Bodrum has a history that goes back to the 12th century B.C. The city was called 'Halicarnassus' and it was the birthplace of Herodotus; the 'Father of History' who lived in the 5th century B.C. The 'Mausoleum' of King Mausolus (350 B.C.) one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is in this city. The only structure that survived from the Classical Era is the Amphitheatre. It is one of the oldest theatres in Anatolia with a capacity of 13.000 guests and it is still hosting many shows and concerts for the art-lovers of Bodrum. Another place that you should visit when you arrive in Bodrum is the landmark of the city, the 'Castle of Saint Peter'. It is one of the best preserved pieces of architecture with a history dating back to the Medieval Ages. 'Myndos Gate' through which Alexander the Great entered Halicarnassus is another place that you should not miss to visit.
Marmaris, which was built upon one of the antique Karian cities called Phyckos, has been under the rule of many different civilizations. The most valuable work of art that you can see today is Marmaris Castle dating from 1577. There is also a mosque and an 8-room caravansary covered with arches from the Ottoman Period. The ruins of the Antique times lie on Asar Hill; a small, low hill located on the northern side of the city. Being one of the best-known touristic places of Turkey, Marmaris has also a large marina and night life.
Fethiye, which was known as Telmessos in the ancient times, was the most important city situated on Lycia's western border with Caria. It is believed that the city's name comes from Apollon's son Telmessos. As the name suggests, the city was the city of light and was famous for its prophets. Fethiye stretches in a half circle along the bay protected by 12 Islands.
Antalya is the fifth most populous city in Turkey located on Anatolia's flourishing southwest coast bordered by the Taurus Mountains. Antalya is the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast with over one million people in its metropolitan area. The city that is now Antalya was first settled around 200 BC by the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon, which was soon subdued by the Romans. Roman rule saw Antalya thrive, including the construction of several new monuments, such as Hadrian's Gate, and the proliferation of neighboring cities. The city has changed hands several times, including to the Byzantine Empire in 1207 and an expanding Ottoman Empire in 1391. Ottoman rule brought relative peace and stability for the next five-hundred years. The city was transferred to Italian suzerainty in the aftermath of World War I, but was recaptured by a newly independent Turkey in theWar of Independence. Antalya is Turkey's biggest international sea resort, located on the Turkish Riviera. Large-scale development and governmental funding has promoted tourism. A record 12.5 million tourists passed through the city in 2014.
Kusadasi is a coastal resort town in the Aegean sea of Turkey. The city is situated along a gulf of the same name. It is located 95 km South of the major city of Izmir. It has become a popular holiday resort after the 1980s. Kusadasi takes it's name from the Turkish words 'kus' (bird) and 'ada' (island), a reference to Guvercin island, which is connected to the mainland of Kusadasi by a short causeway. Kusadasi has also a large marina, many tourist shops and night life.
Kemer is a seaside resort and district of Antalya province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, 40 km west of the city of antalya, on the Turkish riviera. Kemer is on the gulf of Antalya. The coast has the typical Mediterranean hot, dry weather and warm sea. Until the early 1980s this was a quiet rural district but today the town of Kemer and beaches play a very important part in tourism in Turkey.
Finike, the ancient Phoenicus, also formerly Phineka, is a town on the Mediterranean coast of Antalya province in Turkey, to the west of the city of Antalya, along the Turkish riviera.It is located on the southern shore of the Teke peninsula, and the coast here is a popular tourist destination. However, Finike is best known for its oranges, the symbol of the town.
Datca was founded by the Dorians who came from Aegean Sea to the southern coast
of Ionia in the 7th century B.C. The island has no humidity at all and has fresh air with plenty of oxygen. The historian Strabon was right when he remarked of Datca's weather: "God would send
his beloved servants to Datca to live longer." According to a myth, while the Spanish pirates were passing by the coast of Datca, they disembarked people with Hansen's disease in Sarıliman Bay
and these abandoned people recovered from their disease with the help of the clean weather of Datca.
Datca Peninsula is a prized location for tourists visiting Turkey, especially by sea, with the beauty of its many coves and larger bays, which are favoured ports of call for those undertaking the celebrated Blue Cruise along Turkey’s spectacular southwest coast.
Set at the deepest point of the gulf of Fethiye, Gocek nestles at the foot of the
pine clad mountains looking out over the '12 islands' of the bay. Gocek which has recently started developing in tourism is becoming a famous yachting harbour both in Turkey and in the world. One
of the pleasures of a visit here is a stroll around the Marina to admire the array of boats of all shapes and sizes moored here. The waterfront is lined with bars and restaurants. With Dalaman
Airport is only 30 minutes away, Gocek makes an ideal base while waiting for guests or visitors.
