Ephesus, and pay extra to see the roman villas. As for restaurants, ask 10 people and they'll give you 10 answers. Find one with beautiful views if you're only here for the day. There's one on bird island but not sure how good the food is.
Welcome to the forum Julia. You are really spoilt for choice in things to do in Kusadasi. If you like culture and history of the places you visit then Ephesus is probably a must along with the House of the Virgin Mary but that might just take your whole day depending on how long you stay there. Fabulous range of bazaars to visit and soak up the atmosphere. Plenty of brilliant restaurants too. My favourite is the Marvista - excellent food, service and at a reasonable price. :woohoo:
There's lots of things to do in Kusadasi, it's hard to narrow down what to do in a day. It depends what you want to see and do, fun things? relax? sight see? adventure? here are a few ideas...
The world famous archaeological site of Ephesus is definitely worth a visit. You can book it as a tour (which I prefer as you get lots of really good information about it) or you can do it yourself by jumping on the dolmus and just pay the fee to get in. Also, head up into the hills to the house of the Virgin Mary, recognised by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. You’ll see a small chapel, which has been built on the foundations of a humble dwelling where Mary’s believed to have spent her last days. If you want to, you can collect water from the Holy spring and leave a prayer in the form of a ribbon on the prayer grid. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this serene setting though. Tucked high in the hills above the coast, it’s really something. From here you’ll carry on to the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus for your walking tour. Tick off a list of sights including the Temple of Hadrian, the Marble Street and the Celsus Library. Just so you know no filming, photography or hats are allowed inside the House of the Virgin Mary.
A winding road through the mountains takes you up to the village of Sirince. It’s a peaceful place (in the morning before the bus load of tourists arrive!) that hugs the hillside and is famous for its homemade wines. Sirince is famous for it's olive oil and it's fruit wines, you can go on wine-tasting sessions, it's nice just to wander round this pretty village and browse its souvenir stalls.
You could eat lunch in Sirince, there are some gorgeous little restaurants that service traditional Turkish food such as a Turkish breakfast (slices of beyaz peynir (white cheese), honey or jam, black olives, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, clotted water buffalo cream (kaymak), boiled eggs and piles of delicious fresh Turkish bread all accompanied by hot black tea in small tulip-shaped glasses), Gozleme (Turkish pancake), Pide (Turkish pizza).
Saddle up for one of the best ways to experience the outdoor life in Turkey. A short drive from Kusadasi will bring you to the start of your tranquil trek. You’ll enjoy a ride to Pamucak Beach, where you can 'swim' with the horses. After some time to swim and relax you’ll return to the ranch. One rider per horse and beginners and experienced riders are welcome. Long trousers and closed shoes are recommended for the ride, but don't forget your swimwear and towel if you would like to swim.
Kusadasi isn’t just about Ephesus, monuments and bazaars. You can trek, dive or enjoy the sun, sea and sand. Or try fun new sports like quad biking. You’ll head for the Quad Club just outside Kusadasi where an instructor will welcome you and give you a short briefing explaining the route you’ll follow. After that, you’ll get on your quad bikes and head off on a fun quad bike adventure. As you follow your instructor, feel the wind on your face as your convoy snakes its way along the winding trails and then relax with free time in the sun. Just so you know... Wear comfortable shoes, long trousers and bring your swimwear with you if you wish. Safety equipment is provided and must be worn.
Enjoy a day out at one of Turkey's biggest themed water park, Aqua Fantasy or Adaland. Slides, wave pools, waterfalls and rides make for a splashing good time! Top up your tan, snooze in the shade or tackle adrenaline-pumping rides like the Kamakazee. There are boat rides in the lazy river that stretches for 300m through the park and on Treasure Island younger visitors can slide through the 25m Pirate Tunnel or test their balance on the Lily-Pad Raft Walk. The little ones get their own separate section so it’s a fun day out that’ll please everyone.
Depending on what day you're coming, these's a market in Kusadasi on Wednesday and in Selcuk on a Saturday, they are really nice to browse around and buy souvenirs, haggle over the prices.
There are lots of great restaurants in Kusadasi for an evening meal, you could try one of the fish restaurants near the marina.
if i only had 1 day in kusadasi i would go to ephesus and the virgin mary house, people come from near and far see them it really is special and a must see once in ur life. you could eat some very nice turkish food in selcuk afterwards.