The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as countless statues, theatres, libraries, markets and smaller temples were all architectural symbols of the city’s fame. Further to the south is the ancient city of Priene, built according to a geometric plan designed by the great architect of Milet, Hippodamos.
Milet was a great centre of commerce and thought in the ancient world, and was the venue of many significant developments, scientific and intellectual. The nearby Didim, though not one of the ancient cities, is still famous for its magnificent temple dedicated to Apollo.
On the Izmir-Antalya road, Aphrodisias (Geyre) was an important centre for culture and art famous for its training in sculpture.
On the same road is the world-famous Pamukkale, with its calcium-rich thermal waters flowing out of the mountain which have, over centuries, created an extraordinary geographical phenomenon of white marble terraces. The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis lie behind this.
The best known holiday resorts in this area are Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca, Koycegiz and Fethiye, and private boats can be chartered to explore the bays of the south Aegean, immortalised in the book Mavi Yolculuk (Blue Voayge).