The Central and Southern Aegean Coast: Places to Explore



Milas is one of the underrated stops on the way to Bodrum: it's usually just visited for its airport, the largest in the region, but the town is rich in history and charm and worth an afternoon, if not an overnight.

Just across the street, the Ulu Cami (The Great Mosque), the largest one in Milas, is made of pillaged material from antiquity and dates from 1378. From the mosque, make your way up to the Baltalı Kapı, or Axed Gate, which dates back to the 1st century BC, and is named after the double-headed ax located on the gate's keystone. The Gümüşkesen Tomb, from the 2nd century AD, is still in good shape and resembles the Mausoleum in Bodrum.

Many Milas houses were built in the 19th and early 20th century, and are entered through courtyards and have bay windows that jut out into the street. The Çöllüōlu Hanı is an 18th-century kervansaray where locals continue to keep workshops and use to store the items they sell nearby. They'll let you walk around up top, which feels a bit precarious, as the building has not been restored. One artisan makes 100% goat-hair doormats with colorful animal motifs or geometric patterns. If you continue to head west, you'll end up at one of the most important Menteşoğulları remains, the 14th-century Firuz Āa Cami, built of gray marble.

Milas at a Glance