than Ephesus, hence fewer or indeed no crowds to do battle with. It is possible to sit quietly in the theatre, devoid of crowds, and just use your imagination. Miletus is hardly commercialised, there is just a small local shop/bar with separate wc available for a small charge. The site is in need of funding for further excavation, preservation and reconstruction, there is so much potential for it to be just as popular as Ephesus in the future.
At nearby Didyma, included in the same excursion, you will be taken to see the Temple of Apollo. This is a most impressive site with numerous partly intact columns (originally 124 in total). Here you can visit the inner sanctuary, home of the oracle who would attract visitors from miles around. The 3 reconstructed columns give a good idea of its original height of about 20m – it was HUGE! Our advice is to visit now.