Karaincir; Situated 16 km out of Bodrum, its 500 m. beach is one of the best in the area.
Dalyan is situated on the Dalyan River a river canal connecting the Köycegiz Lake with the Mediterranean. At the mouth of the river is a natural sandbar protecting the canal from the open seas. Known as Iztuzu Beach, this beach peninsula divides the rough seas of the Mediterranean from the serene waters of the canal, and is one of the last natural breeding grounds for the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).
Majestic rock-cut temple tombs hover on the cliff face, and farther upriver on the shore opposite Dalyan are the ruins of Kaunos, once a thriving Lycian port town and now located slightly inland. Farther north are the open-air mud baths, and continuing upriver, the thermal waters flanking the scenic Köycegiz Lake. On the northern bank of the lake is the sleepy village of Köycegiz, an alternative jumping-off point for visits to the area attractions.
Fethiye: Fethiye with its cultural wealth, natural beauties and geography, is among the important tourism centres of Turkey. It is famous for its works of art belong to Persians, Lycians, Carians and Romans. This charming county is in a bay within Fethiye Gulf where both large and small islands are scattered. The rear of the bay is surrounded by pine forests.
The ancient name of Fethiye, which was a coastal city at the borders of Lycia-Caria, is Telmessos. There is not definite information about the foundation of this Ancient city. According to the first written records, it has come into existence in the 5th century B.C. Telmessos, separate from Lycia, survived as an independent city for a long time. The city experienced the rule of Persia, Alexander the Great, Rome, Pergamum Kingdom, Byzantium, Menteşeoğulları Principality and Ottoman State respectively.
In ancient times Telmessos was famed as the city of the oracles. The ancient city was founded on a large area of land, running from the foothills of the mountains that are the backdrop for modern Fethiye and all the way down to the gulf. You can see the remains of the city today. Once you look above, you will see the tomb of King Amyntas.
Göcek: The Göcek region in Fethiye Gulf has numerous beautiful coves and islands and is very popular among the yachts or boats on the Blue Cruise.
Ölüdeniz (Blue Lagoon): Ölüdeniz, described as ‘the Eden bestowed by God to the World’, has a 3 km long beach. One can appreciate fully the beauty of swimming in a colour harmony of light and dark blue combined with light and dark green. Having an appearance of naturally lagoon with its tepid and standing water during ten months of the year, Ölüdeniz is one of the most preferred destinations by both local and foreign tourists.
Kelebekler Vadisi (Butterfly Valley): At a distance of 5-7 km from Ölüdeniz, this interesting canyon is surrounded by approximately 350 meter high mountains. It takes its name from the butterflies called as ‘Jarsey Tiger’ and seen between June and September. Transportation to the bay, being an Earth Eden with its waterfall flows both in summer and winter, large beach, clear water, brightly shining pebbles and oleanders decorating the environs, is provided by boats from Ölüdeniz. Possibilities like a camping area with tent sites, restaurant, bar, shower cabinets, changing cubicles, etc. are offered in the valley which is the meeting place of world wanderers.
Saklıkent (Hidden City): It is 50 km from Fethiye, next to the Karaçay Brook which forms the province borders of Muğla-Antalya. It is a unique natural wonder hiding within a 18 km long magnificent canyon of which height reaches to 600 meter in some places. With its steep rock cliffs, plane trees, clearly flowing spring waters, it is a unique tourism centre which offers possibilities for nature lovers such as mountaineering, trekking and swimming.
Marmaris is one of the popular holiday resorts in Turkey. The ancient name of Marmaris was Physkos, and the city was developed as a port for Caria. There is not much of the ancient remains surviving. You can see some of the ruins to the north, on Asartepe Hill. However, these are very limited in number and would only be of interest to archaeologists.
The known history of Marmaris goes back to 900 BC. In the Hellenistic era it was under the rule of the Seleucids for a time and later was controlled by the Romans, Byzantines and, in the 13th century, the Menteşeoğulları. The Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent conquered the city in 1522. From here he launched his successful campaign to capture the island of Rhodes.
When initially a part of the Ottoman Empire, Marmaris was called Mimaras, with this later being changed to Mermeris and finally to its present name.
Sedir Adası: The Cedar island is the site of the ancient city of Kedrai and the famed Cleopatra Beach.
Kedrai was a Carian city, later being connected to the Rhodian state. The word Kedrai means cedar in Greek. Although it is not known whether there were cedars, used in ancient times to build the frames of ships, on the island but that is the old Greek name for it.
