Its proximity to some of the top cultural, religious, and natural attractions in Turkey makes Kusadasi one of the best ports to use as a springboard for sightseeing trips. The ancient Roman city of Ephesus—a half- hour drive away—is widely considered to be the most well- preserved Classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Just outside of Ephesus, the provincial town of Selçuk is home to the Basilica of St. John and the House of the Virgin Mary. Drive the 40 minutes from the port to Sirince, a rural area dotted with wood-and-mortar houses, olive groves, and lush vineyards.
Exploring the ruins of the Basilica of St. John perched near the citadel The (reputed) grave of St. John the Apostle—marked with a marble slab—is the main attraction.
Veal meatballs at Selçuk Köftecisi, a tiny café off Selçuk’s main square. They’ve been the house specialty for the last 50+ years.
Cocktails at the Marina Bar. Located in the Kismet Hotel—which was built by an Ottoman princess, the bar has stunning views of Pigeon Island and the nearby port.