The Bay of Skopea, which stretches out from the village, is a perfect place for cruising; its twelve islands offer abundance of sheltered coves. Tersane Island features the partially submerged ruins of a Byzantine monastery and an ancient boat-yard. There is a restaurant on the island, making it a favourite overnight anchorage. Thought this area is called the 12 islands, there are, in fact, far more than that and you could easily explore a different one each day of your holiday.
Kas (pronounced 'Kash') is a small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town, and a district of Antalya Province of Turkey. As a tourist resort, it is relatively unspoilt. The town of Kas is on a hill running down to the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. Kas was founded by the Lycians, and its name in Lycian language was Habesos or Habesa. Kas itself is a quiet pleasant town with its blue sea and narrow streets scented with jasmine flowers. There are plenty of little guest houses, quiet cafes serving home cooking, or small bars to relax after a day's scuba diving. Kas has an annual arts festival, jazz concerts in the Hellenistic theatre and the Kiln Under the Sea arts collective have held underwater ceramics exhibitions here. Kas is one of the leading spots for scuba diving in Turkey.
Kalkan is a town on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, and an important tourist destination. The area includes many historical sites (such as Xanthos and Tlos) and many fine beaches (including Patara Beach & Kaputas Beach). Kalkan was an important harbour town until the 1970s as the only seaport for the environs. It declined after construction of Fethiye road but revived after the emergence of the tourism industry in the region. British newspaper The Independent listed Kalkan among the best tourist destinations, especially for those seeking a romantic vacation .
Although quieter than Marmaris bay's two centers of tourism of international renowned (Marmaris and İçmeler), Bozburun is a precious discovery for visitors due to its natural beauties and the exceptional flora. Its thyme honey is famous across Turkey. It has a small yet lovely harbor is also one of the key stops on the popular nautical tourism route of Blue Cruise. Its pristine sea is surrounded by coves. This area was popular and suitable for sponge-diving but nowadays the people of the island are no more interested in sponge-diving as it is not financially beneficial and is dangerous. In recent years sponge-diving has been replaced by gulet tourism and nowadays Bozburun Gulets take their place in this sector.
Kekova, also named Caravola is a small Turkish island near Demre (Demre is the Lycian town of Myra) district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kalekoy (ancient Simena) and Ucagiz (ancient Teimioussa). The Kekova region was declared a specially protected area on 18 January 1990 by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest. All kinds of diving and swimming were prohibited and subject to special permits from governmental offices. In later years the prohibition has been lifted except for the part where the sunken city is.
Demre is a town and its surrounding district in the Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, named after the river Demre. Demre is the Lycian town of Myra, the home of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the historical man later developed into the figure of Santa Claus. The district was known as Kale until it was renamed in 2005. A substantial Christian community of Greeks lived in Demre (Myra) until the 1920s when they were forced to migrate to Greece after the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.The abandoned Greek villages in the region are a striking reminder of this exodus. Abandoned Greek houses can still be seen at Demre and the regions of Kalkan, Kaş and Kaya which is a Greek ghost town. A small population of Turkish farmers moved into the region when the Greek Christians were forced to migrate to Greece. The region is popular with tourists today particularly Christian pilgrims who visit the tomb of Saint Nicholas.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometers southwest of present-day Selçuk in Izmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths. It may have been rebuilt or repaired but this is uncertain, as its later history is not clear. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th century Christian Councils. It is also the site of a large gladiators' graveyard. House of Virgin Mary and Celsus Library which is built in 117 AD as a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila,was having 14.000 book capacity and has two floors, are a favorite international and local tourist attraction.
This unique island with its small beach and unbelievable clear water is like an open-air museum. You can see the city walls, the temple from the time of Dorians' reign (later restored as a church), the amphitheatre with 1.500 guest capacity and some vaulted historical buildings. You can walk around the wrecks of pillars with antique writings on them or the ancient stones decorated with reliefs. Cleopatra Beach, located on this island, has a very special kind of sand that can only be found in the deserts of Northern Africa. According to the myth, King Antonius brought the sand from Egypt via sea for Cleopatra.
