Didim, one of the most amazing places in Aegean Region, has lots of beauties and stories. Didim Vegfest, which is the first vegan festival in Turkey, hosted a great atmosphere in 2018. During our 4 days at the festival, we had the opportunity to see the historical places to visit in Didim. Thanks to the festival, I had the opportunity to see Didim, which I visited in my childhood, and I loved once again. Of course, the part that I loved was not the location of the improperly constructed reinforced concrete buildings. I loved its historical places, those beautiful villages, forests, air, sea and sensitivity. There are two of the historical places to visit in Didim that I was amazed even just looking. I also want to tell you their stories.
Historical Places to Visit in Didim
The Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo is one of the places that fascinates people with its architecture dating back to the years before Christ. When you’re walking through those big columns, you can’t stop imagining what happened. The temple was used as one of the greatest prophecy centers of the period.
According to legend, one day, God Apollo came across Brankhos, who was shepherding in Didyma region. Apollo, who liked his pure spirit and gentle approach, taught him the secrets of prophecy. Brankhos, who wanted to convey the divine secrets he learned to people, established the first temple in the name of Apollo at the place where the Temple of Apollo is located today, and the temple continued to be built by different civilizations in later times.
The Temple of Apollo, built as the center of prophecy, was designed to have a total of 112 columns. However, due to the high cost and ongoing wars, the construction of the temple could not be completed. It was burned by the Persians in the past. Although its construction continued in later times, it was damaged by earthquakes and reached today in its present form. But despite this, it has not lost anything of his charm. When you raise your head into the sky among the columns that stretch for meters, you admire the beauty of the structure.
Entrance: 10 TL Museum Card: Free
Miletus Ancient City
Miletus Ancient City one of the most amazing places to visit in Didim, has an impressive story as well as its visuals. According to legend, Akakallis, daughter of Apollo and Minos, the king of Crete, has a son named Miletus. Akakallis hides Miletus in the forest to protect him from the evils of his father, who was king. Wolves take care of the child by the command of Apollo. Later, Miletus, who was raised by shepherds, came to Anatolia and married Kyane, the daughter of the Menderes River, and established the city of Miletos. The city of Miletos had has a strong economy over time. For this reason, it soon became the center of art, science and philosophy of the period. It is no coincidence that Thales, who is considered to be one of the first thinkers in history, and afterwards Anaximenes and Hecataeus lived in this city. What did Aristo say? Wherever there is abundance, there is philosophy.
Of course, Milet, which was a coastal city at the mouth of the Latmos Gulf in the classical period, has lost its connection with the sea today due to the materials carried by the Büyük Menderes (Great Menderes) River for years. The two cities are connected by the 17-kilometer sacred road stretching between Miletus and the Temple of Apollo.
Although entrances to the Ancient City of Milet are paid, if you leave after 6:30 p.m., you will not pay any fee because there is no one waiting. So, you can watch the sun set by enjoying the sun in the ancient theatre. But neither I said it nor you heard it.
Entrance: 8 TL Museum Card: Free
The Story of the Laurel Tree
I want to share with you another story that I was very impressed with when I heard it: The story of the laurel tree. You know, the laurel tree with beautiful leaves…
Daphne, or Defne, was the daughter of the river god Peneus and was a nymph famous for her beauty. Apollo was the son of Zeus and he was a very good archer. Once upon a time, Apollo argued with cupid Eros. You know Eros is a god who makes people fall in love with each other with his arrows. Apollo belittled Eros’ archery. Eros, who resented it, decided to take revenge on Apollo.
One day, Apollo saw Daphne while wandering in the forest. As Daphne was so beautiful, Apollo couldn’t resist this beaut y and very affected. So, Eros thought it is time to take his revenge. He prepared two arrows, one gold and one lead. He threw the golden arrow at Apollo and made him fall in love with Daphne, and threw the lead arrow at Daphne to make her hate Apollo. Apollo fell in love with Daphne so much that he can no longer live without seeing her. But, Daphne hated him as much as Apollo loved Daphne. After that day, Daphne escaped, and Apollo chased. Whatever Apollo did, he couldn’t persuade Daphne, and Daphne continued to run away. But, when she got tired, she had to stop. When she stopped, she asked her father to rescue her from Apollo. Her father used his transforming ability and turned Daphne into a tree. When Apollo saw this, he was both very surprised and cried due to sorrow.
After that day, Apollo accepted the laurel tree as sacred. He wore its leaves in his hair as a crown. The leaves of the laurel tree is also used to honor a victory. You’ve seen it in movies or something, they wear a crown made of laurel leaves. Thus, the Daphne tree has such a different story. Have you heard of it before?
Accommodation in Didim
Didim Tavşan Burnu Campsite
As well as the contracted hotels for those who came to the festival, there was a Tavşan Burnu Campsite, 6 km from Didim, for those who wanted to stay in the tent. During the festival, a free shuttle service was provided from the campsite to the festival area thanks to Didim Municipality. We did not stay in the campsite, but we toured inside. It is really nice place in terms of location and facilities. There are facilities such as toilet, shower, electricity in the camping area and it is beachfront. It’s a wooded area. You can stay in your own tent or rent a tent from there. Also, the prices are very affordable. If you want to stay in your own tent, you get 48 TL per tent per day and 4 people can stay per tent. In other words, it comes at a price of 12 TL per person for one night accommodation.
You can click here to see all rental houses, boutique hotels and villas in Didim. Renting a house on Airbnb offers very affordable prices, especially for crowded visits. Airbnb homes are also very convenient for those who want to enjoy a private environment. As an Airbnb friend, you will have a small contribution to me when you book through this link. Hope you have a great accommodation experience!