The ancient site of Aphrodisias isn’t really hidden, and even though it’s only about 90 minutes (100 km) by car from Pamukkale and Hierapolis (see my post here) it gets far fewer tourists. There were a few small buses that arrived after us, but nothing like the full parking lot of huge buses at Hierapolis. For a map of the major sites we visited in Turkey click here.
The site started as a shrine and was named after the Greek goddess of love (Aphrodite) in the 2nd century BC. The city had a population of 15,000 at its peak in the 3rd century AD. In Byzantine times the Temple of Aphrodite was turned into a Christian Church. The town was abandoned in the 12th century.
There are a number of well-preserved ruins here. The site requires a fair amount of walking, and the ruins are pretty well marked in English and Turkish, but allow enough time to wander – we found the huge stadium just by wandering a bit. To get to the site, park on the eastern side of the main road and a tractor/train takes you to the entrance across the road on the western side. In 2012, the entrance fee was 10 TL per person (1.8 TL to 1 USD) and parking and the train was an additional 7 TL. (References: Lonely Planet, Turkey 2010; DK Eyewitness Travel, Turkey 2008).