Priene, Miletus, Didyma Tour starts around 08:30, tour bus will pick you up directly from our Villa.
First you will visit Priene. By the eleventh century B.C. it was one of the twelve colonies forming the Ionian Confederation and enjoyed considerable prestige and prosperity. It was situated below the mass of Samsun Mountain (formerly Mikale) on the shore before river Maeander silted up the port. Now the sea is fifteen kilometers away and surrounding plains have become immense cotton plantations. The city rebelled against Persian domination under King Cyrus and in revenge the Persians razed it to the ground. New Priene was reborn under Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. and after countless struggles and invasions became a Roman province in 129 A.D. . The city regained its prosperity under the Emperor Augustus in spite of having a population of only seven thousand. During the Byzantine reign it became a Bishopric. Priene became part of the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth century. The streets of Priene are unusual in the that they are all horizontal and vertical, parallel and perpendicular, like a chess board.
After visiting this impressive site, you will have a lunch break.
Then you will visit Miletus. It is on a hillside surrounded by large ports at the mouth of the river Maeander at the head of the gulf of Latmus. Now the sea is far off, silted up by the river. It had trade links with countries on the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Miletus was of the most powerful and important Greek metropolises in Asia Minor and was part of the influential Ionian Confederation. The city encouraged erudition and founded several schools attracting scientists, architects, philosophers and geographers. Western philosophy originated in Miletus and it is the native city of famous men such as Anaximenes, Hippodamus, Cadmus and Isidorus. The first coins were minted in this city, exact weight measures were established and the Phoenician alphabet perfected. From the results of excavations, it appears that Miletus was actually the Hittite settlement Millawanda and it was certainly a Mycenaean colony by the fourteenth century B.C.
Afterwards you will visit Didyma. A small village close to the sea and praised by tourists and Turks on holiday for its golden sandy beaches. The sea however is not the only attraction for tourists, more so the ruins of the famous Temple of Apollo, a superb example of architecture dating from the Graeco-Roman period, and a sign of grandeur of this area, outstanding for culture and art. Even before the arrival of the Ionians, Difyma was a holy place and its oracle was much feared and much attened. The Persian King Xerxes destroyed the temple in 480 B.C. and looted many of the statues and also removed its vast treasury which owed its magnitude to the generosity of Croesus, King of Lydia. Alexander the Great decided to rebuild the temple after his victory over the Persians which had never been completely finished and was still uncompleted under the Romans, probably on account of its enormous dimension (one hundred and twenty meters long and twenty-four meters wide). Christianity put an end to pagan rites and festivals and prevented the temple from being completed. Indeed, in one atrium of the temple a basilica was built.
Then you will be transferred back to the hotel around 18:00
Price: 50 Euros per person, 25 Euros for children 10 years old or younger
10.5 hours (approx.) Return details : Returns to original departure point at approximately 18:00
• English speaking Professional Tour Guide
• Entrance fees to the various sites & Lunch
• Air Conditioned non-smoking vehicle
Beverages, Personal expenses, Tip to driver and tour guide.
Wear casual clothes and comfortable shoes for walking. In summer wear a hat and take sunblock and a bottle of water. Do not forget a camera! Other languages could also be arranged on private basis programs.