The Aegean Coast has long been referred to as the 'Turkish riviera' thanks to its azure waters, glamorous resorts and wealth of important historical sites.
Bodrum's smart resorts are festooned with beach clubs, cushioned boardwalks, watersports, social sunbathing and mouthwatering grills. Its peninsula beaches are glorious and varied: Vass is our choice for windsurfing, while Bitez is great for families thanks to its soft sands and shallow waters. All along the Aegean Coast there are opportunities for gulet boat trips, sailing lessons, waterskiing and snorkeling.
You can try your hand at haggling for bright geometric prayer rugs and watch the deft weavers at work in Milas, the carpet capital of the Aegean Coast. For quaint cobbled streets we recommend pretty Alacati, where you can expect to eat in charming courtyards serenaded by classical music concerts.
The coast's cuisine focuses on fresh fish, herbs and vegetables with the Aegean Coast being self-efficient in growing food. Rushing your food is considered socially unacceptable so savour the regional dishes. One of our favourite Aegean mezes is çiçek dolması, or stuffed courgette flowers, full of rice, mint, parsley and dill. They go very nicely with fresh calamari and the preferred national drink, Raki. Sakız muhallebi, or Mastic Pudding, is a creamy and pistachio-topped ancient Persian recipe which is popular amongst those with a sweet-tooth. We love Türkbükü, where all the restaurants are on platforms on the sea, whilst Cesme is popular for its high quality seafood.
Hellenistic, Greek and Roman remains are rife and immaculately preserved throughout the Aegean coast. Ephesus is one of the most complete Greco-Roman classical cities in the world and enjoyed periods of great prosperity as one of the most important ports in ancient Asia Minor, from the Classical era until the Ottoman Empire. Jump into the Crusader-era of the 15th century at Bodrum Castle and stop at Cesme to see the acropolis of the ancient Ionian city, Erythrai.