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  • Troy: It's taken archaeologists more than a century to try and undo the damage done by Heinrich Schliemann, the archaeologist and plunderer who discovered the site. There's still a way to go, but the progress made here in the past 10 years alone is remarkable. Troy is quite a sight.
  • Pergamum: Pergamum was once one of the most influential societies in the ancient world. Only traces of its greatness remain -- but high atop the hillside, the acropolis still sings the songs of the wind through its broken pillars. The theater is the most extraordinary remnant of this forgotten society, clinging stubbornly to the side of a hill that overlooks a fruitful and expansive plain.
  • St. John's Basilica (Selçuk): Most of the marble or cut-stone ruins you'll see in Turkey are ankle-high, a shadowy evocation of what once was. That's why the preserved redbrick walls of St. John's Basilica create such a pleasantly unexpected surprise. This holy site retains the soul of its original purpose; pilgrims gather around the presumed saint's tomb in an unabashed atmosphere of goodwill.
  • Sardis: Famed for its synagogue (impressively restored and preserved), the Jewish community's place of worship was hardly the main attraction when the city was the capital of ancient Lydia or a splendid outpost of the Roman Empire. The intact shops, remnants of the bath house, and soaring gymnasium walls cover just a small portion of the 290-acre expanse that was Sardis.
  • Ephesus: Ephesus is among the best-preserved ancient sites in the Mediterranean, rivaled only by Pompeii. Frankly, it's humbling to see how efficiently life functioned before the advent of mechanized whatnots. The partially reconstructed Library of Celsus, the newly excavated portions of the terraced housing, and the strangely evocative Public Latrine are a few highlights of this sprawling, marble-strewn site.
  • Ancient Theatre (Hierapolis): The acoustics are as great down in the pit as they were 3,000 years ago. The extreme upper tiers overlook the great expanse of ancient Hierapolis -- and now, thanks to UNESCO, unobstructed views of Pamukkale's whitening terraces.
  • Aphrodisias: Blessed by the proximity of nearby quarries of white and blue-gray marble, it's no wonder that this ancient city hid an unprecedented quantity of sculpture. The site itself also preserves an unusually concentrated collection of grand Hellenistic monuments.
  • Lycian Tombs: Expertly carved into inaccessible vertical cliffs to resemble a classical temple, the Lycian tombs and sarcophagi are mysterious and dramatic, with their Gothic headdresses perched above the ghosts of royalty. The best spots to see them? Dalyan, Kaunos, Myra, and while boating the pristine waters of Kekova Bay.
  • Cappadocia Monasteries and Underground Cities: What do you get when you combine an amazing feat of engineering and artistry in fresco? You get ancient painted chapels -- arches, pilasters, and all -- carved into rock, and a hideaway for the earliest Christians fleeing from persecution.
  • Yazilikaya: The stony lineup of cone-headed deities at this sacred Hittite shrine is undeniably more impressive in person than in pictures. The true mystery is who was the first to discover Chamber B, a room of enigmatic carved reliefs inconspicuously hidden inside a jagged chasm in the rock?

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.