Izmir – ancient Smyrna, one of the 7 ancient cities, claiming the right to be called the homeland of Homer. A huge horseshoe it covers a vast bay on the east coast of the Aegean. This is the largest business center in the country and the venue of the prestigious Izmir International Fair.
Rebuilt after the gigantic fire of 1922, lively and cosmopolitan, it resembles, more likely, a Mediterranean European resort than an eastern metropolis. Traces of his ancient past should be sought on the Smyrna agora, and a bright Turkish color – on the Kemeralty bazaar with many narrow streets and covered galleries. In addition, Izmir is a convenient starting point for the ruins of the legendary cities of Pergamum, Ephesus and Troy.
Izmir is the second largest port and the third largest city in Turkey.
The purity of water in the Izmir Bay leaves much to be desired, so the residents of the city prefer to swim and sunbathe on the beaches located 40-80 km from the city. To the west of Izmir, just an hour away by toll road, is the Cesme resort area with long sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes. There are many small restaurants and cafes, water rides and diving clubs work, there are rental umbrellas and sun loungers. Near Cesme there is a small, only 1 km long, Ilyca beach with fine white sand. Thanks to the gentle approach and the thermal springs hitting the sea, the water here is very warm, which makes it a great place to relax with children, especially since the beach has everything you need for a good vacation.
Holidays on the sandy beaches in the town of Urla, halfway between Izmir and Cesme, can be combined with a visit to the local “women’s” market with clothes, jewelry, household items, pickles and jams. Everything is done exclusively by female hands.
The cost of renting two sun loungers and an umbrella is 25-30 TRY.
The resort town of Gyumyuldur south of Izmir is buried in roses and is surrounded on all sides by olive, pomegranate, orange and cedar groves. In addition to the main beach with a standard set of water activities, there are many small secluded coves. The town of Foca north of the resort is a quiet place for a beach holiday, but it becomes noisy at the weekend when it is flooded with locals. The best beach with umbrellas and sunbeds is located in its eastern part.
There are more than a dozen diving clubs in Izmir for those who want to see the underwater world of the Aegean Sea with their own eyes. The coastal strip in its vicinity is replete with rocky ledges, underwater caves and crevices, and clear water (visibility reaches 25 m in sunny weather) allows you to clearly see the inhabitants of the deep sea. You can book a dive tour in almost any hotel in the city. True, some bays are declared national reserves and are closed for diving. As compensation, near the resort there is an underwater park with an exact copy of a merchant ship 600 BC. e. It lies at a depth of 15 m, 150 m from the coast.
Renting snorkeling equipment will cost 100-120 TRY per day, one / two dives from the boat – 120/200 TRY, package for 2/4 days – 400/700 TRY, night diving – 140 TRY, snorkeling – 40 TRY, easy lunch on the boat – 20 TRY.
Some Izmir hotels, such as Best Western Plus Konak, Palmcity, Club med Foca Holiday Village and others, offer training courses for beginners. A four-day course with the issuance of an international certificate costs about 900 TRY.
It is unlikely that guests of the resort will have problems with choosing the right hotel for the quality of service, location, design or price level. For businessmen who want to impress partners and people who place comfort at the forefront, they are modern five-star hotels with chic rooms, expensive restaurants, panoramic windows, swimming pools and fitness centers. The price of a double room, by European standards, is very reasonable – 360-720 TRY per day.
4 * (220-600 TRY) and 3 * (150-480 TRY) hotels are a reasonable compromise. Some have swimming pools, wellness centers, restaurants serving national cuisine. The choice of budget travelers – 2 * hotels (120-360 TRY). There is nothing superfluous in them, but there is everything necessary for living.
Avoid hotels in the disadvantaged Basman area.
Many Izmir hotels do not have a “star” classification at all. This category includes small budgetary institutions, youth hostels and private guest houses with a national touch, sometimes very cozy and comfortable. Room rate – 70-400 TRY.
The symbol of Izmir is an elegant Moorish-style Clock Tower, built on Konak Square in honor of the 25th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. Here are the blue mosque of Yala, the State Opera and several impressive administrative buildings. Kanak goes to Izmir Bay and the berths of ferries carrying passengers to the opposite shore. There is the most modern district of the city – Karshiyaka – with trendy shops, restaurants and vibrant nightlife.