Published: June 24th 2012April 30th 2012
Selcuk, located approximately 100 km south of Izmir, makes an ideal base to explore some of the most famous Greek-Roman cities and temples in the Aegean. The town itself is home to the ruins of the 6th century basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle's tomb. Another historical building in Selcuk is the Grand Fortress.
The ancient city of Ephesus
is literally just down the road from Selcuk town centre and can be reached by taxi or even on foot. If you choose to opt for the latter you will walk past the (rather sad) remains of the Artemis temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Selcuk also makes a good base to tour three other fascinating archaeological sites as part of a comfortable day tour: Priene, Miletus
. If you're interested ask around in Selcuk for the so-called "PMD" tour which is available at many places, including the friendly Homeros Pension
where I stayed. Ephesus
One of the greatest of the ancient Greek cities, wealthy Ephesus was the leading seaport of the region. During the Roman period in the first century BC Ephesus
The impressive fortress of Selcuk on Ayasoluk hill
had a population of some 250,000 people. Priene
Priene is set dramatically at the foot of a sheer mountain wall. In ancient times, it was an important harbour city on the Agean coast. One of the main sights is the Temple of Athena Polias which was built in 334 BC as a gift from Alexander the Great. Miletus
These ancient ruins lie on a hill, also near the Aegean Sea. The impressive theatre was built around the 4th century BC and could accommodate some 15,000 spectators. The large site is dotted with many other sights, including the Bath of Faustina, named after the wife of Marcus Aurelius, who ordered their construction. Didyma
In antiquity, Didyma was connected to Miletus by a sacred road. All that remains from antiquity are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, one of the largest temples from the Hellenistic Period.
There are more photos below