Hotels in Miletus and Didyma Region

Temple of Apollo Didyma
Temple of Apollo, Didyma
Temple of Athena Priene
Temple of Athena, Priene
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Didyma, a sacred site, is near Didim village of modern day Turkey. The name Didyma is believed to address the twins namely Artemis and Apollo. It is a well known oracle in Hellenistic culture. Didyma was a sanctuary rather than a city and it was being visited for the prophecy rituals mainly by the habitants of Miletus located just 20 km away or the pilgrims coming from other regions of the Egean territory. The road that connected Miletus and Didyma was called the Sacred Way.

Didyma is famous for its Apollo temple which was one of the biggest Hellenistic temples. The building date goes back to 4th century BC but the researches indicate that it may be much older than that. It is known today that it has been destroyed and reconstructed more than once, in fact the latest additional construction attempts in the Roman and Byzantine eras did not succeed. A very photogenic Medusa head carved of marble which takes place in the tourism brochures of Turkey also sits still in the ruins.

Located at around 20 km from Didyma, Miletus was one of the most important Ionian cities in the region. Situated at the mouth of the Meander (Buyukmenderes) river, Miletus was a rich trade center. Although the four ports of the city have been silted up by the Meander river causing the city to lie at a distance of several kilometers from the shore today. By using these strategic ports, Millesians have managed to build colonies in Marmara and Black sea region successfully. Due to this wealth and power, Miletus reached to its golden era as early as the 6th century BC and during these golden years that Miletus produced very important philosophers, geographers and mathematicians like Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander and Hecataeus.

After suffering under the control of Persians around the 4th century BC, Miletus finally became a part of the Roman Empire around 130 BC. Miletus features solid and original examples of ancient city planning and architecture that were applied by great architect Hippodamus. But probably the most famous architect of Miletus design school and architecture heritage is Isidore of Miletus who blue printed the rebuilding of the church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in 6th century AD.

Priene,a smaller site compared to Miletus,located at 45 km from Didyma, was also once a harbor city with two ports. It shared the same destiny with Miletus due to alluviums carried by the Meander. The Ionian settlement began in 11th century BC but the city has been rebuilt during the 4th BC. Signatures of Hippodamus of Miletus can be seen regarding the town-planning features. The most important structure in Priene is the temple of Athena. You can also see Zeus and Demeter temples along with the theater and the Stadium.

Miletus, Priene and Didyma are located at around 100 km from Kusadasi or 160 km from Bodrum. You can get acess to these three sites from these locations easily. Also tours from Istanbul and daily tours from Izmir are available.

To get to Miletus, Priene and Didyma you can use bus and local minibus services or use a private Izmir Airport Transfer or Bodrum Airport Transfer