Aegean Coast - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Aegean Coast

Aegean Coast

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.

Information & Facts


Both the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers, with temperature often rising above 30ºC (86ºF) in July and August. Showers are unlikely in the summer months, but the rainfall is quite high in winter.

Getting Around

The best way to travel in and around the Turkish coastal resorts is in dolmuses, the local minibus services which can be hailed from the roadside. There are good bus services between the major towns and organised tours to many attractions, though more independent travellers often prefer to rent a car.

Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.

The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions, but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as payment.

For about 3,000 years the fascinating story involving the destruction of the prosperous city of Troy in a long war fought over the legendary beauty, Helen, was thought to be fiction. The story, told by Homer in the Iliad, was regarded as just a myth, until the ruins of the city were found in western Turkey at Hisarlik in the mid-19th century. Today the romantic story draws tourists and archaeologists alike to the site, where not a great deal remains to be seen beyond the ancient walls and a replica of the famed Trojan horse which enabled the final conquering of the city. The setting is also spectacular, offering views of the Dardanelles and the hills of Gallipoli. The recent Hollywood epic film, Troy, has revived interest in this piece of ancient history.

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