A WONDERFUL JOURNEY to ANCIENT TIMES
Your private guide will meet you at the exit of the Kusadasi Cruise Pier at 8 am for departure for your private full day sightseeing tour.
Today, you will drive south from Kusadasi to Priene. The city is not especially large, but has an unusual intimacy and charm, in part because so many private houses have survived. All the monuments they will see date from the Hellenistic period (that is to say, between the death of Alexander and the coming of Rome) and all of them are aligned according to a strict grid-plan of the kind perfected by Hippodamos a native of neighboring Miletus. They include a Temple of Zeus, a council chamber, and a small theatre. But Priene’s greatest treasure is its Temple of Athena, which was considered the masterpiece of the architect Pytheos who also designed the Mausoleum at Halicarnassos (Bodrum).
You will next cross the broad flood-plain of the River Maeander (Turkish Buyuk Menderes) to Miletus. This was once a major port but silt brought down by the River Maeander blocked its harbor centuries ago, and it is now several miles from the sea. The city is laid out according to a grid-plan designed by Hippodamos, which centers on three spacious agoras, but perhaps the most striking features of the site today are the Baths of Faustina and the massive Roman theatre. Due to the silting of its harbor, Miletus inevitably declined, but it seems to have enjoyed something of a revival in the 14th and early 15th centuries when the Mentese emirs of Milas built the Mosque of Ilyas Bey on the site. With its polychrome stonework and delicate relief carving, this is one of the loveliest buildings in Western Turkey.
A paved Sacred Way led from Miletus to Didyma. This was not a true city but rather a sacred precinct centering on a colossal Temple of Apollo that was surrounded by a double colonnade of no less than 108 columns. Work on the temple continued for 500 years, but its design was so ambitious that, when work was abandoned in the 4th century AD, it was still unfinished. But even unfinished and ruined, the temple at Didyma remains one of the most awe-inspiring monuments to be found anywhere around the Eastern Mediterranean.
At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to Cruise Ship by 5 pm.
To book this tour, please contact UTS – Turkey Team