There’s a lot to see nearby. The biggest attraction is the profusion of ancient Greek archaeological sites (seriously, in about 400 BC this valley must have felt like the centre of the world). But there’s also a lot of natural beauty, including some great beaches. Not to mention some very pretty Turkish villages, and excellent country cooking.
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- Ephesus: the most famous and most popular ancient city in the region. A must-see, about 30 minutes from us.
- Aphrodisias: almost as spectacular as Ephesus, but not nearly so many visitors. Just off the road to Pamukkale.
- Miletus: the home of pre-Socratic philosophy. Birthplace of Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes.
- Magnesia on the Maeander: the closest site to our place, only about 7 km away, and featuring a huge and rarely visited stadium.
- Priene: another ruined city that rivals Ephesus, but with far fewer crowds. Priene has a beautiful setting among pine trees high above the Meander River delta. On a hot day it’s a much more pleasant place to be than its more famous cousin.
- Tralleis: a hidden gem near Aydin with an impressive triple archway that still looks out defiantly across the valley.
- Didyma: known for the Temple of Apollo.
- Pamucak Beach: a great swimming beach with no big hotels overlooking it.
- Dilek National Park / Mount Mycale: mountainous peninsula and fantastic national park; great diving opportunities here.
- Mountain drive: a rarely-travelled route between Hıdırbeyli and Tire. Tight and twisty mountain roads but worth it for the spectacular scenery.
- Pamukkale: very striking natural limestone terrace formations, reminiscent of structures you’d normally only see in limestone caves. This one is a bit far from us to be an easy day-trip, but you might want to visit after you move on from our place.
- Şirince: photogenic mountain village: get there early before the coaches.
- House of the Virgin Mary: a Byzantine chapel up in the hills above Ephesus.
- Kirazlı: quiet rural village with some great restaurants. Köy Sofrası in particular is a great spot for Turkish breakfasts.
- Selçuk: closest town to Ephesus, very friendly, lots of places to eat. Featuring a grand fortress on a hill and the remains of aqueducts that used to feed Ephesus.
- Kuşadası: beach resort town; closest option for drinking and dancing. Wide range of restaurant choices.
- Eski Doğanbey: a once-abandoned and still quiet hillside village, being tastefully restored.