Turkey > Destination > The Aegean Region


The Aegean Region

Many would agree that the coastal region of the Aegean has some of the most stunning views in the country and in the words of Herodotus, "has the most beautiful sky and the best climate in the world." The bays, peninsulas, and golden beaches stretch along the coastline and this region was also the venue of countless mythological events. There are remains of ancient cities including Troy, immortalized by Homer and Pergamon, the art and cultural centre and capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms at the time. The cities in the Aegean region are Afyon, Aydin, Denizli, Izmir, Kutahya, Manisa, Mugla and Usak.

Izmir Clock Tower Izmir Lift Tower Restaurant

Situated in the Edremit bay is the town called Ayvalik, which is the meeting point of the sea, the therapeutic springs of Akcay, the pine forests and the land which has been dubbed the olive-grove Riviera. To the south are countless resorts, then further south is Foca, famous for the heroic Turkish sailors who were based here. Sardis, the capital of the wealthy Lydian King Croesus, is a small detour inland.


Located in a narrow bay, Izmir is a modern city and the third largest in Turkey, as well as the major port on the Aegean. It brims with life and is a busy commercial centre, with broad boulevards and modern architecture, combined with the traditional red-tiled roofs of the old houses in the bazaar area. The peninsula of Cesme with its brilliant waters, superb beaches and thermal springs, lies to the west of Izmir.


Among the most famous cities of the ancient world, Ephesus was one of the biggest during the Roman era. A treasury of all the riches of Ionian culture, Ephesus had a reputation for philosophy and critical thinking. The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as countless statues, theatres, libraries, markets and smaller temples were all architectural symbols of the city's fame.

Ephesus Amphitheater                                                      Ephesus Celsius Library

Further to the south is the ancient city of Priene, built according to a geometric plan designed by the great architect of Milet, Hippodamos. Milet was a great centre of commerce and thought in the ancient world and was the venue of many significant developments, scientific and intellectual. The nearby Didim, though not one of the ancient cities, is still famous for its magnificent temple dedicated to Apollo.

Aphrodisias Adrien Temple

On the Izmir-Antalya road, Aphrodisias (Geyre) was an important centre for culture and art famous for its training in sculpture. On the same road is the world-famous Pamukkale, with its calcium-rich thermal waters flowing out of the mountain which have, over centuries, created an extraordinary geographical phenomenon of white marble terraces. The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis lie behind this.


The best known holiday resorts in this area are Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca, Koycegiz and Fethiye, and private boats can be chartered to explore the bays of the south Aegean, immortalized in the book Mavi Yolculuk (Blue Voyage). Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassos) is the birthplace of the great historian Herodotus. The mausoleum of King Mausolos was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Marmaris is a lively resort with a modern marina surrounded by lush mountains and crystal-clear waters and further south is the bay of Oludeniz, famous for watersports and paragliding and the coastal town of Fethiye.



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