Kedrai, directly opposite Rhodes, was one of the most important settlements in the region. The ancient city was surrounded by walls, some of which, along with towers, can be seen on the coastline. There was also a Temple of Apollon, though only its foundations remain. There are also ruins of the agora and other buildings, the city necropolis and, on the east of the island, the theatre, which is in a fairly good condition.
Turunç: Turunç is hemmed it by a high hill covered in pines trees that bring a coolness to the seaside. Although it is always sunny it is not that hot. And of course pomegranate, mulberry, plums and citrus trees abound, though being called Turunç (Citrus) you would expect more citrus trees, though to make up for this there are geraniums, oleanders and begonias everywhere. Turunç is one of the indispensable stops on the Blue Cruise. When evening comes songs float from the moored boats or restaurants on the waterfront.
The province of İzmir is 230 km from Bodrum, contains the important ancient sites of Selçuk and Bergama. During a holiday on Bodrum and the surroundings, in one or a few days could be driven to visit these ancient cities and holiday towns. Efes, Priene, Milet, Didyma, Heraklia and their environs Seferihisar, Selçuk-Ephesus, Kuşadası, Didim
The nearest residential and holiday centres around ancient Ephesus are Seferihisar, Gümüldür-Özdere, Kuşadası, Güzelçamlı and Didim. One could organise a holiday here by being based in one of these centres and touring the others or spending a day at each of these locations.
Seferihisar; The detour to Seferihisar is halfway along the İzmir-Çeşme highway. Sığacık, the port of Seferihisar, though a small settlement is quite important. Just about all the houses are within the boundaries of the old castle walls, being on narrow streets, two storeys high and having the castle walls as their backdrop. Being a historical site of national significance Sığacık is a protected area. Along the shore of Sığacık Cove are small seafood restaurants facing the islands of Eşek, Kanlı and various smaller islets. The centre of the coast in Sığacık is not so suitable for swimming but a little ahead there is Akkum Beach, which is ideal. Here there is a forestry camping and recreation area. The ancient city of Teos is just two kilometres west of Sığacık. The Hellenistic city walls are among olive groves, while the stage part of the ancient theatre is still standing. Gümüldür-Özdere; There are holiday housing compounds surrounding both sides of the Seferihisar-Kuşadası highway. The residential centres of Gümüldür and Özdere are under the threat of these holiday housing compounds. The environs of Özdere are very rich in natural plants and vegetation. The beaches and coves of Özdere are little less developed than other areas in the region. Along the road to Özdere are the ancient cities of Notion and Klaros.
Ephesus; This is the most spectacular ancient city in western Anatolia. The entrance to the ruins is on the Selçuk-Pamucak highway and the upper gate is at the Meryem Ana (Mother Mary) exit. When entering from the upper gate the eastern gymnasium, baths, palaestra (place for wrestling and physical training), the tomb of Saint Luke, a fountain, the state agora, and the odeon are the first series of sites before your eyes. Next comes the Baths of Varius, two temples in a square with three sides covered with columns, the Sacred Way that connects to the to Curetes Way, a monumental fountain, the Memmius monument, the avenue that links the Celsus library and the monument, the Fountain of Trajan on the avenue, the Fountain of Hadrian with the Scholastika baths right behind while opposite are ancient houses that can be entered by paying an extra fee.
Celsus library; There is the house of love on the intersection of Curetes and the Sacred Avenues; the Library of Celsus, considered to be the most beautiful structure in the city; the agora with the Temple of Serapis right behind it and which was converted into a church during the Byzantine era. On the left is the 24,000 seat ancient theatre of the city, and the Arcadian Avenue, which starts at the bottom of the theatre and continues down to the ancient harbour. There are pedestrian walkways made of mosaics along both sides of the avenue, sports facilities to the north of the avenue and the Meryem Ana Church (Church of the Virgin Mary).
The Selçuk Archaeology Museum in the centre of the modern city is one of the richest museums in the region. Selçuk castle, located on the top of Ayasuluk Hill within walking distance of the city centre, has the magnificent church of St John on its slopes, and was dedicated to one of apostles of Christianity. A little further ahead is the Isa Bey Mosque with some of the finest examples of Selçuk era stonework.
House of Mary; The remains of Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, are on the road between Selçuk and Kuşadası while the cave of the Yedi Uyuyanlar (Seven Sleepers) is on the slopes of Panayır Mountain on the way to Meryem Ana. From the upper Ephesus gate, seven kilometres away on Aladağ, is the house of Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi) and the chapel of the Virgin Mary, considered as sacred and a site of pilgrimage by Christians.
