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Pamukkale - Cotton CastlePamukkale (Hierapolis) translates to Cotton Castle.  It is one of the most remarkable natural sites with its cotton white plateaus, pale blue waters topping of the shallow pools and gently cascading down the drape-like stalagmites onto the lower levels for over 300 feet. Romans used this well known mineral rich, hot volcanic spring water as a natural spa for its therapeutic powers. The great baths were constructed in the 2nd century and serve as a museum today. Spas are abundant here. Hierapolis contains a Byzantine church, ruins of Apollo Temple, Nymphaion (a 4th century fountain) and a Necropolis with more than 1,000 cut stone sarcophagi and tombs. The Martyrium of St. Philip and a colonnaded street erected by Domitian are also located in Pamukkale.Perge

Perge was first settled by the Hittites in 1500 B.C. It has extensive Roman and Hellenistic ruins like a stadium, Garrison Towers from 3rd century BC, a theater for 14,000 and a large agora. St. Paul preached his first sermon here. The acropolis itself was cooled ingeniously by directing mountain water through the colonnaded avenue.


PhaselisPhaselis is surrounded by nature's romantic and tranquil setting with a pine forest and a  secluded beach. It enjoyed great prosperity during the Roman Empire. It offers an arch that commemorates Emperor Hadrian's visit, three harbors (that you can swim in with submerged ruins), a 2nd century theater, aqueducts, cistern and a temple.

Philadelphia was built on the site of an ancient Lydian town that was founded in the 1st Millennium B.C. under the name Callatebus. In 145 BC Atalus II, King of Pergamon, captured the town and renamed it Philadelphia meaning "brotherly love". Philadelphia is the most recent of the Seven Churches: Revelation 3:7-13

Priene was a member of the Ionian Confederation and prospered during the Hellenistic Period. The beautiful houses, public buildings and temples are the most important parts of this ancient city. Its walls were 2 meters wide and 6 meters high built with a technique called Emplekton. The Athena Temple was built by Pythius the architect who also constructed the Mausoleum of Halicarnasus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Boeuleterion is the best preserved building in Priene. The Boeule held its meetings here and took decisions for the city's administration. There is a 5,000 capacity theater from the 4th century B.C.

Rize tea capital, surrounded by mountains and sea. Nearby Ayder Plateau has streams, falls, 20 unique flowers.

Sardes Sardis or Sardes was the ancient capital of the Lydian Empire and was the world's richest city. First  coins were made here. A good part of its wealth was in gold washed down from the mountain by the river Pactolus, which the Lydians collected in sheep skin spreads. The myth of the Golden Touch might be tied into gold being found during King Midas' reign. Legend has it that a colossal tomb was erected after him. Points of interest include the Temple of Artemis, a Roman stadium, Roman baths, a theater, a 4th century synagogue with some intact mosaic pavements and a gymnasium dating back to the 1st century. Sardes is one of the Seven Churches: Revelation 3:1-6

SideSide was established by the Ionian Greeks in the 7th century B.C. It was an infamous port where pirates  would bring their loot and slaves for trade. Then the Romans conquered it but due to continuos attacks by the Arabs and Christians on Side, the inhabitants migrated to Antalya. The site became a ghost town until 1890 when Turkish refugees from Crete settled here. Now its antiquities fight for space with everyday life in this powdery white sand beach resort. They include the 15,000 seat theater, an agora, the Roman bath which is a museum today and Temples of Dyonosis, Athena and Apollo.

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