Tourist Information

The Beaches
Known to be built by Pamphilians, Carians and Lykians, Çeşme is an attraction center with a reputation all over the world. It is one of the major tourist areas of Turkey with its beautiful beaches alongside the curative thermal springs in Şifne.

Ilıca Beach’s fame has gone beyond boundaries with its sparkling white sands. Thermal water springs out of the sea in Şifne region. The mud, existing in the thermal spring exploitations, is used in beauty elixirs. In the region, there are hotels, motels and guesthouses providing all kinds of comfort for both domestic and foreign tourists. Besides, Çeşme is surrounded by 20 coves known as Aya Yorgi, Pırlanta, Paşalimanı, Tursite and Çiftlik and has a natural wonder like Dalyan that is famous for its fish. It has an extremely colorful nightlife especially during the summer.

The Çeşme Castle and the museum inside is an excellent opportunity for people that are interested in history. Construction work is still going on in the underwater archaeology museum in the castle. When completed, historical artifacts of the region that are collected by researches will be displayed in the museum.

Surf Tourism: Alaçatı is one of the most important three windsurfing centres in the world, Alaçatı hosts international events (EFPT European Windsurfing Championship and PWA Slalom Windsurfing Cup) organised every year with its strong wind and calm sea as well.

Özdere (Kesre) is located at the Aegean coastal line of the Ionian Civilization that starts from Ephesus and extends to Teos. Özdere is one of the important holiday places of İzmir with its broad coast and many facilities.
Excavations conducted within several periods in Karaburun, have revealed that the town was built by Hittites in 3000 BC. Passing through the town of Urla, when you turn right at the curvy road at the crossroad in front of the Institute of Technology, you will reach Balıklıova. The reentrant coastal strip then extends to Mordoğan and later to Karaburun.

Requisite infrastructure in terms of tourist attraction is not yet developed in Karaburun and Mordoğan, although the region with its untouched nature is a perfect destination for people looking for a peaceful vacation where nature is the main attraction. By the way, the most delicious fish of the Aegean are found in the region.

Yassıca Island
Yassıca Island in the Urla offshore has become one of the favorite holiday spots of İzmir after the facilities and arrangements made by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. The Island attracts people with its clean blue sea and serene atmosphere where transportation is provided by the daily boat trips of Izdeniz (İzmir Maritime Management, Shipping and Tourism Trade Inc).
Phokaia (Foça)
After turning right a short time after passing Menemen at İzmir-Çanakkale Highway you arrive at Phocaea (modern day Foça). Foça is famous for the Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) that are in danger of extinction and live in the Siren Rocks, as well as red mullet and gilthead sea bream. The site between Foça and Yeni Foça (New Foca) is adorned with many coves that are embraced by pine-trees each one more beautiful than the other. Foça also attracts tourists with its castle, historical artifacts and wonderful nature. There are beaches and accommodation places in Yeni Foça too.

Hot Springs
The Balçova Hot Springs (Agamemnon)
Having taken its name from Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae who attacked the city of Troy, the Balçova hot springs -as depicted in the epics of Homer and in the works of the great geographer Strabon - has been used for centuries from ancient times to our day as a curing centre. While no ancient remains have been found in the region of hot springs where a group of wounded soldiers of the army of Alexander the Great was treated, historical sources give some information. Unearthed in 1763 by a Frenchman named Elfont Mil, the Agamemnon Hot Springs was rebuilt and developed with accommodation units and some other facilities. There are hot water, mud bath and drinking water in the hot springs. Many people from both inside and outside the country -especially the Norwegians- visit the hot springs where various curing methods are followed together with modern medicine. The water temperature reaches as high as 63ºC in hot springs where there is 3.3 degree of radioactivity and the healing water contains sodium bicarbonate and chloride. The springs are beneficial mainly in the treatment of the chronic dermatitis of the upper respiratory system, some dermatitises, rheumatic syndromes, metabolism problems and skin diseases.

Mahmudiye Hot Spring (Bergama)
Containing a high ratio of radioactive substances and being rich in sodium, the water temperature is 26ºC in Mahmudiye Hot Spring. The water does not contain calcium and local people use it as laundry water. It is known to be mostly useful for treating skin diseases.

Çeşme Hot Spring
With the water temperature around 58ºC, the hot spring is located by the seaside on İzmir-Çeşme Motorway in 5 km proximity to Çeşme. It is one of the most interesting and rare places in the world where there is the hot spring and the beach in the same place. Containing sodium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride, the healing water of the hot spring is good for the metabolism problems, rachitism, women diseases, skin diseases, and aching diseases in the liver and the urinary system.

Karakoç Hot Spring-Seferihisar
Located near the village of Kavaklı, 17 km southeast of Seferihisar, Karakoç hot spring contains carbondioxide, sodium chloride and bicarbonate. It is effective in curing rheumatism, skin and rachitism diseases. As well as being used as drinking water, it can also be good for diseases of the stomach and intestines.

Historical and Cultural Assets
Located 74 km to the South of İzmir, Ephesus is the most important one of the twelfe Ionian cities which has survived the day. It is an invaluable heritage from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine civilisations. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the marble Temple of Artemis, from which only one column has survived the day, is also located here. St John’s Church, which still maintains its holiness for the Christian world is also within the boundaries of Ephesus. Also according to the Christian belief, the Grotto of Seven Sleepers, where the sleepers shall awaken on the Judgment Day, is located here.
Fountain of Traian, Temple of Hadrian, Celsus Library, Great Theatre which could seat 24.000 people as well as the Double Churches and Terrace Houses on the slope of the Mount Coressus are all located here as well. One of the most significant buildings of the Selçuk architecture, the Isa Bey Mosque, which was built in 1375, and the House of the Virgin Mary on the Mount Pion, which is deemed to be a place of pilgrimage for Christians are considered among the most important haunts for those tourists who would like to virit religious sites. The ancient city of Ephesus is included in the temporary list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. Efforts are under way to move it to the permanent list.