Pamucak; This area is the coastal strip between Selçuk and Kuşadası. The Büyük Menderes River has slowly brought sediment down from the hills and created the plain, silting up the harbour of ancient Ephesus, with the coast now being at Pamucak. This coast is fairly long, with one portion full of new and grand hotels and an aqua park while the other section is just about empty. Along the coves between Kuşadası and Pamucak there are various hotels and accommodation facilities.
Kuşadası; This town is the historic centre of the Aegean region. Up until the 1970s it was a cute little town surrounding the caravanserai and the castle. However, in the last 30 years just about the entire town’s vacant space has been taken up by tourism developments, therefore it has lost a lot of its old charm. For the past two to three years, local authorities have stopped giving permission for new buildings and work is being undertaken to return an element of order to city planning, the environment and roads. Restoration of the old shopping district and streets to salvage what remains is being carried out. The beachfront promenade has been reorganised and all the seafront except for the harbour is now a beach area for the use of tourists and the general public.
The symbol of Kuşadası - Güvencinada - is a little island connected to the mainland by a narrow walkway. The island of Güvencinada has restaurants and cafes. The beach of Kadınlar Plajı (Women’s Beach) is two kilometres from the centre of Kuşadası. It is a long beach with restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels along its backdrop.
Güzelçamlı-Davutlar; There is a long beach all the way to Güzelçamlı-Davutlar with a sizeable portion of this coast under the invasion of holiday establishments. The coast of Güzelçamlı-Davutlar National Park is the most beautiful part of Kuşadası. Within the national park there are various walking paths, protected beaches that are quite quiet during weekdays and beautiful coves with a large and vegetation life. After the national park there come the ancient city of Karine and the old Greek village of Doğanbey. From Doğanbey to the coast is a lake connected to the Aegean Sea by channels, and as its water has little salt it is bountiful in fish. Nearby there are cheap seafood restaurants to enjoy the fish from the lake. The area is a protected by law. In the area around Karakol Point the remains of the ancient city of Karine can be found.
Priene; This is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the area, located five kilometres along the Söke-Bodrum highway near the village of Güllübahçe. At the entrance to the ancient city there is a map that can be used on your tour of the city. Priene is a masterpiece of architecture, designed by the most famous architect of the era, Hippodamos. The theatre is in good condition, with a Byzantine church at its side, a gymnasium to the south, the Temple of Demeter on the slopes of the acropolis, the Temple of Athena with some of its columns upright and the bouleuterion where the city officials used to meet.
Miletos; Miletos was a major port city of its time. When the Menderes River siltedmilet up the bay it lost its significance, just like Priene. It has a magnificent 15,000 seat theatre, the Faustina Baths spread over a large area nearby, a palaestra, and the Temple of Serapis behind the city walls. There is also the foundation structure of the agora of which the main parts are in the Berlin Pergamon Museum, the church of the archbishop near the northern gate of the agora, a 100 metre protocol path, shops along the path, the harbour avenue and two temples dedicated to the gods of prosperity Demeter and Kore.
Didyma; with the spectacular Didymaion Apollon temple at the entrance to Didim-Yenihisar. The sacred area of the ancient city of Miletos, this is the most sacred structure in the region after Ephesus and the island of Samos. Altınkum is the coastal region of Didim. There is a large area of beaches, shallow seas and hotels lining the coast. Ten kilometres to the south of Didim is Akbük and the fishing village of Kazıklı, with tourist hotels and restaurants at the cove. Lake Bafa is spread over a large area between Didim and Milas. Along the shores of the lake there are various restaurants and one hotel. The village of Kapıkırı is nine kilometres along the road that turns left at end of the lake and a little ahead is the ancient city of Herakleia. The flat land where the school of the village stands today was the agora of the ancient city. The Temple of Athena is on the top of a cliff, the altar of Endymion is located towards the shores of the lake and the theatre is high up on the slopes. This city was established in 7th century BC. During its heyday it was a major port city but lost its connection to the sea with the Menderes River silted up the harbour.
Bergama; Among the most important sites of early settlement in Anatolia are the ancient cities of Pergamon, Asklepion and Allionai. Before setting out to see the remains of these early settlements it is advisable to visit the Bergama Museum.
