A close up view of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey
Don't miss the Library of Celsus or the Scholastica Baths — their dozen ancient marble toilets are a unique sight from antiquity. Consider buying the extra ticket to see Ephesus' Terraced Houses. Not only are they shaded, but you get a sense of what ancient life was like and can see the restoration work in progress.
The home of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey
Walk from Ephesus' Lower Gate to the village of Selcuk, where you can visit what's said to be the burial site of John the Apostle at the Basilica of St. John. You'll also find the remains of the Temple of Artemis. About five miles from here lies the House of the Virgin Mary, which traditions holds as the last place she lived.
Stroll the seaside promenade in Kusadasi to catch a cooling breeze. Shop for souvenirs like carpets and spices in the bazaar near the port. Vendors will encourage you to sample their wares and will offer tea to serious carpet buyers. You can also visit Pigeon Island for views from the Byzantine castle once used by pirates during your Turkey cruise.
Most visitors will have tried sis kebab (grilled meat on a skewer) and doner kebab (meat shaved from a vertical skewer) before arriving in Turkey. Lamb is popular for both. Be sure to try kofte, spiced lamb or beef meatballs served with yogurt dipping sauce. Have a few meze (appetizers) to get your vegetable fix — great options include grilled eggplant salad and cicek dolmasi, fried squash flowers stuffed with raisins and rice.
The Kusadasi bazaar is naturally the place to go for shopping. A Turkish blue eye, meant to ward off the evil eye, makes a great souvenir. Also consider a traditional Turkish kilim (a woven carpet) or a more luxurious knotted carpet. Cruise to Ephesus and look for handmade tiles and pottery in the Iznik design, with floral-inspired geometric patterns. Prices are negotiable, and the first offer by the vendor will be at least double what you should pay.
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