The Central Aegean Region of Turkey offers rolling hills and mountains surrounded by clear blue seas. Its largest city is Izmir, modern and industrial, but home to a rich local culture and ancient archaeological gems. If the sea is more your style, the port town of Kusadasi offers a superb base for exploring the region, most notably the Ephesus Archaeological Site.
Ephesus is among the best-preserved ancient sites in the Mediterranean, rivaled only by Pompeii. It is remarkable to see how efficiently life functioned before the advent of technology. Ancient Ephesus was a great trading city and a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Under the influence of the Ionians, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, and a fabulous temple was built in her honor. When the Romans took over and made this the province of Asia, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital.
Activities while in Izmir, Kusadasi and Sirince
> Private Tour to Ephesus and St. Mary's House
Explore the best preserved ancient city in Turkey on a Full Day Tour to Ephesus.
Visit Ephesus which is known to be Commercial, the Religious and Social Center of Antiquity, and one of the highlights of any visit in Turkey. With the mythological stories and spectacular ruins you will feel the life in ancient Ephesus.
You will visit the Fountains of Trojan, Polio, The Temples of Hadrian and Domition, Private House, the Library of Celsius, Various and Scholastic Baths, Bouloterion and the Great Theatre with capacity of 24.000 spectators.
After enjoying the Turkish cuisine at lunch, you will visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent last days of her life. Your tour will end with a visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus.
> Private Tour to Pamukkale and Hierapolis
Succumb to the spectacular sight of Pamukkale! This amazing place is a beautiful and spectacular natural site, unique in the world with its fairylike, dazzling white, petrified lime cascades. There you will see the thermal spring water laden with calcareous salt, plunging down the mountain side which has created this natural formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The thermal water has been used since the Roman period for its therapeutic powers.
Next you will visit the Roman city of Hierapolis, which is not located not on earth or rock, but on solid limestone layers formed by limestone water that flowed for centuries over this raised level plateau. The name means "sacred city", and according to Stephanus of Byzantium the city was given this name because of the large number of temples it contained. While here you will visit the Apollo Temple competing with Delphi, Monumental Nympheum (a 4th century Basilica), the Theatre, and the best preserved Necropolis.
> Private Tour of Izmir
Your city tour will begin with a visit to the castle of Alexander the Great, whose history can be traced back to the Fourth Century BC. Marvel at the views from Pagos Hill overlooking the entire city of Izmir and the ancient Agora, the best preserved Roman Market in Asia Minor.
Your next stop is the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum with art crafts from old Symrna and Ephesus. Izmir Archaeological Museum houses spectacular sculptures and other antiquities discovered not only in Izmir itself, but in other ancient cities in the region. Round off a memorable tour with a visit to the 98-year old Clock Tower that is the Symbol of Izmir.
> Private Tour for Pergamum and Asklepion
Pergamum is one of the finest archaeological sites in Turkey. The city was a great center of culture and the capital of East Roman Empire.
On the Acropolis there are numerous remains including the celebrated Library, the steepest Theatre of Anatolia, the Temples of Trojan and Dionysos, the place of the monumental Altar of Zeus famous with the relief of God and devils, the Sanctuary of Demeter, the Gymnasium situated on terraces and the lower Agora.
After a delicious lunch with Turkish specialties, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Bergama. Continue to the Medical Center of the ancient world, Asklepion where the first psychological treatment had been used and which was dedicated to the God of Health, Asklepios.
> Private Tour to Priene, Miletos and Didyma
Discover the ruins of Priene, one of the most active ports of the Lonian Federation. The city is the oldest example of geometric city planning. Your tour will include the Temple of Athena, which was built by the Architect Pytheos, responsible for the construction of the Mausoleum at the Halicarnassus, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Visit the Stoa, the Agora, the Market Place, the Temenos of Zeus Olympic, which dates from the 3rd Century BC., the Bouleuterion, the Prytaneion where municipal or state council representatives met, the Theatre which still retains most of its Hellenistic features, the Sanctuary of Demeter which was dedicated to the deities of Plenty, Demeter and Kore.
Also see the Archbishop's Church, the Upper Gymnasium and the Stadium, North-East Gateway, the Temenos of Kybele and the House of Alexander the Great where he stayed during his siege of Miletus in 334 BC.
Miletos, which has provided its alphabet to the rest of the classical world, was a great port and the hometown of several philosophers and sages.
Continue to Didyma's Temple of Apollo with its very well-known oracles and one of the sacred places of antiquity. Walk in the footsteps of priests who visited this great temple to consult the oracle. Although looted and burnt many times, it keeps the original impression. Not too far from the site you see the beautiful beach of Altinkum.
Weather in Izmir
Top things to see and do in Izmir, Kusadasi and Sirince
> Kemeralti Market
> Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower) at Konak Square
> Saint Polycarp Church
> Asansor (Elevator)
> The Agora
> Kadifekale (Velvet Fortress)
> Ethnography Museum
> Archaeological Museum of Izmir
Sites and Museums around Izmir, Kusadasi, and Sirince
> Ancient City of Ephesus
> House of the Virgin Mary
> Basilica of St John
> Roman baths - Hierapolis Archaeology Museum
> Saint Philip Martyrium
> Byzantine Gate
> Temple of Apollo
> Fortress of Kusadasi
> Pamukkale Thermal Pools
> The Travertines
Main Airport in Izmir, Kusadasi and Sirince
> Adnan Menderes Airport Airport code ADB
Current Date/Time in Izmir and Kusadasi, and Sirince