The blue waters that caress Turkey’s western coastline have given their name to the entire region – the Aegean. These lands were once home to many great civilizations, empires and states, out of which sprung some of the world’s finest mathematicians, scientists, architects and sculptors.
The so-called Turquoise Coast of Turkey includes some of the loveliest landscapes in the country. This magnificent coastline, lapped by the clear water of the Aegean Sea, abounds with vast and pristine beaches surrounded by olive groves, rocky crags and pine forests.
The mountains of the region drop vertically into the sea, crossing fertile plains and ensuring a temperate climate. The people who once lived here were mostly engaged in agriculture and commerce through which they achieved a certain prosperity, and they built beautiful cities and monuments, developing new techniques for both farming and construction.
A visitor wandering through the ruins of the region like an open-air museum can sense how it was once a cradle of civilizations, inspiring admiration and fascination throughout the ages. Indeed, the Aegean coasts of Turkey encompass the world’s richest collection of ancient ruins and monuments and the people who live in the region today continue to be blessed by nature.
The whole coastline is embellished with charming examples of architecture. It is dotted with bright, whitewashed houses with wooden balconies and tiled roofs set among olive trees and pine groves or else lining up the crooked cobbled streets of a fishing village. A provincial Turkish house's main other characteristics are its simplicity and the harmony between space and light.
A typical house in the Aegean with wide eaves, high ceilings and large windows offers its residents lots of open space.
Whether you prefer idyllic fishing harbours, popular holiday villages or the remains of ancient civilizations attesting to more than 5000 years of history, culture and mythology, this region offers a holiday with something for everyone – naturelovers, sun-worshippers, photographers, sports enthusiasts, sailors and archaeologists.
The whole length of the coast offers accommodation to suit every taste and price range.
Known as 'beautiful İzmir', the city of İzmir lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf frequented by ships and yachts. It has a mild climate with constant and refreshing sea breezes tempering the heat during summertime. Behind the palm-lined promenades and avenues which line the shoreline, the city gently ascends the slopes of the surrounding mountains with horizontal terraces.
İzmir is the ancient city of Smyrna, or 'the country of the sacred mother', which existed even before the arrival of the Hittites and was ruled by Ionians, Persians, Romans and Ottomans. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı) and had the most advanced culture, alongside Troy, in Western Anatolia.
Excavations at Bayraklı have unearthed a temple dedicated to Athena and the wall of the Ionian city which had flourished there between the seventh and fifth centuries BC. Pottery dating back to the third millennium BC has also been uncovered. By 1500BC, it had fallen under the influence of the Central Anatolian Hittite Empire.
During the first millennium BC İzmir, known then as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation and Homer is believed to have lived here during this period. The Lydian conquest of the city around 600BC brought this period to an end.
İzmir remained little more than a village throughout Lydian rule and the sixth century BC Persian rule. During the fourth century BC, a new city was built on the slopes of Mt Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great.
İzmir's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era. Byzantine rule followed in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest of the 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmet Çelebi, İzmir became part of the Ottoman Empire.
Today, İzmir is one of Turkey’s most pleasant cities: its streets are shaded by palm trees, the sideways are beautiful and the houses elegant. As the final destination of the 'King’s Road', which goes all the way to Iran, İzmir continues to be a focal point for tourism and entertainment.
The city’s coastline is renowned for its fish restaurants along the coast as well as its bars, discos and nightclubs whereas its hinterlands are rich in monuments and ruins which tell the tale of countless ancient civilizations. Also, highly valued since ancient times, the Balçova Springs are found just 10km west of İzmir.
On arrival in İzmir there are many must-see sights such as the Church of St Polycarp, one of the seven churches mentioned in Bible. The Archaeological Museum, near Konak Square, houses a superb collection of antiquities including the statues of Poseidon and Demeter which in ancient times stood in the Agora. Next to the Archaeological Museum is the Ethnography Museum which displays a fine collection of Bergama and Gördes carpets, traditional costumes and camel bridles.
