The area's highlight is the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus which hosts one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the temple of Artemis, as well as a well-preserved amphitheatre and library.
In this region are also the less visited but impressive ruins of the ancient cities of Didyma, Miletus, Priene, Pergamon, and Aphrodisias.
No trip to Turkey would be complete without a look at the breathtaking limestone cascades of Pamukkale, restored to their original luster through the efforts of UNESCO.
The town of Selçuk hosts the House of the Virgin Mary and the St. John's Basilica, built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century. A side trip to the former Greek winemaking village of Sirince offers another view of typical Turkish life.
This is the heart of what was known as Asia Minor, an area that has been drawing visitors since the time of Homer. Izmir, a busy port town and Turkey's third-largest city, is a good gateway for exploring the area, with regular flights to and from Istanbul and some European destinations.