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Aegean Coast Travel Guide

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Library of Celsus, Ephesus © Judith Duk

The Aegean Coast possesses some of the most spectacular and significant of Turkey's archaeological sites with a rich cultural legacy from early Greek, Roman and Ottoman civilisations. The ancient cities of Ephesus and Troy are permeated with the past, where amphitheatres, chariot-rutted streets and columns reek of historical importance. It was here that St Paul laid the foundations for the beginnings of Christianity, and where the face of legendary beauty, Helen of Troy, 'launched a thousand ships'.

Besides historical attractions, the Aegean is known for its magnificent coastal scenery and long stretches of sandy beaches, where pine trees and olive groves clad the hills surrounding popular resorts like Bodrum and Kusadasi. Inland, the calcium-rich mineral springs that surge over the edge of a mountain plateau at Pamukkale form Turkey's leading mineral spa and is one of the most celebrated natural attractions in the area. The city of Izmir, once famous for its figs, is today the modern capital of the region, and a major port and busy commercial centre, with good hotels and restaurants.

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