The long and chequered history of the Aegean Coast has left an indelible mark on the landscape; from Bodrum to Izmir the coastal beaches are interspersed by haunting ruins. Ancient Ephesus casts the shadow of empty facades and vast columns back across the past, giving a tantalising glimpse into its glory days at the centre of the Holy Roman Empire.
Many visitors to the region today choose to balance their exploration of these ancient sights with a dose of sea and sunshine and the Aegean coast is home to some of Turkeys most luxurious resorts. From the jet set paradise of Bodrum to smaller havens along the coast, there is something for everyone.
To circumvent the crowds venture to the quieter northern beaches or seek out the local hotspot Ayvalik, which although popular with holidaying Turks has kept its cobbled streets and sandy bays a welcome secret from the international tourism set. Alternatively you can take a ferry to the Greek islands from Cesme or visit the Küçük Menderes River valley, where traditional ways of life still hold sway over the landscape.