Pergamon; This city was the capital of the Hellenistic Kingdom of Pergamon. The remains of the ancient city are located at the centre of Bergama and on hill within the acropolis. In the city centre there is the Red Square with a temple and shrine dedicated to the Egyptian Goddess Serapis. The remains at the acropolis are spread over a large area. Upon entering the ancient site, on the left there are the remains of the palaces of the God King Attalos and Hereon belonging to Emenos, further ahead are the shops of the Hellenistic era and behind are the city walls from the late Hellenistic era. Opposite the shops is the foundation of the Altar of Zeus, presently exhibited at the Berlin Museum; to the south is the city’s upper agora; further ahead is the sacred Athena square; the remains of the Temple to Athena on the theatre side; and the remains of the largest library of the time, which used to contain 200,000 manuscripts. Next there is a 10,000 seat theatre on the steep slopes of the hill; the standing columns of Temple of Trajan; to the side of the theatre the Temple of Dionysos; the remains of the centre of the city between the acropolis and Bergama; and the upper and mid city and the Temple of Demeter.
Asklepion; This site is two to three kilometres from Bergama. There are the remains of a medical centre dedicated to Asklepion the Goddess of Health. A walkway with columns, spa and mud bath pools, sleeping quarters make up the health centre, along with a 5,000 seat theatre.
Allionai; Allionai is located 23 kilometres north east of the highway that links Bergama to İvrindi. This ancient city has two main thoroughfares and a double arched Roman bridge. It was the site of biggest baths yet found in Anatolia so far, a monumental fountain, shops, houses, wine making plants and a necropolis.
Aigai; Situated on the Bergama-İzmir highway 13 kilometres inland from Yeni Şakran on top of a hill 360 metres above sea level Aigai is a relatively unknown yet attractive ancient settlement area with remains from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Foça; Twin storey stoned houses along the coast, hotels, restaurants, fishing boats in the cove, small islands up ahead, miniature narrow stone paved streets going into the town all sum up what a beautiful quaint little town old Foça is. Foça’s history goes back as far as 2000 years. In ancient times its name was Phokaia. Its people were seafarers and knew their trade well. After the invasion of the Persians the importance of the city dwindled and the Phokaians, escaping the invasion, set up cities around the Mediterranean, including Marseilles.
Çandarlı; This is a small settlement on the cove of the same name. There is a small island opposite, a port for fishermen, holiday establishments, a 13th century Genovese castle and ceramic masterpieces found during excavations of ancient Pitane.
Dikili; This town does not have much historical significance, and has been inundated with second home or summer homeowners. There is a fine coastal beach and good hotels. One could stay overnight in Docile and tour around the region for day outings.
Çeşme; The historical city centre is around the castle. There are historical narrow streets with old houses and the promenade known as the Kordon. On the Kordon there are hotels, restaurants, and tea gardens. At the castle there is a Selçuk caravanserai (travellers inn) and a museum containing underwater maritime exhibits. Day tours to the Greek island of Samos leave from the wharf during the summer months.
Dalyan; Dalyan is ten minutes drive from the centre of Çeşme. It is the most popular place to be during those beautiful summer nights. Along the inlet there are seafood restaurants, meyhane’s (taverns) pensions and hotels. Along the Aya Yorgi cove there is a beach, restaurants and pensions.
Ilıca; This is the most popular resort area for Çeşme and İzmir. During the summer it is crowded and filled with fun. The waters of the long coastline are shallow, making it ideal for families with children. Hotels and restaurants dot the coastline of Ilıca, which gets its name from the spas of Şifne nearby. The Şifne spa is 1.5 kilometres from Ilıca and has a natural pool with water at 42 degrees celsius. It is a thermal bath and a centre providing a cure for many ailments. The water of the spa is used in the hotels and pensions nearby.
Ildırı; This is an old Greek village with the Erytrai ancient city ruins up on the hill. From here are the most magnificent views of the islands off Çeşme, especially at sunset. At the centre of the village of Ildırı are some great seafood restaurants and meyhanes, where the best regional dishes are presented, including meze (entrees) and seafood black-eyed pea, a speciality.
Çiftlikköy; This village is two kilometres from Çeşme on the tip of the peninsula. Opposite is the island of Sakız (Samos). Within the village there are the traditional stone houses, narrow streets, holiday house compounds nearby and new and beautiful hotels on the water.
Alaçatı; Considered to be one of the oldest residential areas of the Çeşme region, Alaçatı is on the left on the route to Çeşme. In the centre of the village there are the usual stone houses, narrow streets, new double storey holiday houses with gardens. The coast of Alaçatı is the best spot for windsurfing in Turkey, and has an international windsurfing school located there. The beach has golden yellow sand and the water is shallow. The weather of Alaçatı even in the midst of summer, is not too extreme at all. Alaçatı is a place where the wind works perfectly and the hotels and pensions are just fine.
