Our cruise ship arrived at 2pm and we decided to take an excursion just to not have to line up to get tender tickets and to make sure we really got to see the island. We went to Perissa beach which is a black sand beach, very family friendly. There are watersports and restaurants there. We could have enjoyed more time there than the ship's excursion allowed.
We heard good things about this city, mostly from Anthony Bourdain, and the city did not disappoint. We went to the Hagia Sophia, right at opening. We spent some time around the Blue Mosque. And then we went to the Topkapi Palace. We also took our son to the city's aquarium - perfect for 3 year olds - which is in a modern mall. It was just cool to see the city as it is; and to get out of the touristy parts.
We got together with another family from cruise critic and went with Ekol Tours. We took the Ephesus Tour with the Terrace Houses. Because Ephesus did not open until 1pm that day, our guide tacked on a visit to Sirince Village for free. We loved our guide and strongly suggest that you get your own. She really made the trip for us. The place was hot and crowded in August, though.
If you decide not to do an excursion, there appears to be a nice beach in town.
Sirince Village Rating:
We had this added on to our tour for free. I do not think it is a place that I would pay a lot extra to go to, but it was nice to relax there before heading to Ephesus.
We took the city bus to the beach. If you can get off the ship early and find the bus station, I highly recommend doing this. There are not too many taxis on the island, though you can get restaurants to call them for you. Once again, no lines - just a rush of people trying to get aboard. Once at the beach, it is lovely.
I think the Blue Grotto could be skipped, but the four hour boat ride around the island should not be missed. Getting a ferry during peak times can be tricky, but we got off the boat quickly and got on a ferry without too much difficulty. Getting back seemed even crazier... Took Capri Relax Boats with Marcello and he was wonderful. It was the highlight of our trip.