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Top 5 Highlights
Afrodisias
Miletos Antic City
Prienne Antic City
Didyma Temple
Kusadası

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kusadası, Figs, Sculpture

 

The province's capital, also called Aydin, enjoys a widespread reputation for its fine figs. Known as Tralleis in ancient times, it was at the center of a celebrated school of sculpture. The remains seen today date from the second century A.D. After 1186 the town came under Seljuk rule. The local museum displays artifacts from the different periods of its history.

 

Back along the coast, Kusadasi, or Bird island, is a lovely port built along the shores of a glittering bay. The terraced town overlooks the most beautiful inlet of the Aegean and seems to have been created purely for the delight of the holiday-maker. Be sure to visit the famous and popular Kus shopping center in the Kaleici quarter, where there is also allnight entertainment. A large, modem marina facilitates life for visiting yachters. The Tusan-Kustur Beach, north of Kusadasi is one of the cleanest beaches. 23 km south of Kusdasi is the charming holiday-resort town of Guzelcamli. West of Guzelcamli and 30 km from Kusadasi, is the Dilek Peninsula National Park, a must for those with the time. Here amidst incredibly beautiful surroundings are some of the most wonderful views and some of the rarest wild animals in Turkey, including the Anatolian cheetah and some of the last wild horses. The park is a wildlife preserve and a haven for many species of animals and birds.

The exquisite Menderes River valley, known in the West as the Meander, has been the cradle of many civilizations. Set amidst pine, olive and oleander trees, the magnificent Lake Camici (Bafa) is a lovely place for a stop. Tourists can choose between guest-houses or campsites. To the east of the lake rise the five peaks of the Besparmak Mountains (Latmos). The Iconoclastic priests who came here from Constantinople to live, built monasteries, churches, and chapels around the base of the mountains and on the lake's islands. The ruins of the ancient city of Heraklia lie close to the lake, while the remains of Alinda are found on the eastern slopes of the Besparmak Mountains. The valley has witnessed the rise and fall of several great cities, notably Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Aphrodisias, and Hierapolis. This peaceful national reserve is an excellent place for bird-watchers, hikers, nature-lovers and photographers.

 

Gullubahce (Priene) was one of the most active ports of the Ionian Federation. The grid-like system of streets introduced in te fourth century B.C. by Hippodamos of Miletus is a superb and early example of town planning.

 

Milet (Miletus), like Priene, was a great Ionian port as well as the birthplace of several philosophers and sages. The theater itself justifies a visit. Also be sure to see the well-preserved ruins of the Faustina baths and the Archaeological Museum.


Although Didim (Didyma) can only boast of a single monument, it is nevertheless a marvelous site. The Temple of Apollo was one of antiquity's most sacred places. Many times looted and burned, the sanctuary still impresses with its elegant beauty. A double- colonnade portico surrounds the colossal temple. Not far from the archeological site, the beautiful beach of Altinkum tempts visitors with its many guest houses. Akbuk is another holiday resort in the region with nice beach hotels.

 

Although the history of Geyre (Aphrodisias) stretches far back in time, the city, which was dedicated to Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility, only rose to prominence in the first century B.C. Some of the richest treasures of ancient times were uncovered in the excavation of this city. The public buildings are handsomely adorned with marble that was carved with astonishing skill, producing remarkable temples, monuments, baths, a theater and a magnificent stadium. As the reputation of the city's craftsmen for the exquisite finesse of their statuary and marble sculpting spread through the civilized world, Aphrodisias became the center of the greatest sculpting school of antiquity. Many of its marvelous works of art are now housed in the local museum. The theater and bouleuterion are among the city's best-preserved ruins.

 

About 35 kilometers east of Aydin lies Sultanhisar, host to an Art and Culture Festival every spring. Nearby, in quiet groves of olive trees, are the ruins of ancient Nysa, famous in the second century A.D. as an educational center. You can choose among nearby Camlik, Incilipinar or Gokpinar Parks for a rest, a picnic, or simply a walk through the forest in the shade of pine trees. Fresh water springs and thermal baths attract many visitors.