Where to visit:
The big bazaar in the heart of the city stretches from the coast road to the Konak area and is a major shopping centre with a vast array of goods on offer. It combines modern businesses, shops and cafés, with antiques, dried fruit, household and leather goods in old alleyways with vaults and domes.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Anatolia, near the present-day town of Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the period of the Roman Empire, it was for many years the second largest city behind the capital Rome. Ephesus had a population of over a quarter of a million people in the first century BC, which made it the second largest city in the world.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple was destroyed in 401 AD by a mob led by St John Chrysostom. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614. Its importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbour was slowly silted up by the Cayster River.
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there. It is also the site of a large gladiator’s graveyard.
Today's archaeological site lies three kilometres (1.8 miles) southwest of the town of Selçuk, in the Selçuk district of Izmir Province, Turkey. The ruins of Ephesus are a popular international and local tourist attraction, partly due to the ease of access from Adnan Menderes Airport and via the port of Kuşadası.
Miletus was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near the mouth of the Maeander River in ancient Caria. Evidence of first settlement at the site was made inaccessible by the rise of sea level and deposition of sediments from the Maeander. The first available evidence is of the Neolithic.
In the early and middle Bronze age, the settlement came under Minoan influence. Legend has it that an influx of Cretans displaced the indigenous Leleges. The site was renamed Miletus after a place in Crete.
Didim, home of the antique city of Didyma with its ruined Temple of Apollo, is a small town and popular seaside holiday resort and district of Aydın Province on the Aegean coast of western Turkey, 123kms (78m) from the city of Aydın.
Pamukkale, which means "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in south-western Turkey’s Denizli Province. The city contains hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white “castle” which in total is about 2,700 metres (8,900 feet) long and 160m (520ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20km (12.4m) away.