Denizli is 270 km away from Bodrum an industrial city, with predominantly textile plants, workshops, and industrial facilities. On the weekends, those wanting a breath of fresh air flock to the picnic grounds around the city. The closest ancient settlement to Denizli is Laodikeia; its theatre can be reached by detouring left after five kilometres along the Denizli-Pamukkale road. The structure in best condition is the fountain decorated with ornaments and statues. Others remains include an Ionic style temple, gymnasium, and stadium. Even though they may not be in top condition they should be seen.
Pamukkale; This is a wonder of nature. Hot calcium-laden mineral waters created this natural architectural masterpiece. As the hot water cooled, the calcium precipitated and clung to the cliffs, creating snow-white travertines. This magnificent site is just 19 kilometres from Denizli.
Karahayıt; This location is five kilometres out of Pamukkale. The thermal waters of the village of Karahayıt have the same properties as those at Pamukkale and the high quality thermal hotels of the region are all here. The thermal water here differs from Pamukkale’s in that its colour is like that of roof tiles and leaves red marks where it flows.
Aphrodisias; This is the ancient settlement on which Turkish archaeologist Kenan Erim spent his lifetime on excavations and restorations. Erim is also buried here. This is an extraordinary ancient city not to be missed. When getting here follow the directions for Kuyucak when coming here via the Denizli road, it is 37 kilometres off the main road. It is also possible to come here via the Denizli-Muğla road. At the entrance to the ruins there is a museum, which should be visited either before or after seeing the settlement. There is a 10,000 seat theatre, the Baths of Hadrian near the square, the gymnasium and a Byzantine church with two squares to the south. There are also bath structures dedicated to Hadrian and Aphrodite, an odeon near the agora, and the still standing and magnificent 14-column Temple of Aphrodite. To the north what could be described as the most beautiful remains of the area is the Tetra pylon monumental entrance gate and the 362x59 metre, 30,000 seat stadium that could be considered as one of the best to be found in any of the Anatolian ancient cities.
Because of the archaeological and natural riches of the area, Antalya is also known as the Turkish Riviera. The 630km shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbours, memorial tombs and beaches, secluded coves and lush forests, many of which are easily accessible from the city.
Kaleici : Today the historical old city of Antalya known as Kaleici (the inner castle) is surrounded by two walls, most of which have fallen down. The inner wall encloses the harbour in a semicircle. As a result of restoration, Kaleici has turned into a major tourist centre with guest-houses, bars, shops and restaurants, and the Roman harbour has been turned into a modern, well-equipped marina. The City Walls : What remains today are a few bastions inside the city as well as Hadrian's Gate and its towers, the large tower facing the harbour and a few pieces of the harbour walls. One of the walls surrounds the yacht harbour and the other the city, almost like horseshoe. One of the remaining towers in the Castle Gate Square is now used as a clock tower. There are four gates in the city walls, which form entrances to the city.
Hadrian's Gate : The only city gate to have survived until the present day is the most attractive of the Pamphylia: Uckapilar (Three Gates), also known as Hadrian's Gate, which is guarded by one tower on either side. Built to honour the emperor Hadrian's visit to the city in 130 AD, the whole gate, except for the columns, is made of pure white marble. The reliefs and carvings are extraordinary.
Perge : Situated 18 km east of Antalya, Perge is in the city limits of Aksu Bucagi. Because of its location on the Cilicia - Pisidia road, it was a vital part of the province of Pamphylia, and was founded around the same time as the other cities in the area (7th century BC). It was an important city for Christians of Perge who had worshipped the mother goddess Artemis. St. Paul and Barnabas visited the city and wealthy benefactors like Magna Plancia had a number of important memorials built here.
Termessos : The ruined city of Termessos, lying 34km west of Antalya in a rugged mountain valley, was founded by the Solymi people, from the interior of Anatolia. Among the important remains are the 4200-seat theatre and the Roman stele that Augustus had built at the beginning of the first century AD. The Odeon, the covered meeting hall, has seating for 600 people. The five inter-connecting underground cisterns were used for the storage of water and olive oil.
Olympos : Lying between Kemer and Adrasan is the ancient harbour village of Cirali, the ruins of Olympos and the site of the Chimaera. The history of Olympos dates back to the 2nd century BC when it was an important Lycian city, although it was empty by the 6th century. The Olympians worshipped Hephaestos (Vulcan) the god of fire, probably connected to the eternal flame, or Chimaera, which still emerges from the mountain. Known also as Yanartas (burning stone), the flame is caused by the burning of natural gas emerging from the mountain. Apart from the ruins, Olympos is well known for its simple treehouse camps, where most tourists stay, and a natural environment thanks to forests and vineyards near to a beautiful beach.