The Aegean has some of the most significant of Turkey's archaeological sites with a rich cultural legacy from early Greek, Roman and Ottoman civilisations. The ancient cities of Ephesus and Troy are permeated with the past, where the well-worn street suggest offer up hints of history. It was here that St Paul laid the foundations for the beginnings of Christianity, and where the legendary Trojan War played out thousands of years ago.
Besides historical attractions, the Aegean is known for its magnificent coastal scenery and long stretches of sandy beaches, where pine and olive clad hills surround popular resorts like Bodrum and Kusadasi. Inland, the calcium-rich mineral springs that surge over the edge of a mountain plateau at Pamukkale form Turkey's leading mineral spa and is one of the most celebrated natural attractions in the area. The city of Izmir, once famous for its figs, is today the modern capital of the region, and a major port and busy commercial centre, with good hotels and restaurants.