Back in August, my in-laws visited and we went to three different regions: Cappadocia, around Ephesus, and Istanbul. DH and I had been to Ephesus 12 years prior as part of our honeymoon cruise! It was fun going back with our kids. We decided to base in Selçuk, which is the town closest to Ephesus, and do some day trips from there. We found a great AirBnB right in town. It even had a tiny plunge pool (skinny and deep) that the kids loved splashing in after sightseeing. We enjoy the relaxation of an AirBnb rental over a resort after sightseeing. Kids don’t want to sit down for formal meals, so we get takeaway or I bring something easy to fix. We do simple dinners and have some wine while the kids play (or swim in this case).
Day 1 was the long drive to Selçuk. Took about 7.5 hours, plus a stop for lunch. We took two cars so that the 4 adults, 2 kids, and luggage would fit comfortably. Our car could fit 6, but not with luggage! The drive was easy with good roads.
We had lunch at Ezogelin Kebap Salonu in Uşak. Highly recommend. The food was delicious and portions were large. Huge array of free food at the beginning (dips, salad, bread). Lunch for 4 adults and 2 kids was 400 tl, which is about $45. We were so full afterward. You can street park, or just west of the restaurant is a parking lot (which was a pain to get out of as it led to one way streets not going how we wanted to go). The restaurant had good bathrooms as well.
Food side note–the creamy dip is made from grain and our Ephesus guide called it Keşkek. Interestingly, when I googled the dish just now, it all indicates it is made with lamb or chicken. This was definitely a vegetarian dish. So now I’m unsure! Anyway, it was a hot, delicious dip eaten with bread that I had not had before. The paste on lettuce is Çiğ köfte. It is traditionally made with raw meat, but there is now a (safer) vegetarian version made with bulgur. It is spicy. Also pictured is beyti, an Adana kebab wrapped in bread and served with yogurt and a tomato sauce. Adana kebabs are also spicy. And finally, the kids’ favorite–pide. DS likes the plain cheese version and DD and I both got the sucuk (sausage) version.
We got to our rental about 4:45, dropped off bags, and headed out to the museum for some quick sightseeing before it closed. Selçuk is hilly for part of it. Our rental was close to the museum and near a number of restaurants. The Ephesus Archaeological Museum is small, but well done. It is a nice introduction to the history you’ll be seeing. Your Musekart gets you in free. If you are buying a ticket, ask about combination tickets as you can get one that includes the museum, Ephesus, Terrace Houses at Ephesus, and the Basilica of St. John (also in Selçuk). It is 200 tl. Do confirm if they can be used across multiple days though. We didn’t realize about the combo ticket, so my in-laws just bought a regular ticket for the museum and then did the combo ticket the next day.
The displays in the museum are in English and Turkish. Everything is well laid out. There is an inside portion and an outside portion. The gift shop is great, and we thought it was better than the one at Ephesus. You can access the gift shop without a ticket, so we ended up returning to it another day.
One funny in the museum is DD8 is turning into her grandmother! She will read ALL signs and tags and takes forever to get through a museum. Lil brother rushed through it, so the two of us finished quite quickly. I had to hurry DD8 along.
The kids by now were anxious to swim. I made them some box mac and cheese with some lunch leftovers while the other adults went out to explore the town and get food to bring back. They found a delicious cheese shop and we spent many nights eating cheese, bread, spreads, olives (for them!), and veggies.