The first settlement here was the ancient city of Nysa, founded in the Hellenistic period and continuing to thrive under the Ancient Romans, when the geographer Strabo was educated here. Nysa is 3 km from the modern town of Sultanhisar, which was founded by the Seljuk Turks in 1270 and brought into the Ottoman Empire in 1425.
Sultanhisar is an agricultural district in the Büyük Menderes valley. The main products of the area are typical of the Aegean region: olives, figs, citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries etc. and the local industry is the processing of these products: olive oil pressing, spinning cotton, preparing and packing fruit, especially figs. Sultanhisar itself is a small town of 6,000 people on the İzmir-Afyon railway line. The local cuisine features typical Aegean dishes such as the bread-pancakes called gözleme. The town has a horticultural school of Adnan Menderes University.