Grand European Tour of Turkey in May

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<p>We're leaving May 14 for this 16-day bus tour, followed by the optional 6-day Greek Island cruise (Istanbul to Athens). Any comments, especially with regard to the optional excursions. We've been to Istanbul 3 times so have "done" all the usual stuff (Blue Mosque, Tokapi, etc.).</p> <p>The bus tour goes to Kusadasi/Ephesus, as does the cruise (we were also there as part of a HAL cruise about 4 yrs. ago). Any suggestions for doing something on our own in Kusadasi. </p>

Check out Gray Line for day and half-day sightseeing tours you can take from Istanbul. I recommend their full-day tour to Bursa, the former Ottoman capital (long day, 13 hours, but worth it) and/or a half day tour to Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul (royal residence of the Ottoman sultans) if you haven't already been there. Gray Line also offers several tours from Istanbul focusing on sites of Jewish or Christian interest.
In Kusadasi, can always go to Adaland which bills itself as the biggest aquapark in Europe. I'd like to think it was named after me on account of my passion for tropical fish and aquariums. [Sorry, I couldn't resist that one, but in truth, Ada means "island" in Turkish]. Getting serious, in case you haven't been to Selcuk, it is a charming town to walk around in and you can visit the Museum of Ephesus there. Or further afield, you can take a day trip to Euromos, with its Temple of Zeus, and then on to the three ancient cities of Didyma, Miletus, and Priene, which were the religious, business and cultural, and political centers, respectively, of the old Ionian League. If your tour company or hotel in Kusadasi doesn't offer this as an optional excursion, you might have to hire a private guide.