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 sunseekers 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, and Laodicea; and long, sandy beaches at Altınkum and elsewhere along the coast.