Perhaps you have already acquainted yourself with the drama and splendor of Ephesus and are
ready to explore more archaeological treasures Turkey has to offer. Today you will explore the ionic remains of Priene, the immense amphitheater at Miletus, and the soaring columns dedicated to
Apollo at Didyma.
Following the departure from the pier, the first stop will be Priene to see the remains of the magnificent
Athena Temple, built in the 4th century BC with the financial help of Alexander the Great. Considered a
model of the ionic style, this temple has played a significant role in the history of architecture. View the
ruins of the oldest theatre in Anatolia (3rd century BC), which seated over 5,000 spectators and where
the marble thrones of dignitaries can still be seen. Also seen is the gymnasium, the stadium and
agora (marketplace). The center of commercial and political life, the agora is richly decorated with
statues still standing today.
Next, continue the journey back in time to Miletus, an ancient city that once was linked to Didyma
by a “sacred way,” flanked by stone lions, sphinxes and statues of seated priests and priestesses.
Explore the ruins here including the theatre, thermal baths, and stadium. The stadium was built by
the Greeks and later enlarged by the Romans to hold 15,000 spectators on numerous elevated tiers.
Continue on to Didyma to marvel at the majestic Temple of Apollo, one of the great monuments
of antiquity. It is said that Branchus built this altar to Apollo and received the gift of divination for his
efforts. He then established the first oracular shrine at Didyma. This archaic temple was replaced
by the Hellenistic temple, which we see today. Originally begun by Alexander the Great work on the
temple continued for nearly 500 years, only to cease when Christianity forbade the consulting of
oracles. You will marvel at the temple’s exquisite giant columns and massive marble oracle.
Following your exploration of the ruins enjoy lunch featuring specialty dishes and wine in a nearby
restaurant. Arriving back to Kusadasi you may opt for free time in town or return directly to the ship.