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The Central and Southern Aegean Coast Travel Guide

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  • Photo: dinosmichail / Shutterstock

Plan Your Central and Southern Aegean Coast Vacation

The Aegean is one of Turkey's most visited and most developed regions, for good reason: the area is home to some of Turkey's most captivating treasures, from gorgeous white-sand beaches to the ancient ruins of Ephesus.

The Roman city of Ephesus is the big draw for sightseers, and rightfully so. Bodrum and its surrounding beach towns attract sun seekers from around the world and spoil them

with sophisticated hotels, a buzzing nightlife scene, and remarkably unspoiled historic sites. Even İzmir, Turkey’s third-largest city and no stranger to concrete sprawl, will surprise travelers with a nice collection of museums, bustling bazaars, and lively seaside promenades. Then there are the many places in between these major stops: charming hill towns like Şirince; the otherworldly white cliffs and thermal springs at Pamukkale; the seaside charms of sleepy Gümüşlük village, near snazzy Bodrum; the ancient cities of Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Laodicea; and long, sandy beaches at Altinkum and elsewhere along the coast.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Feast on local seafood and fresh mezes Enjoy a relaxing meal at one of the many seafood restaurants.
  2. Swim, windsurf, and scuba dive Some of the brightest and bluest waters in the Aegean region surround the sophisticated coastal towns of Çeşme and Bodrum.
  3. Take a Blue Cruise A gulet, or wooden boat, is the perfect vehicle for exploring the Aegean coast, visiting secluded coves sprinkled along pristine clear waters.
  4. Visit Ephesus For a glimpse into the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, take a walk through the ruins of Ephesus, lined with the remains of temples, houses, shops, and the famed Library of Celsus.
  5. Wander through Şirince This picturesque winemaking village is surrounded by lovely restored houses; the hills are great for hiking.

When To Go

When to Go

July and August are the high season, and Ephesus gets lots of tourists, especially those coming in from the cruise ship port at Kuṣadası. In...

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