Tralleis: distinct ruins overlooking Aydın

Have you ever considered visiting Tralleis, near Aydın? Some would call this site insignificant or unimpressive, especially if you compare it to other ancient sites, but we disagree. This isn’t a place you’d put on your list if you’re going to be in Turkey for a week. But if you’ve already seen a lot of the country and you prefer those off the beaten track places, then Tralleis is worth a visit! We’ll take you for a tour in this post.

The Massive Gymnasium And Bath Complex Wall Seen From The Other Side

The Massive Gymnasium And Bath Complex Wall Seen From The Back Side

The history of Tralleis

As with many ancient sites, there are different versions of Tralleis’ history. Still, there is a consensus that Carians already lived in the area before Argostians, and barbarian Tralleissians established Tralleis according to the myths. During its history, Tralleis (or Tralles) was occupied by Alexander in 334 BC, followed by a string of sovereigns in the Hellenistic Kingdom. Under Pergamon rule, Tralleis became famous for its sculptors. The most well-known artists were Tauriskos and Apollonio. Eventually, during the second half of the 1st century BC, it turned into the place to be for the rich and intellectual crowd.

From Where The Theatre Was, You Have A Good View Of Tralleis And Aydın Below

From Where The Theatre Was, You Have A Good View Of Tralleis And Aydın Below

It was in the period that followed, during the 2nd century AD that the Gymnasium and Bath Complex at Tralleis was built under Emperor Augustus rule. This is the ancient site’s most striking ruin today. By the end of the 13th century, after the Turks conquered it, people started leaving the city which suffered water shortage and irreparable earthquake damage.

A Wall Of Epic Proportions!

A Wall Of Epic Proportions!

The Gymnasium & Bath Complex

The chances are that if you knew about Tralleis before reading this post, it is because of a photo you’ve seen from one of the still-standing walls of the Gymnasium & Bath Complex. The massive wall with three arches is locally known as Üçgözler, which translates to three eyes. The Tralleis Gymnasium was one of the largest in Anatolia and was destroyed by earthquakes many times, but often reconstructed. It is the western wall of the Bath-section that is still standing, now a popular selfie-spot for many locals and tourists.

The Gymnasium And Bath Wall Is The Top Selfie Spot At Tralleis

The Gymnasium And Bath Wall Is The Top Selfie Spot At Tralleis

Discovering Tralleis

Discovering Tralleis

The whole complex must have been extraordinary. Visitors entered through a Propylon (like the one in Aphrodisias) and passed the Latrines before arriving at the Palaestra and the Imperial Hall with an open swimming pool behind it. Not much of these buildings are still visible today, though the Latrines have been partially restored, and the columns inside the Palaestra partly unearthed. There were changing rooms with fountains on both sides of the swimming pool.

Bath And Gymnasium Complex At Tralleis Aydin

Bath And Gymnasium Complex At Tralleis Aydin

We're About To Discover Tralleis In All Its Glory

We’re About To Discover Tralleis In All Its Glory

A stroll through Tralleis

After you’ve recovered from admiring Üçgözler and the Gymnasium & Bath ruins, a walk around Tralleis takes you to the back of the Gymnasium past the remains of the Roman Housing area to the Episcopal Building. This last one offers a fantastic view over Aydın, which supposedly must only have been a green valley back in the days. Next to the Gymnasium & Bath Complex, you’ll see a Colonnaded Street sided by shops dating back to the late Roman – Early Byzantine period. Almost half-way the almost 100-meter long shopping street are the remains of a semi-circular fountain. Objects recovered during excavations suggest that at least some shops were used to produce glass.

The Roman Housing Area At Tralleis

The Roman Housing Area At Tralleis

Column Heads Both On The Ground And Up Where They Belong

Column Heads Both On The Ground And Up Where They Belong

The hidden gem outside of the ancient site

Upon your arrival at Tralleis, you’ll notice an information board with a plan of the site/city. You may notice the presence of a Theatre and a Stadium on the map, but don’t be fooled, those two structures haven’t been excavated yet. Remember our post about Magnesia? The Stadium there was impressive, but the link in the post to a pre-excavation photo shows there was virtually nothing to detect a few years ago. Still, there is something worth seeing outside of the actual ancient site of Tralleis, the Arsenal! No, not the football team, but an actual military garrison labyrinth connected to the city by secret passageways and tunnels. This 2.500-year-old structure lies outside of the site, on the other side of the road. When leaving Tralleis, take a right on the main road and look for a small dirt road on your left-hand side almost immediately after that. That’s where you’ll find this fascinating building. Unfortunately, while a 2.5-kilometer tunnel passage was prepared to welcome tourists in 2002, the place is no longer accessible due to an invasion of treasure hunters once it was opened to the public.

Well Hidden Arsenal With Tunnels To The City

Well Hidden Arsenal With Tunnels To The City

Fascinating Ruins Of The Arsenal

Fascinating Ruins Of The Arsenal

In short, Tralleis deserves a stop if you happen to be in the Aydın area. You can enter the site free of charge, and, especially for people who have seen most of the must-do sites in Turkey, this is a beautiful place to explore.

A Serene Feeling At Tralleis

A Serene Feeling At Tralleis

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Judging from the reviews on TripAdvisor, others seem to find this a great place to visit too. As we said, this is not a site you’d put one a one-week Turkey itinerary, but if you’re a returning visitor or a Turkey afficionado, then you’ll love it! Tralleis is on flat terrain, but with little to no walking paths, except for the stretch between the Colonnaded Street and the Episcopal Building. In short, use the golden ancient site rule and wear sturdy shoes! Also, please note that there are no facilities on site.

If you have any questions, you cou 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! 😉

Tralleis lies just above Aydın, not too far from Kuşadası and that other great – and often overlooked site – Magnesia. Also make sure to check out the Arsenal opposite the site. It is not waymarked, so you’ll have to use the description on how to get there from this post.

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! 😉

There’s an abundance of hotels in Aydın, but if you don’t mind venturing a tiny bit further afield, check out Ionia Guesthouse for a memorable experience.

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! 😉

If you are relying on public transport, you’ll have a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest bus station to Tralleis. Still, most drivers are happy to drop you off at the dirt road leading up to the site if you ask them.

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country 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! 😉

Judging from the reviews on TripAdvisor, others seem to find this a great place to visit too. As we said, this is not a site you’d put one a one-week Turkey itinerary, but if you’re a returning visitor or a Turkey afficionado, then you’ll love it! Tralleis is on flat terrain, but with little to no walking paths, except for the stretch between the Colonnaded Street and the Episcopal Building. In short, use the golden ancient site rule and wear sturdy shoes! Also, please note that there are no facilities on site.

If you have any questions, you cou 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! 😉

Tralleis lies just above Aydın, not too far from Kuşadası and that other great – and often overlooked site – Magnesia. Also make sure to check out the Arsenal opposite the site. It is not waymarked, so you’ll have to use the description on how to get there from this post.

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! 😉

There’s an abundance of hotels in Aydın, but if you don’t mind venturing a tiny bit further afield, check out Ionia Guesthouse for a memorable experience.

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! 😉

If you are relying on public transport, you’ll have a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest bus station to Tralleis. Still, most drivers are happy to drop you off at the dirt road leading up to the site if you ask them.

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country 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! 😉

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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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#Tralleis should be on your list if you\'re near #Aydın and into #off-beat places. Apart from a famous selfie-spot for locals, there are also secret tunnels! #Turkey