This post contains affiliate links.
Of the six tours we have done during our European cruise from Royal Caribbean out of Rome, Italy the stop at Turkey was the most surprising of them all. We had done a full day tour of the Ancient Ruins of Ephesus which was a massive expanse of Roman buildings that were unearthed with the 3rd largest ancient library in the world exposed to see. The archaeologists are still working on unearthing the other 3 miles of city buried under ground and I can only imagine how big this ancient ruin tour will be in another 10 years.
My wife and I were both amused by the hundreds of stray cats that roam the ruins and perch on columns hoping for pets, handouts or some attention from tourists. They almost seem like Egyptian cats as ancient as the structures themselves and I can’t help but think the area must be rodent free.
In addition to the ruins the tour took us to the small town of Sirine Pronounced (Si-Ree-Nay) which grew dozens of fruits which were distilled into fruit wines like Mulberry wine, Melon Wine and Strawberry wine. I was so surprised by the flavor and aroma of the fruit wines that my wife and I bought a bottle of Black Mulberry (my favorite) and Melon (her favorite) back with us from the trip.
We ate lunch at Artemis restauran which served unique foods we had never before consumed including an opening appetizer of sea beans in olive oil and flat bread. The flat bread with spinach and goat cheese was my favorite, and the main entree of meatballs were unique with a distinct tomato sauce with sour cream on the side.
Out of all the tours we took on our European cruise, Turkey was one of the highlights and was far more than we expected. We also had a really great tour guide who made the whole tour fun and fresh.
Here are some highlight photo’s from Ephesus / Kusadasi and Şirince.