Stratonikeia | Photo Copyright: Jess Lee.
This ancient site is within easy day-tripping distance from Bodrum but surprisingly receives very few visitors. If you’ve visited more famous ancient cities, such as Ephesus, on your Turkey itinerary, a stroll around the ruins here with barely another visitor in sight makes for a refreshing change. The site has been settled since the Bronze Age Hittite era, but the oldest monuments still standing today date from the Classical age, when Stratonikeia became an important link on the local trade routes.
Unlike many Greco-Roman cities, Stratonikeia was continuously settled until the early years of the modern Turkish Republic as the village of Eskihisar. Although the village was eventually moved a couple of kilometers away from Stratonikeia, several families continue to inhabit the site itself, and several Ottoman-era monuments and mansions dating from the 19th century have been preserved, along with the older ruins. This makes Stratonikeia a uniquely stratified site, where you can stroll from the Hellenistic theater, sliced into the hillside, through lanes lined with crumbling and derelict Ottoman-era stone houses, to the impressive double-arched northern gate.
Stratonikeia is along the main Bodrum-Muğla Highway, 75 kilometers northeast of Bodrum Town.
Official site: https://muze.gov.tr