On Kadifekale (Mt Pagos) stands the impressive ruins of a castle and its walls which were built by Lysimachus under the reign of Alexander the Great. They still dominate İzmir today. The castle offers an excellent vantage point from where to enjoy a magnificent view of the Gulf of İzmir. The Agora, or marketplace, in the Namazgah quarter was constructed during the rule of Alexander the Great; what remains today, however, dates from the rebuilding under Marcus Aurelius after a devastating earthquake in 178AD.
Built in the 16th century, and restored in the 19th, Hisar Mosque is the largest and oldest mosque in İzmir. In the village of Birgi, the Çakır Ağa Mansion is a fine example of traditional Turkish architecture.
Şirince, a peaceful village nestled in greenery, has a long history just as the other settlements around do. You can enjoy local tastes and visit the houses dating from the Ottoman Period that stretch along narrow streets with stone pavements. As an original Aegean settlement with many other unique characteristics, Şirince Village deserves a visit.
The ancient city of Ephesus is Turkey’s most important ancient city, and one of the best preserved and restored. One can still stroll for hours along its streets passing temples, theatres, libraries, houses and statues. It contains such grand public buildings as the impressive Library of Celsus, the theatre, the Temple of Hadrian and the sumptuous Temple of Artemis which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The ruins also include public toilets and even a brothel dating mostly from the fourth century BC.
As one of the most important centres of the ancient era that is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015, Ephesus had been inhabited approximately for 9000 years throughout the Hellenistic Era, Roman Period, Byzantine Era, the Period of Principalities and the Ottoman Era. It was a very important port city and centre of culture and commerce. The whole site comprises Çukuriçi Mound, Ayasuluk Hill (Selçuk Fortress, the Basilica of St. John, İsa Bey Bath, İsa Bey Mosque, Temple of Artemis), the House of the Virgin Mary, and of course the ancient city of Ephesus.
Ephesus is particularly important for faith tourism as it contains the House of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that the Virgin Mary was taken to this stone house by St John, where she lived until her death at the age of 101. The Church of the Virgin Mary, close to the original harbour of Ephesus, was the setting for the Third Ecumenical Council in 431. Two other religious sites worth visiting are the Basilica of St John, built in the sixth century, and İsa Bey Mosque, which is a sample of Seljuk architecture. Ephesus is not just a touristic site. It is home to the International İzmir Festival utilizing its grand amphitheatre, Celsus Library and the House of the Virgin Mary.
The district of Çeşme is a very popular summer resort in particular with the residents of nearby İzmir and includes such historical sites as a 16th-century castle and an ancient caravanserai. The white sandy beaches stretch lazily along a road lined with exquisitely built houses, several large hotels and a number of restaurants, serving excellent seafood and Turkish specialties. Most of the hotels are set on beaches outside the centre of town and the peninsula has excellent conditions for windsurfing, with Alaçatı's beach being one of the best spots.
In Çeşme it is possible to have a complete spa treatment alongside a beach holiday, as the area offers a wide range of hotel accommodation with some of the hotels having their own spas, making use of the area's natural mineral waters.
Ilıca with a white sandy beach of the same name, is the most famous of these hot springs which contain high levels of sodium chloride, magnesium sulphate and calcium bicarbonate. Ilıca hot springs also offer underwater massage and electrotherapy as well as hot mineral pools and baths.
The turquoise coast of Alaçatı embraces surfers with its clear blue waters
The town of Alaçatı lies to the south of and inland from Ilıca and the coast. Windmills dot the hills above Alaçatı, a delightful and typical Aegean town, with some converted into cafes. There is a good beach a couple of kilometres to the south and many lovely bays along the coast southeast of town are accessible only by yacht, ensuring peaceful and relaxing anchorage in this popular sailing region.
Explore Foça The district of Foça is situated on the site of the ancient city of Phocaea and is said to have been founded by the very same people who founded the French city of Marseilles, Attalia in Corsica and Ampurias in Catalonia.
Around 600BC the inhabitants of Foça decorated their buildings, temples and ships with wooden statues of cockerels, and according to a legend, one such statue is still hidden somewhere in the town.
The ancient city of Pergamon near İzmir, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014, is a settlement that was rebuilt constantly and persisted in the stage of history due to its strategic location, though it was exposed to many occupations and destructions in the past.