Cnidos was a developed city in science, art and architecture. Eudoxos; a very popular astronomer and maths professor, Dr. Euryphon, Polygontos; a popular painter, Skopas and Bryaksis of Faros; the most famous sculptors of the era, Sostrates; the architect of Alexandrian light house -one of the seven wonders of the World- and Ktesias; the doctor who saved the life of a Persian king from a disaster lived on this island. Dr. Euryphon and his students founded the second biggest medical science school in Cnidos. The island also hosts the largest sun clock of its time which was erected by Eudoksos. Cnidos was the home for Aphrodite's monument and in those times the city was famous for brothels and became popular among sailors and Arabic tradesmen. You may also take a walk on the shore to see the ruins.
Bencik is located at the narrowest part of the peninsula that divides the Hisaronu Gulf from the Gokova Gulf but it is located on Hisaronu side. In 550s B.C. the Cnidos people wanted to dig a tunnel in the narrowest land piece of the peninsula between the Hisaronu Gulf and the Gokova Gulf as a defence line against the Persians. In that way, they would make two peninsulas one island and the defence would be easier. They started with diligence and put in a lot of effort; however, in the end they could not manage and the city was conquered by the Persians.
Oludeniz (official translation name Blue Lagoon; literally Dead Sea because of being calm even during storms) is a small resort village in the Fethiye district which is in the Mugla Province, the South West coast of Turkey on the Aegean Sea to the south and the high, steep sided Babadag Mountain, 14 km (9 mi) south of Fethiye. The town is a beach resort. Oludeniz remains one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean. It has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of Oludeniz, on a blue lagoon. The beach itself is a pebble beach. The lagoon is a national nature reserve and building is strictly prohibited. Oludeniz is famous for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine, and is an official blue flag beach, and is frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travellers and tourism journals alike.
GREECE (DODECANESE ISLANDS)
Rodos is the capital and largest of the Dodecanese Islands. The island is quite a popular holiday destination as it has one of the best-preserved and the largest European Medieval cities and has warm weather for 300 days of the year. Rodos has been the cradle of many civilizations; starting with the knights of St. John in the Middle Ages, then Ottomans and Italians. Thus, the island has a unique historical harmony and beauty. The main port of Rodos is Rodos City which bears the same name as the island. The other very touristic areas of Rodos island are; Lindos and Kamiros. This city, which is still surrounded by a 12 meter thick city-wall which gives you the feeling of travelling back to Medieval times especially when you walk around its narrow, stone-paved roads. After dinner, we highly recommend you to enjoy in Rodos Town night out.
Kos is the second largest island of the 12 islands (Dodecanese islands) and has a very mild climate and very fertile lands. Asclepion, known to be the medical school of Hippocrates, who is 'the Father of Medical Sciences', is located here. All the people from the eastern Mediterranean with health problems were treated in Kos. The island houses a 560-year-old tree, a 211-year-old fountain and a 290 km long beach. You may take a quick swim in Lambi Beach which is very close to Kos Harbor. Kos is one of the islands with the best night life. Nafklirou, a street full of bars, is always crowded, colorful, and full of life.
Simi is a mountainous Greek Island once known for shipbuilding and sponge industries to the point that the population reached 22.500. Today Simi’s main industry is the tourism and the population has declined to 2500. Its interior is dotted with small valleys and its coastline alternates between rocky cliffs, beaches and isolated coves. Its main town located in the Northeast coast, is also named Simi and consists of the lower town around the harbor, typically referred to as “Yialos” and the upper town called “Hora”. Panormitis is the island’s famous monastery which is visited by people from all over the world and many Greeks pay homage to St. Michael of Panormitis each year.
Kalymnos is located on the northern side of Dodecanese and close to the Turkish coasts. This island distinguishes for the wild Rocky Mountains, which is why it has developed as a rock climbing destination over the last years. In fact, an International Climbing Festival takes place in Kalymnos Island every September. In the past, the locals used to make their living from sponge fishing. Although this activity has declined today, there are many sponge sellers at the beachfront of Pothia, the capital of the island. The beach resorts in Kalymnos Greece are nice and relaxing, while during your Kalymnos holidays you should not miss a day trip to the small island of Telendos, a popular nudist destination.
Although Astypalaia belongs to the Dodecanese complex; it has an intense Cycladic character. This is a small island and its shape looks like a butterfly. Tourism is not much developed but tourist facilities are enough to cater for the limited number of visitors. Astypalaia Island looks very charming with the picturesque architecture of Chora, the Venetian Castle on top of the hill, the traditional windmills and the relaxing beaches. Few beaches close to Chora are organized, but as you drive away from the capital, you will find totally secluded places to enjoy privacy. Astypalaia Greece is an ideal place for families and romantic couples, as nightlife is lounge on the island.
