The province capital of Aydin is known for its fine
figs. In ancient times it was known as Tralleis and was the centre of a
well-known sculpture school. The remains seen today are from the 2nd
century AD. After 1186, the town came under Seljuk influence. The museum
has displays from many different periods of time.
Kusadasi, "Bird Island," is a lovely port
built along the shores of a glittering bay around a tiny islet covered
with flowers. It is a terraced town overlooking the most beautiful bay of
the Aegean and seems to have been created purely for the delight of the
vacationer. The Kusadasi Marina is a large, modern facility with all
The Menderes Valley
The valley of the Menderes River, known to the West as
the Meander, has been the cradle of civilizations. Set amidst pines,
olives and oleander is the magnificent Camici (Bafa) Lake. It is a lovely,
peaceful place to stay whether in a guest house or camping. To the east of
the lake rise the five peaks of the Besparmak Mountains. The ruins of the
ancient city of Heraklia are close to the lake while the ruins of Alinda
are to be found on the eastern slopes of the Besparmak Mountains. The
valley has witnessed the rise and fall of several great historical cities,
notably Priene, Miletos, Didyma, Aphrodisias, and Hierapolis.
Priene was one of the most active ports of the Ionian
Federation. Making the site of particular interest is the system of
geometric planning introduced in the 4th century BC by Hippodamos of
Miletos, like Priene, was a great lonion port and the
native city of several philosophers and sages. The theatre itself
justifies a visit. The ruins of the Faustina baths are well preserved and
there is an archaeological museum.
Didyma only possesses a single monument, but it is
nevertheless a marvellous site. The Temple of Apollo was one of the most
sacred places of antiquity. Many times looted and burned, the sanctuary is
still impressive and of an elegant beauty. The colossal temple was
surrounded by a portico of double colonnades. Not far from the site is the
beautiful beach of Altinkum where there are many guesthouses.
Geyre - Aphrodisias
The history of this city goes back a long way but the
important part of the city was built in the 1st century BC. Some of the
richest art finds have come from the excavations of this city which was
dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility. The buildings
are handsomely adorned with marble that was carved with skill, producing
remarkable temples, monuments, a theatre, baths, and a magnificent
stadium. Their reputation for the exquisite finesse of their statuary and
marble craftsmanship soon spread to other parts of the then known world.
It thus became the Centre of the greatest sculpturing school of antiquity.
A highlight of any visit are the marvellous sculptures now housed in the