Temple of Athena overlooking the Aegean in Assos
Aegean Turkey (Ege Bölgesi) is in Turkey. It occupies western part of the country, including the western coast (Aegean Sea coast) across a wide arch of Greek islands and some places more inland.
- Central Aegean — Izmir and its vicinity with lots of history and beautiful seaside towns
- Northern Aegean — milder climate than the south with olive groves everywhere
- Southern Aegean — crystal clear turquoise sea, verdant citrus plantations
- Izmir — Turkey’s third biggest city, and a beautiful coastal one. Undeniably the capital of the region.
- Assos — pleasant village with preserved architecture and impressive Temple of Athena overlooking the Aegean
- Ayvalik — a pleasant town in the north with distinctlively Greek/neo-classical architecture everywhere.
- Bergama — located near the ruins of the ancient city of Pergamon
- Bodrum — nice and trendy resort known for its castle and/or “foam parties”
- Çeşme — town on the westernmost tip of Turkey
- Datça — unspoilt town with the nearby ancient city of Knidos forming the boundary between Aegean and Mediterranean
- Denizli — inland city serving as a hub to Roman sites such as Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias in southeastern Aegean Region
- Kusadasi — a resort town with the citadel on an island. Has a large harbour used by ships cruising around Mediterranean
- Dilek Peninsula National Park — perhaps the wildest stretch of land on Turkish Aegean coast, with its lush forests, hiking trails, and desolate beaches, this is a great get-away from concrete sprawls of resorts
- Ephesus — once the capital of Roman province of Asia Minor, now one of the Roman sites that are in best condition in Turkey
- Pamukkale — the “cotton castle”, white world of travertines
—a typical inland village of Aegean Turkey
Aegean coast of Turkey is lined by a succession of modern cities with palm-lined avenues and liberal attitudes, towns with old quarters that are filled with elegant turn of the 20th century neo-classical architecture, and ruins of what were once major powers of the Mediterranean in ancient times; all backed by fertile valleys and hills, sides of which are dotted with picturesque villages and large oliveyards—which help to make Turkey one of the biggest producers of olive oil in the world. It's little wonder that much of ancient art and philosophy—from Aristotle to Homer, many were citizens of cities along this coast—was developed in this land of wine and honey, which has a favourable climate year round.
Turkish is the native language in the region. But as tourism is one of the main industries of this region, finding someone who can communicate in English or German to a lesser degree is generally not a problem.
- Most of the tourism-oriented towns have direct bus services from many other important centres of the country, such as Istanbul.
- The major airports of this region are located in/near Izmir, Bodrum, and Dalaman. All handle a number of international flights as well as much more frequent domestic (national) flights.
- Most large hotels, tour operators and car rental companies located in the provinces of Izmir and Bodrum.
- All major coastal towns have ferry links with the nearest Greek islands.
- Major hub of the region for rail transport is Izmir.
This is the region with the highest concentration of ancient city ruins in Turkey. At every 10 or so kilometers, you’ll come across with another ancient city. Some, such as Ephesus, still exhibit much of their former glory, while many others are nothing more than a pile of collapsed marble columns at first sight, awaiting excavation. Even most of still-inhabited cities and towns (such as Izmir, Bodrum, Bergama to name a few) are merely modern versions of ancient cities. It’s hard to find a city younger than 3000 years old in this region.
If the sea, sun, and ancient cities here are not enough, why not moving on southeast to Mediterranean Turkey?