Discovering Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City: A Complete Guide
If you’re a history enthusiast, Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City is a must-visit destination in Çeşme, Izmir, Turkey. Located on the western coast of the country, this ancient city is known for its fascinating ruins and breathtaking views. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Erythrai Ancient City, from its history to how to get there and what to see.
History of Erythrai Ancient City
Erythrai Ancient City is believed to have been founded in the 6th century BC by Greek settlers from Athens. The city was an important trading center in the region and was famous for its production of wine and ceramics. During the Hellenistic period, Erythrai (Ildırı) became a member of the Delian League, an alliance of Greek city-states led by Athens. Later on, the city was controlled by the Roman Empire and then by the Byzantine Empire until it was abandoned in the 14th century.
Erythrai Ancient City Opening Hours
The opening hours of Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City may vary depending on the season. Generally, the site is open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the summer months and from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in the winter months. It’s recommended to check the official website or call ahead to confirm the opening hours before planning your visit.
Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City is relatively less expensive than other historical sites in Turkey. As of 2023, the fee is around 3 US dollars. There may be additional fees for guided tours or special exhibitions.
Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City Location
Erythrai Ancient City is located in the village of Ildırı, about 20 kilometers northwest of the city of Çeşme in the Izmir province of Turkey. The site is on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea, providing stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding landscape.
Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City Facts
- Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City was once a prominent member of the Delian League, an alliance of Greek city-states led by Athens.
- The city was famous for its production of wine and ceramics exported to other parts of the Mediterranean.
- The ruins of Erythrai Ancient City include a theater, a temple, a necropolis, and a well-preserved Byzantine-era church.
- In the Hellenistic period, the city was home to several important philosophers, including Epicurus and Metrodorus.
- The name “Erythrai” comes from the Greek word for “red,” referring to the color of the clay for making ceramics in the city.
Things to do in the ancient city
There are plenty of things to do and explore in Erythrai (Ildırı) Ancient City. Here are some of the top activities to consider during your visit:
- Explore the Ruins: As with any ancient city, the ruins themselves are the main attraction. Take your time to wander around the site and marvel at the ancient buildings and structures from thousands ago.
- Visit the Theater: One of the most impressive structures in Erythrai is the ancient theater. It could seat up to 4,000 people. Be sure to climb to the top for stunning views of the surrounding area.
- See the Temple of Athena: The Temple of Athena is one of the most significant buildings in Erythrai, and it’s well worth a visit. It’s located on the highest point of the site and offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
- Walk Through the City Walls: The ancient city walls of Erythrai are remarkably well-preserved. Walking along them is a great way to get a sense of the scale and layout of the city.
- Visit the Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum of Ildırı is located near the entrance to the site. It contains artifacts and exhibits that help bring the history of the city to life.
- Take a Dip in the Sea: Erythrai is located right on the Aegean Sea. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunity to swim and cool off after a day of exploring the ruins.
- Enjoy Local Cuisine: There are several restaurants and cafes in the town of Ildırı where you can enjoy local dishes and fresh seafood.
How to Get to Erythrai Ancient City?
Erythrai Ancient City is located in Turkey’s Izmir province and can be reached by following these steps:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Erythrai is Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the ancient city.
- By Road: If you are coming from Izmir, you can take the E87 highway towards Cesme and then follow the signs to Ildırı.Click here to reach google maps link.
- By Public Transport: You can take a bus from Izmir to Cesme and then change to another bus that goes to Ildırı. Alternatively, you can take a dolmuş (shared taxi) from Cesme to Ildırı.