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Back along the coast, Kusadasi, or Bird Island, is a lovely port built along the shores of a glittering bay. The terraced town overlooks the most beautiful inlet of the Aegean and seems to have been created purely for the delight of the holiday-maker. Be sure to visit the famous and popular Kus shopping center in the Kaleiçi quarter, where there is nightlong entertainment.
A large, modern marina facilitates life for visiting yachters. Tusan-Kustur Beach, north of Kusadasi lies one of the cleanest beaches and 23 km south of Kusadasi is the charming holiday-resort town of Güzelçamli. West of Güzelçamli and 30 km from Kusadasi, is the Dilek Peninsula National Park, and a visit is a must for those with the time. Here amidst incredibly beautiful surroundings are some of the most wonderful views and some of the rarest wild animals in Turkey, including the Anatolian cheetah and some of Turkey's last wild horses, The park is a wildlife preserve and a haven for many species of animals and birds.
The exquisite Menderes River valley, known in the West as the Meander, has been the cradle of many civilisations. Set amidst pine, olive and oleander trees, the magnificent Çamiçi (Bafa) Lake is a lovely place to stopover. Tourists can choose between guest-houses or campsites. To the east of the lake rise the five peaks of the Besparmak Mountains.
The ruins of the ancient city of Heraklia lie close to the lake, while the remains of Alinda are found on the eastern slopes of the Besparmak Mountains. The valley has witnessed the rise and fall of several great cities, notably Priene, Miletos, Didyma, Aphrodisias, and Hierapolis. This peaceful national reserve is an excellent place for bird-watchers, trekkers, nature-lovers and photographers.
Güllübahçe (Priene) was one of the most active ports of the lonian Federation. The gridlike system of streets introduced in the fourth century B.C. by Hippodamos of Miletos is a superb and early example of town planning.
Milet (Miletos), like Priene, was a great lonian port and the birthplace of several philosophers and sages. The theatre justifies a visit, and be sure to see the well-preserved ruins of the Faustina baths and the Archaeological Museum.