Insight Guides: Pocket Turkish Coast by Insight Guides

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30pm; charge), home to some 25 pre-World War II trains from all over Europe. 30pm winter; charge) has one of the finest settings of any ancient city in Anatolia, on a series of pine-clad terraces backed by huge cliffs with views across the flood-plain of the Menderes River. Moved here from elsewhere in the region during the 5th century BC, Priene was still one of the first local cities to have its port silt up, before the Romans arrived, so the architecture and layout retains its Ionian/Hellenistic purity.

Islam and the Iconoclasts The opulence of the Byzantine Empire attracted fifth- and sixth-century raiders – the Slavs from the northwest, the Avars from the north and the Sassanid Persians from the southeast. But in 647 came a new and very different threat as Muhammed’s newly converted Arab warriors advanced to the very gates of Constantinople and were only finally defeated after a four-year siege. A second invasion in 717–18 brought much of eastern Antaolia under Islamic rule for the first time.

The Lycian Coast, west of Antalya, has fabulous scenery and great swimming, but few actual beaches (many of these pebbly and sharply shelving). The deeply indented coast around Bodrum and Marmaris, is perfect for watersports of all kinds, especially yachting, windsurfing and diving. The Aegean Coast is generally more family friendly, with the best beaches found north of İzmir. A Brief History Modern Turkey has had many identities across the millennia; some even claim this was the home of the Garden of Eden.

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