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Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

Alexandria, Virginia
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Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

(I tried to post this to the general Izmir Province forum, but TA is forcing me to choose a specific city...)

I've just returned from 3 wonderful weeks in Turkey and am planning a return visit in the near future. During my first trip, I was able to visit Ephesus, Meryemana, Sirince, and Artemis Tapinagi. Due to unavailability of group tours and time constrains, I was not able to visit Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama. I would like to rectify this on my return visit.

So, what is the most time-efficient way to see all four? Is it better to begin from Izmir (arriving via airplane) or Kusadasi (arriving via cruise) or somewhere else?

I assume that it would be impossible to see all four within a day (I guess arriving via cruise ship is out, unless cruise ends in Kusadasi), so where what town would you recommend staying overnight before proceeding to the next site?

Can this itinerary be accomplished using a combination of group tour and public transportation, or reasonably by just either?

Thanks again for your help!

Izmir Ephesus Tours
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Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

So pleased to read you enjoyed your three weeks in Turkey and, like so many other visitors, there’s never enough time!

Have you considered hiring a car which would give you more flexibility to see the sights you have on your itinerary? If so my recommendation would be to fly into İzmir,

rent a car and head to Selçuk about an hour away. I know you have already visited that area but the town makes a pleasant and convenient base.

Priene, Miletus and Didim could be visited in a day and maybe the next day the journey to Afrodisias, approximately a two hour journey from Selçuk. If you haven’t already seen Pamukkale a one night stop-over there would allow you to see the travertines and also the remains of the ancient city of Hierapolis.

Bergama is, of course, in the opposite direction, around 100 kms north of İzmir but certainly well worth a day’s visit, not only you see the Acropolis but also the Red basilica and the Asclepion.

If you would prefer private tours then I suspect three would be involved (maybe from İzmir) unless you could arrange a tailor-made trip. Bergama can be reached by regular bus services from İzmir’s main bus station (Otogar). However beware, many of the buses are heading further north – to Çanakkale for example – and passengers for Bergama are let off on the main road at the junction of the road into Bergama. From there it’s a few hundred metre walk to get a Dolmuş (shared min-bus service) into the centre or, alternatively, hop in a taxi.

Just a few brief suggestions but please let me know if I can help with more detailed information.

Alexandria, Virginia
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2. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

Thank you so much, dande49. It sounds like flying into Izmir and using Selcuk as a base makes the most sense, and that I would get to see all four sites if I planned a 3 day stay in Izmir with the following itinerary:

Day 1: Fly into Izmir, then possibly do the day trip to Bergama

Day 2: Priene, Miletus, Didyma

Day 3: Aphrodisias then possibly a return trip to Pamukkale

I have been to Pamukkale but did not get to see the St. Philipp martyrium site nor swim in the antique bath because I did not have a swimming costume with me. I went to Pamukkale on a small group tour with a private driver and guide. Then after the tour, the tour company arranged for me to take a dolmus to the Denizli otogar from where I took a bus to Antalya. Is it a similar set up for Aphrodisias? Can I take a bus to Aphrodisias from Selcuk otogar or is it the same set up as Bergama, where I would get off at the main road and take a dolmus to the archeological sites? Could I then take a bus from Aphrodisias to Antalya after?

Troy, New York
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3. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

I am planning to do the same trip next April, I would be based in Selcuk,

a day for PMD(if a tour is available, else I'll use public transport to get to Didyma via Soke), and a day for Afrodisias( using bus if a tour is not available).

Istanbul
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4. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

Carmel C, I also concur with dande. You need three days for this trip. You can stay overnight at Izmir for your Bergama trip, and another two days and nights at Selcuk, for Didyma, Priene, Miltos and Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias will take a full day to get there, see it, and return. After Aphrodisias you can return to Selcuk or continue your trip to Pamukkale. The best is to rent a car for all these trips. You can rent one at Izmir Airport or Selcuk and if you wish can have a remote drop off at Pamukkale or simply return it to base city. There are more details at my recent trip report that you already have.

good luck,

enigma...

Troy, New York
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5. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

enigma, if one is travelling from selcuk towards denizli via afrodisias, is there some place where one can keep his luggage(near afrodisias)? And does getting to afrodisias involve walking a lot(from the bus stand to the site)?

Sri Lanka
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6. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

Afrodisias is a bit off the beaten path, which in my view adds greatly to its appeal but this means it’s not all that easy to reach by public transport. First of all you will need to catch one of the many buses to Nazilli from Selçuk and it would be wise to arrive as early as possible in the morning. From Nazilli, you would then get a Dolmuş to Karacasu which depart about every half hour.

From Karacasu there are several minibuses a day to Aphrodisias, leaving about every 1½ to 2 hours.

Return minibuses from Afrodisias to Karacasu supposedly leave in the afternoon at 15:30, 17:00 and 19:30, but please confirm these times in Karacasu when you first arrive there.

I would suggest two hours is the minimum time to spend in the ruins and museum at Afrodisias. A decent visit takes 3 or 4 hours. There’s a lot to see, and it's a beautiful spot. Being situated on a high plateau over 600m above sea level, ringed by mountains and watered by a tributary of the Büyük Menderes, Afrodisias is among the most isolated and beautifully set of Turkey's major archaeological sites.

The other option for visiting the site is to take a tour organized through one of the hotels or pansiyons in Pamukkale (you're not too far away). or travel by public transport from there back to Selçuk via Afrodisias but you would need to make sure you will have plenty of time.

Keep in touch if I can help further with your plans.

Edited: 03 December 2012, 08:37
7. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

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8. Re: Aphrodisias, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bergama

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