Northwest of the regional center of Sultanhisar 14km/9mi west of Nazilli lies the ruined site of Nysa, which probably developed from three towns founded either by the Spartan leaders Athymbros, Athymbrados and Hydrelos or by the Cretan Athymbros under its original name of Akara. The town prospered under the Roman Empire and was described in some detail by the geographer and historian Strabo (XIV, 1,43ff) from Amasya who studied grammar and rhetoric here between 50 and 45 B.C.Nysa enjoys a superb location on the lower slopes of the Malkac Dagi (Mesogis), split in two by the Tekkecik Çayi and protected by the steep Beylik Deresi gorge in the east and the Asar Deresi in the west.
To find the site of Nysa, first of all follow the traces of an ancient paved track which climbs out of Sultanhisar towards the eastern side of the town. After a short distance a piece of the old fortified Byzantine walls with some encased marble pillar drums will be found. Higher up on the right lie the remains of the agora, recognizable from the numerous pillar stumps. Opposite the northwest corner to the left of the path and in the middle of a cluster of olive trees stands the bouleuterion which consists of a large council chamber (20x23m/22x25yds) with five well-preserved rows of seats. To the southwest close to the gorge which separates the east and west town stands a large ancient Greek building (40x50m/43x55yds) with stone blocks up to 4.5m/5yds long in the north side and two beautiful gate pillars in the southeast corner. Further up the valley a stadium was built at the foot of the gorge with rows of seats cut into the steep hillside. The stream was bridged for the race track as at Pergamon. Higher up, a bridge crosses the gorge.
To the rear by a bend in the valley in Nysa the gorge is bridged by a 115m/125yd long tunnel, 10m/11yds high and 9m/10yds wide and this creates space for the 35-row theater. Most of the south- facing auditorium is cut out of the sloping sides of the gorge. The front length measures 110m/120yds with proskenion and paraskenia constructed from enormous stone blocks. The top of the theater offers a superb view over the Maeander plain with the Madran Baba Dagi forming a backdrop to the south. Above the theater a large water cistern can be found. A narrow path leads from the theater through the west town to the village of Iletmes (Erekmes) which lies at the end of the gorge. This route passes Roman and Byzantine buildings including what is reckoned to be the finest library in Asia Minor after Ephesus and, between the town and the necropoles, a church from whose west side a Sacred Way to Akaraka begins.
The large 30x95m/33x104yd gymnasium in Nysa can be reached from above the steep slope on the third lowest terrace. The stonework some 3m/10ft wide and 5m/16ft high is of Roman-Byzantine origin and in the middle of the north side stands a well-preserved propylon and a cistern.