GET­TING THERE

The Press - Escape - - ESCAPE -

here, but in­ter­pre­ta­tive dis­plays bring the site to life. Now we fol­low the Aegean coast south, with Greek is­lands ly­ing off­shore. Near mod­ern Bergama, an­cient Perga­mum (or Perg­a­mon) was once renowned for its great li­brary and as a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in medicine.

Ar­guably Eph­e­sus is the best­p­re­served Ro­man city in the Mediter­ranean, even bet­ter­ing Rome it­self.

Here St John is be­lieved to have com­posed his Gospel, and to lie buried in nearby Sel­cuk; the Vir­gin Mary to have ended her days liv­ing in amoun­tain­top cot­tage.

Tourists and pil­grims alike ar­rive in droves, yet the peo­ple of Sel­cuk re­main un­fail­ingly hos­pitable and their town, with its jum­ble of Ro­man and Is­lamic ru­ins, is well worth a day or two.

Di­rectly in­land lie the nat­u­ral won­ders of Pa­mukkale, with its gleam­ing travertine ter­races of min­eral cal­cium.

Here the Ro­mans built the spa town called Hier­apo­lis: tourists have re­laxed in Turkey for 2000 years.

No spe­cific health con­cerns ex­ist in west­ern Turkey.

New Zealand ci­ti­zens do not need a visa (Aus­tralians must buy a visa on ar­rival, typ­i­cally cost­ing US$20 or 15 eu­ros).

Af­ter years of chaotic in­fla­tion, the Turk­ish lira is now sta­ble, but ho­tels usu­ally quote rates in eu­ros. Prices are a lit­tle lower than in euro-zone coun­tries.

Is­tan­bul’s Ataturk In­ter­na­tional Air­port lies west of the city and is con­nected to sub­way and light rail trans­port, although shut­tle buses and taxis are rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive. Used by re­gional and domestic car­ri­ers, Sabiha Gok­cen Air­port is lo­cated on the Asian shore to the east.

Trafal­gar Tours’ nine-day high­lights of Turkey with An­zac Day tour takes in Is­tan­bul, An­zac Cove, Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, Troy, Perg­a­mon, Eph­e­sus, Pa­mukkale, He­ri­apo­lis and Bursa; visit trafal­gar.com/nz

Tom Bros­na­han, veteran guide­book au­thor, op­er­ates a Turk­ish travel plan­ner web­site at turkey­trav­elplan­ner.com

Guard­ing the Dar­danelles: The slo­gan on the hill­side above Ece­abat, over­look­ing the Dar­danelles Strait, is an ex­tract from a po­emby Necmet­tin Halil Onan. It trans­lates as:

Pa­rade route: Curetes St – also known as the Em­bo­los – Eph­e­sus, runs di­ag­o­nally from the State Agora, past the Slope Houses, to the Li­brary of Cel­sus. It was an im­por­tant pro­ces­sional route in the cult of Artemis.

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