Chalki is a tiny island of Dodecanese, located very close to Rhodes. Not much developed in tourism, this is a perfect destination for peace and privacy. The island distinguishes for its traditional architecture and the relaxing beaches. Nimporio is the only village and main port of the island. In the center of Chalki Island, there is an abandoned village with a Medieval Castle on top. This village was abandoned when piracy was confronted in the Aegean Sea and people started to move around the port. Few beaches in Chalki are organized and can be accessed on foot or by bus. The rest are totally secluded. The island can be visited for holidays or as a day trip from Rhodes.
Karpathos is one of the most beautiful islands of Dodecanese. It is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea, between Rhodes and Crete. Due to the secluded location and the distance from the other Greek islands, Karpathos Island started developing in the last decades. In fact, the southern side of the island has mostly developed in tourism, while the central and the northern side has remained unspoiled and authentic, with picturesque villages away from mass tourism. Karpathos is mostly famous for the exotic beaches with the golden sand and the crystal water. Holidays in Karpathos are ideal for families and trekkers, as the trekking paths that cross the island lead visitors to amazing spots.
Arki is a small Greek island which is part of the Dodecanese archipelago. It is situated in the eastern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish Aegean Coast. The island belongs to the municipality of Patmos, and has a population of 54 inhabitants at the 2001 census. The small population means that there is no real capital, but most inhabitants live close to the main harbour with the rest living scattered around the island on higher ground. The majority of the population find employment in fishing, goat herding or running one of the island's four tavernas.
Leros is a mountainous, green island with high cliffs and many small bays and villages. You should visit Platanos, the main city of Leros with steep stairs, narrow streets, and flower gardens. From Platanos you can take the steps leading up the Castle of Leros climbing 300 steps. Rent a bike or explore this island on foot.
On Lipsi Island there is beautiful sandy beaches and crystal green waters. The capital with its white houses, numerous taverns, cafeterias and restaurants is located in the small natural port. On the island, the Church of the Catopanaghia constructed in the 7th century deserves a visit, along with the Church of Panopanaghia from the 15th century.
The volcano on Nisyros Island erupted in 1422 and is still active. Nikea village is located on the side of the crater is constituted with white streets and a mosaic-style square. You can still see the gases coming from the underground of the crater (volcano).
Patmos is a small volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. It is at the coast of Asia Minor, to the south of Samos and west of Miletus. The island of Patmos is famous in history as the place of St. John’s exile: “I John… was in the island which is called Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 1:9); there according to general belief the Beloved Disciple wrote the Apocalypse, the imagery of which was part inspired by the scenery of the island. The spot where St. John was favored with his revelations is pointed out as a cave on the slope of the hill, half way between the shore and the modern town of Patmos.
Tílos is a small Greek island located in the Aegean Sea and, part of the Dodecanese group of islands, and lies midway between Kos and Rodos. Pottery and stone tools discovered in Charkadio cave indicate human activity on Tilos in the early Neolithic period (8000 BC to 7000 BC), along with the large assembly of bones of 1.2-to-1.6-metre-tall (3-foot-11-inch-to-5-foot-3-inch) dwarf elephants, carbon dated to between 4000 and 7000 BC (some now in the museum). Masseti (2001) suggests coexistence of these animals with humans, possibly into the historic period. The island's old capital, Mikró Chorió, first settled in the 15th century by the Knights of the Order of St John, overlooks the bay. It has been completely abandoned since 1960, its inhabitants having moved down to the harbor in the 1930s.
Megisti (or Kastellorizo) is a special and an unusual Greek island at a 6
hours eastwards journey away by ferry from the island of Rhodes. Actually it is situated 90 km east of Rhodes and only 3 km from the Turkish coast. Sometimes the island is called Megisti, which
means "large" but the island is only 9 km2 in size and has only 250 inhabitants. It is called "large" because it is the largest island of an archipel of 14 small islands that lay very close to
the Turkish mainland
The most important sight on the island is the 14th century castle. Also the museum is interesting. The entrance is free and there is an exhibition of the finds that were made at the ancient acropolis of the island (Paleocastro), earthenware from a medieval wreck that was found near the island and other interesting local artifacts and costumes.
Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Sámos, the first to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun. Follow their footsteps, and visit numerous archaeological sites –the Heraion of Samos is a monument of World Heritage–, old monasteries and churches, and attends cultural events and music festivals. The Philosophy Conference of the University of Athens is also organised every year at Pythayóreio. Sámos is an island extremely rich in vegetation with white-sand beaches, and traditional villages. The island is also known for the “samiótiko krassí”, the sweet Samian wine.