Anyone who has taken a cruise ship to Turkey has probably spent at least a day in the port city of Kusadasi. We actually flew into Izmir and then spent a week in Kusadasi using it as our home base as we explored as much of the west coast of Turkey as possible. We also used it as an opportunity to relax for a couple of days before continuing on to Istanbul and then Bulgaria. While there are certainly plenty of historical sites to visit that are just day trips, spending time in the city of Kusadasi is worthwhile if you enjoy sitting by the water and watching the sunsets.
We stayed in a resort that was outside of Kusadasi, but they offered a shuttle that would take us downtown near the port, which we took advantage of a couple of times. The weather was much warmer in Kusadasi then it was as we traveled north, so it was definitely a beach experience. We ate our fair share of seafood, tried some fresh ice cream as well as gelato, and of course had several glasses of wine. There are many different restaurants, all with views of the Aegean Seas and the beaches with people wading and swimming near the shore.
Since we usually have trips that are “travel” and others that are “vacation”, it was really nice to have a trip that was actually a little bit of both. Because of all of the cruise ships that do dock at Kusadasi, you do need to pay attention to how many ships are in the port as that does increase the crowds, especially towards the end of the day when they return from their tour of Ephesus, which is where most people on the cruise ships visit. You can also take a day trip to the Greek Island of Samos, but we chose not to do that on this particular trip. We will definitely have fond memories of Kusadasi as we really enjoyed our time sipping on wine and watching the sun set across the water.