Teos: century-old olive trees, an antique harbor, and Dionysus

If you’re visiting quaint Sığacık, make sure you don’t miss out on Teos. This ancient port city (now an ancient site) is located right next to Sığacık, at only a few kilometers from Seferihisar. Teos is home to the Temple of Dionysus, God of wine and many other pleasantries; enough to be intrigued, to say the least. The terrains are relatively stretched out, but century-old olive trees provide enough shade and charm to guide you through the site. Add a pretty beach with antique harbor walls and church ruins to it all, and you have a sparkling culture dip, toes in the water! Join us for a self-guided Teos tour under the burning sun.

Bits And Pieces Of Dionysus' Temple And A Lovely Countryside View In Teos

Bits And Pieces Of Dionysus’ Temple And A Lovely Countryside View In Teos

The history of Teos

Teos was founded around 1.080 BC by a General called Athamas. It was one of the 12 Ionian cities, and while Thales of Miletus proposed around 600 BC that Teos should become the central city because of its location within the district, this never happened. Still, Teos and its two ports were important, if only because of its trade relations extending to Egypt. Teos was conquered by the Persians, but citizens who fled to Thrace later returned to their homes. The city was included in the Pergamene Kingdom under the rule of Attalos I and became part of the Roman Empire after the death of Attalus III, who willed his Kingdom to Rome. The city became even more significant under Roman rule. From 129 BC Teos fell within the borders of the Province of Asia in Rome, and coins were beaten until the Valerianus Period. While the city lost its importance after that, it continued to exist until the Middle Ages. Nowadays, it stands for a pleasant walk amidst ruins, olive groves, and the beach.

Another Impressive Olive Tree With The Temple Of Dionysus In The Background

Another Impressive Olive Tree With The Temple Of Dionysus In The Background

Dionysus: God of wine and principal God of Teos

Some Gods have a more intriguing sound to them than others. Or at least, that’s what it feels like if you read about Dionysus (or Dionysos). After all, we are talking about the Olympian God of wine, vegetation, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy. So please don’t blame us for at least feeling some sympathy for this son of Zeus and Semele. Dionysus was also Teos’ principal God, and as a consequence, this is the place where the largest Dionysus Temple in Anatolia is built. Evidence suggests that it has been rebuilt several times, but subsequent earthquakes kept destroying it. The peripteral temple of Ionic order had eleven columns on the long side, and six columns on the short side, and was surrounded by ionic stoae in the east and west, and doric stoae in the north and south. Nowadays, nothing much is left of this once glorious construction that was very comparable to the Temple of Athena at Priene.

The Temple Of Dionysus Was The Most Important Structure At Teos

The Temple Of Dionysus Was The Most Important Structure At Teos

A Column Of The Temple Of Dionysus Still Standing Amongst The Olive Trees

A Column Of The Temple Of Dionysus Still Standing Amongst The Olive Trees

The South Port

The North Port of Teos is now Sığacık’s port. At the South Port, the antique remains are still clearly visible, and it is considered one of the best preserved ancient ports in western Anatolia. Research shows that the pier was at least 153m long, with a double wall. Four interruptions along the wall provided access to a quay located on the north. A partly preserved platform of this quay adjacent to the pier has also been uncovered. In 2011 a small chapel or church with two aisles and two apses was discovered at the eastern edge of the port nearby the wall of the breakwater. Ceramics and coins found at the chapel date back to the 10th -12th century BC. Both ports at Teos played a crucial role in the cities’ wealth and its role in the maritime trade and Mediterranean trade.

Checking Out The Ancient Harbor Walls At Teos

Checking Out The Ancient Harbor Walls At Teos

Chapel Ruins At Teos Harbor

Chapel Ruins At Teos Harbor

A visit to Teos’ South Port comes with the perks of access to a lovely beach and bay. There is also a restaurant with a view and plenty of shade. In short, the perfect place for a break during your Teos visit!

Fancy A Day At Teos Beach?

Fancy A Day At Teos Beach?

We Found Our Favorite Picnic Spot At Teos Harbor!

We Found Our Favorite Picnic Spot At Teos Harbor!

The Cistern

The Cistern at Teos is one of the sites’ most iconic images and lies between the Temple of Dionysus and the South Port. The rubble mortar building with 16 blind arches on one side and 2 on the other had plastered walls inside. The rectangular structure measures 45.5 m x 6.85 x 5.42 m and dates back to the Roman Period. It is commonly accepted that this well-preserved barrel-vaulted water reservoir was used as a cistern, although some believe there is a possibility that is was a fountain structure. The century-old olive tree in the vicinity of the cistern is the perfect spot to admire its beauty.