Having been conquered by Alexander the Great after Persian rule, Pergamon's golden era was during the 2nd century BC when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon. Pergamon was a centre of health, culture and arts for many years, with the world's largest library and spectacular sculptures hewn by accomplished artists.
A trip to Pergamon, described as “the most famous and magnificent city of Asia Minor” by Plinius Secundus, the 1st century BC author and philosopher, will allow you to discover the traces of this famous city of antiquity.
Musical notes echoe from antiquity, from eternity under the glowing sun
Known as Tralleis in ancient times, it was the centre of a celebrated school of sculpture. The remains date from the second century AD. After 1186, the town came under Seljuk rule. The local museum displays artefacts from the different periods of its history.
Modern cruisers neighbour the picturesque Fortress of Kuşadası. Feel the wind of serenity! Back along the coast Kuşadası, 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 holidaymakers. Be sure to visit the famous and popular shopping centre in the Kaleiçi quarter, where there is also night-long entertainment
A large, modern marina facilitates life for visiting yachters. The Tusan-Kuştur Beach, north of Kuşadası, is one of the cleanest beaches while 23km south of Kuşadası is the charming holiday-resort town of Güzelçamlı. The Dilek Peninsula National Park, a must see for those who love nature, is situated on the west of Güzelçamlı and 30km from Kuşadası. The park is a wildlife reserve and haven for many species of animals and birds.
Güllübahçe (Priene) was one of the most active ports of the Ionian Federation. The grid-like system of streets, introduced by Hippodamus of Miletus in the fourth century BC, is a superb and early example of town planning. Milet (Miletus) was a great Ionian port like Priene as well as the birthplace of several philosophers and sages. The theatre itself deserves a visit and make sure to see the well-preserved ruins of the Faustina baths and the Archaeological Museum, too.
Although Didim (Didyma) boasts only one single monument, it is nevertheless a marvellous site. The Temple of Apollo was one of antiquity's most sacred places and though looted and burned many times, the sanctuary still impresses the visitors with its elegant beauty.
A double-colonnade portico surrounds the colossal temple. Not far from the archaeological site, the beautiful beach of Altınkum tempts visitors with its many guest houses. Akbük is another holiday resort with nice beach hotels nearby.
Set amidst pine, olive and oleander trees, the magnificent Lake Çamiçi (Bafa) is a lovely place for a stop.
History fans flock to Aydın for a glimpse into the distant past merged in nature
Sculpture School of Antiquity Aprodisias (Geyre), the capital of Caria, is one of the most significant sites discovered by modern archaeologists. Although the history of Aphrodisias stretches far back in time, the city dedicated to Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility, rose to prominence in the first century BC. Some of the richest treasures of ancient times have been uncovered during the excavations of this city. The public buildings are handsomely adorned with marblewhich were carved by astonishing skills- producing remarkable temples, monuments, baths, a theatre and a magnificent stadium.
As the reputation of the city's craftsmen spread through the civilized world for the exquisite finesse of their statuary and marble sculpting, Aphrodisias became the centre of the greatest sculpting school of antiquity. Many of its marvellous works of art are now housed in the local museum. The theatre and bouleuterion are among the city's best-preserved ruins. The museum is rich in sculptures created by members of the celebrated school of Aphrodisias who worked with the local marble, the best in Anatolia.
The stadium, where athletic games were once held, is 262m long and 59m wide and seats 30,000. On the way to the stadium, one can also see the ruins of a building thought to be a school of philosophy. Aphrodisias was indeed an intellectual and cultural centre, attracting people who came to study philosophy, astronomy and medicine
Astonishing skills from Antiquity reward the local marble with eternity, creating an art that fills the souls with elegance
The province of Muğla accommodates the popular holiday cities of Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Köyceğiz and Fethiye. Beautiful resorts, comfortable hotels and motels, cosy guest houses, impressive ruins of past civilizations and magnificent landscapes offer holiday-makers plenty of choice.
Not far from the towns, you can swim in crystal clear, tideless, warm seas. Underwater divers will especially want to explore the numerous reefs, caves and majestic rock formations there. The waters offer up multicoloured sponges of all shapes and sizes and an immense variety of other aquatic life, including octopus.
