If you are planning on a vacation to Turkey make sure you have Ephesus on your list. It had the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the seven wonders of ancient world. Long after being ruined by an earthquake, archaeologists have done great work in research and restructuring some parts to give us a slice of how the architecture and lifestyle was during that era! Ephesus lies within Izmir province and is almost an hours drive from the airport.
Flying within Turkey is not very expensive and there are many flights from IST to Izmir. Some low fare local carriers are – Onur Air, Pegasus, SunExpress & Atlasjet. Turkish Airlines have frequent flights and are very convenient. We flew Pegasus and had a great experience. Few ailines like Atlasjet & Onur have free roundtrip shuttles to and from Ephesus to promote tourism.
We rented a car at the Airport and drove on the beautiful Izmir-Aydin otoyolu/autobahn taking the beautiful sights of hazy mountains around us. Only flipside of renting a car is that the fuel/gas prices are super expensive.
Ephesus takes only half a day to explore. So that leaves you time to explore the beautiful beaches of Kusadesi and the coast.
Pamukkale also known as the cotton castle is another 3 hr drive from Ephesus. The ancient ruins of Hieropolis sits atop the beautiful white travertines. Rumor has it that the Greco Roman kingdom which lived in Heiropolis used to bathe in these travertine hot springs. You can either hike up from the bottom to the top of the travertines or ride the shuttle up and hike down. I can see the charm this town used to have before being ruined by the local hotels and businesses. Thank heavens for being taken over by UNESCO world heritage.
I was very disappointed with the maintenance and the city itself. If your intetion is just to see the travertines, skip the hassle of driving so far. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA also have travertines and hot springs which are as beautiful and beautifully kept.
Other Sites – The beautiful city of Denizli.
Photography Tips – Hike up very early in the morning and get the shot of beautiful colors reflecting off of the pools. (We missed this as we slept through the alarm 😦 )
Email us @ email@example.com if you need more info For pictures – D Mad Photography (Album : Turkey)
_ D of D Mad