Inner Ionia

Just beside the road north, hides the incomparably beautiful Temple of Zeus at Euromos. One of the best-preserved temples in the whole of Turkey, sixteen of its fluted corinthian columns are still standing, delicately defying the passage of time. Nearby Lake Bafa offers a home to duck and other wetland birds, who nest on its many islands. Cowering beneath the crags of Mount Latmos at its eastern end is Heracleia where, legend has it, the handsome Endymion was seduced as he slept, by the moon goddess Selene. The site of his supposed tomb, a sanctuary of natural rock and roughly hewn block, overlooks the lake and the island ruins of a Byzantine monastery.



By contrast, Labraynda is a sacred Carian site, strongly identified with Mausolus and his dynasty and originally linked to Mylasa by a 13km paved Sacred Way. The rough dirt road today snakes up through rocky, pine-strewn hills to give panoramic views over the plain of Milas.

Herodotus describes the sanctuary of Zeus Labrayndus before Mausolus's time as a sacred grove of plane trees, and it is easy in this remote rural setting to imagine sacrificing to the ancient gods in such a natural temple. Most of the pale stone buildings scattered over the monumental terraces in this hill-top eyrie were built by Mausolus and his brother Idrieus, who complemented the sturdy plane trees with a forest of fluted columns in the Temple of Zeus and built monumental banqueting halls for visiting pilgrims. Be sure to buy a pot of honey from the owner of the rustic roadside café. In spring it will taste of a subtle mix of wild flowers, while in summer and autumn the honey takes on the headily insistent scent of the surrounding pine trees.


Differing yet again from its neighbours, the ancient city of Iasos was built beside the magnificent natural harbour now occupied buy the village of Küren. Iasos was renowned for the quality of its fishing grounds, and amongst the joys of visiting the site today are the nearby restaurants which serve succulent, freshly grilled fish. Some pleasures never change! After lunch the more adventurous can make their way to the far end of the site and swim off the ancient harbour fortifications.

Map - Byzantine Chapel - Halicarnassus
Ionian Coast - Inner Ionia - Carian Coast