Reading list | Western Anatolia

The Aegean coast of Western Anatolia was easily accessible to the ancient maritime peoples, but mountain ranges cut them off from much of the inland terrain, which was only lightly pierced by rivers such as the Gediz and Büyük Menderes in the west and the Aksu in the south. Today highways take traffic across the hills as well as along the well-worn highways of the caravansarai. The main towns in the south are Denizli and Isparta. Denizli, provincial capital of a region rich in painted mosques, is the hopping off point for the ancient sites of Aphrodisias and Hierapolis, with the adjoining spas and travertine formations at Pamukkale. Further east, inland from Antalya, Isparta is where exploration of the beautiful Lakes Region can begin. To the north are Kütahya, Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, Iznik still in its city walls looking down a long and glorious lake, Eskişehir, now an important university city, and Bolu.