Awaken to the Wonder of the Ancient World Bodrum and its hinterland is particularly attractive for its relaxed ambiance, historical architecture and its proximity to a vast array of fantastic beaches, fishing villages and trendy nightclubs.
With its picturesque shoplined streets, restaurants, discos, sophisticated bars and cafes for all ages and tastes, the county is always lively whatever the season. Its delightful charm remains unspoilt with palm-lined streets and whitewashed, flat-roofed houses dotted across the terraced hillsides.
Bodrum is the ancient Halicarnassus, the birthplace of the famous historian Herodotus, and a place known in antiquity for being the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Mausoleum, a gigantic tomb erected for King Mausolus in the fourth century BC. Destroyed by successive earthquakes, the stones of the Mausoleum were then used by the Knights of St John to build their castle nearby
Gümbet offers a long, sandy beach lined with hotels and pensions. Gümüşlük is a very pleasant place to stay, with unspoilt scenery, a long sandy and gravel beach, where you can swim very close to ruins of ancient Myndos. Turgutreis boasts a sophisticated marina complete with exclusive cafes, restaurants and boutiques, as well as a host of new bars and discos. Yalıkavak has an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere for visitors. Göltürkbükü is famous for its array of exclusive hotels, excellent seafront restaurants and trendy bars. Bitez, a popular place for windsurfing and sailing, attracts an upmarket crowd.
A shining destination on Turquoise Coast Marmaris is a very popular summer resort for both domestic tourists and foreign visitors, and the region has developed enormously over the years. Boats are available at the old harbour for visits to the islands and bays around its coast. An ancient castle, now a museum, overlooks the area around the harbour and offers a taste of the old town’s character.
In the small shopping centre, upmarket boutiques and intimate restaurants are a pleasant contrast with the traditional bazaar area, where hundreds of small shops offer the usual Turkish wares – clothing, leather, jewellery and handicrafts. In Marmaris Bay, large and modern marinas provide excellent services to luxury yachts.
İçmeler is one of the most popular touristic sites with facilities and entertainment areas. Turunç has high quality motels and restaurants, too. Kumlubük is a very popular beach with thick sands. Sedir Island is famous for its excellent beaches. A legend says, the sands were brought especially for Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen, and she swam here with her lover Anthony.
Datça is situated at the far end of the Aegean coast on the end of a peninsula that stretches out to the west. The Aegean meets the Mediterranean at this point and it is a popular stopping-point for gulets taking a 'blue cruise' from Bodrum or Marmaris. Datça is also an ideal place for fishing and diving, and its winds make it popular with surfers
The most important historical site in the area is Knidos, famous in antiquity for its many great amphitheatres. It is also the site of the Temple of Aphrodite, which housed a beautiful statue of the goddess sculpted by Praxiteles, one of the most celebrated artists of antiquity.
A Sanctuary for Caretta Carettas Lake Köyceğiz and its surrounding is an attraction for both nature lovers and history fans. You can jump into its clear waters from the beautiful coves and then, enjoy visiting the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos. The town of Köyceğiz lies at the northern end of this lake and is joined to the Mediterranean by a natural channel. This unique environment is being preserved as a nature and wildlife sanctuary. A road leads to village of Dalyan on the inland waterway.
The maze of channel is easily explored by boat as you immerse yourself in this tranquil dream world. The Dalyan Delta, with the long, golden, sandy İztuzu Beach at its mouth, is a natural sensation and a refuge for sea turtles (Caretta Caretta) and blue crabs.
Past and present interwoven in Fethiye The popular resort of Fethiye, 135km southeast of Marmaris, has an important marina at the head of a beautiful bay strewn with islands. A hill crowned by the ruins of a crusader fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the county numerous Lycian rock tombs reproducing the facades of ancient buildings were cut into the cliff face. The Tomb of Amyntas which probably dates from the fourth century BC is the most remarkable one.