Teos' Gorgeous Cistern And Equally Impressive Olive Tree

Teos’ Gorgeous Cistern And Equally Impressive Olive Tree

The Cistern Is Marvelously Well Preserved

The Cistern Is Marvelously Well Preserved

The well-preserved Bouleuterion

The Bouleuterion is said to be the best-preserved structure in Teos. With its 16 rows, divided into four sections, the Bouleuterion was not only used for political meetings but also had a social and educational purpose. Archaeologists found inscriptions stating exams were held at the Bouleuterion. For your visit, all you need to remember is to take the right turn when you see the sings to the Bouleuterion. Go left for the short route, or keep right for the long detour.

There Are Ongoing Restorations At The Bouleuterion

There Are Ongoing Restorations At The Bouleuterion

The Bouleuterion Is The Best Preserved Structure At Teos

The Bouleuterion Is The Best Preserved Structure At Teos

The Theatre

The theatre is built on a natural slope on an arched and vaulted substructure, which is still clearly visible. Large parts of the Theatre still need to be unearthed, but excavations have been ongoing since the 60’ies. Inscriptions discovered during those works indicate that the building dates back to the 2nd century BC. At the time of our visit, the Theatre was accessible, but it is best admired from a distance if you have mobility issues.

Excavation Works At The Theatre Are Ongoing

Excavation Works At The Theatre Are Ongoing

This Almost Looks Like Modern Art!

This Almost Looks Like Modern Art!

In conclusion, Teos is worth a visit, especially if you combine it with a day or two at Sığacık. This may not be the most spectacular ancient site in Turkey, but it has a great feel to it. The phenomenal olive trees, the beautiful ancient harbor, and the unearthed ruins have enough to offer to anyone interested in a cultural experience in nature. If you’re in the area, put it on your list. Don’t forget to check out the tabs below to further prepare your visit. They also contain a link to an extensive Guide to Teos by the Directory of excavations and the Ankara University.

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Source: teosarkeoloji.com

To help you make the most out of your visit, we advise you to read and download this Teos Guide Book made by the Directory of Teos Excavations and the University of Ankara. Keep in mind:

  • There’s a small entrance fee to be paid
  • Most of the site is easily accessible using dedicated walking paths. The walk to the beach and port is down a pebbled dirt road. Alternatively, you can visit the beach by car after your visit to the site.

Are you wondering what other travelers think? Read these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out. Just know we’ve visited this place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Now that you’re here, go visit Sığacık, and maybe even drive to Çeşme for a different kind of experience. Do taste the delicious homemade food in Sığacık, it would be a shame to leave without it.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We’ve mentioned it in our post about Sığacık, there are some very pretty boutique hotels in the inner-castle. But we like it quiet and decided to find a place to stay just out of town. We were very happy with the level of comfort at Satsuma Boutique Hotel, which is conveniently located amidst the citrus groves.

If you like fish, we can highly recommend Nena in Sığacık. This restaurant in the inner-castle is located right next to the famous Milos restaurant. This family-owned business can rival its famous neighbor without a doubt. If you’re in town, give it a try. The meze is to die for. The aubergines were probably the best we’ve ever eaten in Turkey!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Izmir here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

To help you make the most out of your visit, we advise you to read and download this Teos Guide Book made by the Directory of Teos Excavations and the University of Ankara. Keep in mind:

  • There’s a small entrance fee to be paid
  • Most of the site is easily accessible using dedicated walking paths. The walk to the beach and port is down a pebbled dirt road. Alternatively, you can visit the beach by car after your visit to the site.

Are you wondering what other travelers think? Read these reviews on TripAdvisor to find out. Just know we’ve visited this place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Now that you’re here, go visit Sığacık, and maybe even drive to Çeşme for a different kind of experience. Do taste the delicious homemade food in Sığacık, it would be a shame to leave without it.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We’ve mentioned it in our post about Sığacık, there are some very pretty boutique hotels in the inner-castle. But we like it quiet and decided to find a place to stay just out of town. We were very happy with the level of comfort at Satsuma Boutique Hotel, which is conveniently located amidst the citrus groves.

If you like fish, we can highly recommend Nena in Sığacık. This restaurant in the inner-castle is located right next to the famous Milos restaurant. This family-owned business can rival its famous neighbor without a doubt. If you’re in town, give it a try. The meze is to die for. The aubergines were probably the best we’ve ever eaten in Turkey!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Izmir here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Teos: century-old olive trees, an antique harbor, and Dionysus 26
Teos: century-old olive trees, an antique harbor, and Dionysus 27
Teos: century-old olive trees, an antique harbor, and Dionysus 28
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Teos: century-old olive trees, an antique harbor, and Dionysus 30

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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