More than a half a dozen important ancient empires such as the Hittits, Hellens, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans, inhabited and developed the land now known as Turkey before they fell.
Travelers today can still sense the wonder of the civilizations through the buildings and artifacts they left behind.
One that shouldn't be missed is the city of Ephasus, which was once noted as the most impressive city in the ancient western world.
Located on the Aegean Coast, it is the location of the Temple of Diana (for the Greeks, Artemis), constructed entirely from marble and noted as one of the 'seven wonders' at the time.
Christians find interest that the Virgin Mary spent her final years on a hillside near Ephasus.
Add to these sites the Harbour Gymnasium and the ancient marble Arcadian Way, and Ephesus provides a bounty of ancient structures.
The Roman theatre at Aspendos is an amazingly well-preserved sample of the 'eastern' style in Roman theatre construction.
The seating is constructed of beautiful, nearly marble-quality, sandstone, and the acoustics are incredible.
Bergama is the site of Ancient Pergamon, set on a steep hilltop with many well-preserved Hellenist monuments.
The majestic Acropolis of Pergamon is one of the most impressive, with the Hellenistic theatre standing as its central feature.
The famous Pergamon altar is represented by a replica, as the original is in a Berlin museum.
Bring sunscreen and sturdy shoes and plan hours to visit these incredible ancient structures.
No visitor should fail to visit the underground city of Kaymakli.
Carved out of an rock hill in the Cappadocia region, the city was likely constructed by the Hittites about 2000 B.
, and was used by several other civilizations and cultures, including the Christians hiding from their oppressors.
The city has many levels, containing complex tunnels and ventilation shafts, storage rooms, millstones, wineries, and large conference rooms.
Residents of the area built their above-ground homes over the underground city, and connected their homes with underground tunnels.
Another 'must visit' ancient site in the Kusadasi region of Tureky is the Spa at Hierapolis, called Pamukkale, or cotton castle.
The cotton castle is actually one of Turkey's famous mineral springs, where through the years, the limestone filled water has built up sparkling white terraces of stone with cotton-like etchings.
The ruins of ancient Hierapolis surround the 'sacred pool' of ancient date, where modern visitors can still swim.
Ancient Troy is a site of note for many visitors, as many know the story of the battle of Troy from their studies of mythology.
Located in northwest Turkey, the modern Troy is a series of archeological sites showing the various strata of many cities built on the site over the years.