The surrounding area is rich in beautiful coves and valleys; places not to be missed are Butterfly Valley, home to thousands of butterflies, and Saklıkent which is accessible only by wading through the ice-cold waters coming straight from the mountains. Ölüdeniz, or the Dead Sea, takes its name from the still waters which separate the lagoon from the sea itself. The calm blue waters and rugged mountains make Ölüdeniz one of Turkey’s most beautiful regions
The road to Belceğiz Bay takes you through the mountains where cozy guest houses cater for those seeking mountain scenery. Ocakköy is a mountain village that is a must-see. Stay in one of the lovely guest houses and enjoy the numerous hiking opportunities! Hisarönü, also a mountain village, has very nice hotels. Göcek, a large and secluded bay located in the nortwestern part of Fethiye, serves yachts with its significant marinas. It is a peaceful tourism area with accommodation facilities, shopping areas, restaurants and bars
Kayaköy, 4km from Hisarönü, is a picturesque abandoned town with old houses and churches. Explore the bay and the beautiful Blue Lagoon (Mavi Göl) where the calm, crystal-clear water is ideal for swimming and other water sports! The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places in the world to do absolutely nothing but soak up the sun amid stunning natural surroundings.
From Babadağ mountain (1969m) you can even paraglide into the Blue Lagoon. For those seeking accommodation, Belceğiz beach is highly recommended. Intoxicating scenery surrounds the beach and shady park at Kıdırak. On Gemile Island (St Nicholas Island), Byzantine ruins lie tucked amid the pines. In the south of Kıdırak beach, Kötürümsü Bay is accessible by boat only. A forest, waterfalls and a valley filled with hundreds of varieties of butterflies await the intrepid explorer beyond the idyllic beach. Yakaköy (Tlos), 36km south of Fethiye, is the oldest city of the Lycian region and the home of the Lycian hero Bellerophon. Visitors can see the remains of a castle, agora, necropolis, theatre and Roman baths as well as enjoy a good view of Eşen Valley in Yakaköy. Two kilometres to the east is Tlos Park, an ideal picnic place. Pınara, 49km south of Fethiye, is another ancient mountain city and it is ideal for hiking and visitors can see the remains of a theatre, agora, rock tomb and baths there
The white miracle of Mother Earth cascades down the mountain side, astonishing the visiting spirits. Nestled in the high mountains near the Büyük Menderes (Meander) River is Denizli, a city surrounded by a beautiful verdant valley in an area rich in culture and history. The Luvians were the first inhabitants, followed by the Hittites centuries later. Throughout time the fertile plain nourished other civilizations, too: the Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and the Ottomans.
Modern Denizli is a city of wide streets with parks and hotels. The Atatürk Ethnography Museum at the city centre displays folk art and ethnic artefacts. While shopping in the Kaleiçi Çarşısı, look out for souvenirs of copper, jewellery, towels and silk blouses. You can make a choice among the nearby Çamlık, İncilipınar or Gökpınar Parks for a rest, a picnic, or simply a walk through the forest in the shade of pine trees. The fresh-water springs there attract many visitors to thermal baths.
Pamukkale is a fascinating expression by Mother Nature and the only example of its kind in the world and appears in almost every list of places to be seen before you die and visited by almost two million tourists each year. It is a place where nature assumed the role of artist and created such majestic beauty. The nearby ancient city of Hierapolis served as a thermal health center and visitors from various parts of Anatolia flocked to the city to receive a balneal treatment in search of health or beauty. In our age, those who seek beauty or health still dip in the thermal pools.
Another thermal centre northwest of Pamukkale is Karahayıt, which makes a name for itself with the high iron content of its waters. Honaz Dağı National Park is located 20km to east of Denizli, near the town of Honaz. Mt Honaz is one of the most beautiful and highest peaks (2528m) of the Aegean region and is covered with gorgeous alpine forest.
The remains of ancient Colossae, a site of early Christian activity, are visible from the northern slope. Rising into the blue sky, antique buildings mirror the artistic differences of the ancient world...
Stosunki dyplomatyczne pomiędzy Osmanami (Imperium Osmańskim) i Królestwem Polskim zostały nawiązane w 1414 roku, ponieważ oba państwa były bezpośrednimi sąsiadami od późnego średniowiecza do końca 18. wieku.
600-lecie nawiązania stosunków dyplomatycznych było obchodzone w 2014 roku.
Ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 19/1
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