Temple of Artemis: The temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world. The temple belongs to the order of Cybele, the Mother Goddess of Anatolia. The Lydian King Croesus presented some sculptured columns (columnae caelatae) to the temple. Part of the temple was set on fire in 356 BC by a lunatic called Herostratus, who wanted to make a name for him in history.

House of the Virgin Mary-Selçuk:

Holy mother of the Christians, the Virgin Mary’s house is situated on the Mount Pion (Bulbul) located 9 km away from Selçuk. The house is known to be the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. The tomb of the Virgin Mary is located on the north-eastern slope of the Mounth Coressus. Religious ceremonies were organised on every August 15 for a long period of time at the Panaghia Kapulu where the House of the Virgin Mary is situated. In 1957, it was confirmed by the Papacy that the place had been the House of the Virgin Mary and declared it as “Place of Pilgrimage” for Christianity.

The ancient port city of Teos is situated in the Sığacık district of Seferihisar, 60 km southwest of İzmir. Teos, one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, was founded by Athamas. The architectural remains of the city are located on a small peninsula called Isthmos. The acropolis of the city rises on the Kocakır Tepe. The city, with its two ports, one in the south, the other in the north, developed between the acropolis and the south port. Whereas the city walls of the Archaic period on the Kocakır Tepe can not be traced throughout the city, the Hellenistic wall has been preserved surrounding the city at a length of 6 km. In the Geometric and Archaic periods, the hills on the western side of the acropolis were used as a cemetery area. The necropolis was moved to the southern hills in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Located 8 km to the east of the district of Selçuk in İzmir, Şirince is an old Greek village renowned for its vineyads, peach orchards, olive groves and houses with unique achitecture. In this village which has maintained its historical texture to a great extent, the people make a living by making home made wine and selling lacework, olive oil, and goat cheese. Stone houses that have been restored and converted into hostels increase the touism potential of the village.
Pergamum (Bergama)

Pergamum has hosted many civilations throughout history. The Pergamenes invented the parchment of the present day by processing goat skin. Upon such invention, the second largest library of the antiquity was established in Pergamum. It is the scientific and artistic centre of the Hellenistic period. The theatre, Sanctuary of the Goddess Athena, temles of Traian and Dionysus are worth seeing, Displayed in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin at present, the “Altar of Zeus” is among the most important works of the antiquity. In the kower city of Pergamum is al large medical cente called “Asclepium” established for Asclepius, the god of Health and Medicine in the Hellenistic period. Having placed importance on mental treatment as well as physical treatment, the centre is considered to be cradle of psychotherapy.

İzmir Archaeology Museum 

Situated within the Bahribaba Park at Konak, which is the centre of İzmir, the museum was opened to visitors in 1984.A three-storey building, the museum is made up of several exhibition halls, laboratories, store rooms and photography workshop, library and conference hall. Examples of the Works of art exhibited in the museum are as follows: Kore Statue unearthed at Erythrai(Ildırı), several statuettes of Cybele, the Mother Goddess of Anatolia, statuettes of Heracles, Medusa and Goddess of Victory Nike and the statue of Aphrodite brought in from Ephesus.

İzmir Ethnography Museum
Built in the 18th century, the museum has a Neo-Classical structure. Allocated to those patients who caught plague in 1831, the building was later transferred to poor Christian families in 1845.Upon the latest restorations and alteration made in 1987, it was put into service as an ethnography museum. The museum houses artifacts introducing the life of İzmir and its vicinity in the 19th century.

İzmir Atatürk Museum
Built at Kordon in 1862 by Merchant Tacfor, the hictorical building was presented as a gift to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1927 by the Municipality. This house where Mustafa Kemal stayed during his visits to Izmir was converted into a museum in 1941.

Historical “Kemeraltı” Old Bazaar 
It is a trade zone where Ottoman Period buildings abound. It is one of the areas having a high cultural build-up value of the city with its streets, squares, inns, historical and religious buildings. It is still a motive for preference for customers from all over the world with its spice shops, pastry shops and clothing stores inherited from generation to generation. It houses all types of Traditional Turkish Handicrafts including ceramics, woodworks, carpets and leather products.

Historical Clock Tower

Having been decorating the Konak Square since the turn of twentieth century, the historical Clock Tower, which is the symbol of İzmir, was erected in 1901 in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Abdulhamid II’s accession to the throne. Decorated in the Ottoman architecture, the tower is 25 metres high and has 4 fountains around the circular base. The clock in the tower is a gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Kızlarağası Inn
One of the important buildings of İzmir, the Kızlarağası Inn is estimated to have been completed in 1745 although there is not precise information about its construction. One of the rare examples of the Ottoman architecture which have survived the day, the Kızlaragası Inn has a rectangular layout. There are a variety of handicrafts, carpets and striking souvenirs available at the Kızlaragası Inn. The Kızlaragası Inn where caravans stayed overnight in the Ottoman period maintains its function as a cultural and commercial centre at present.

Pagus (Kadifekale)
Ancient city of Smyrna was founded on the slopes of the Pagus Hill (Kadifekale) for the second time upon a dream of Alexander the Great, who arrived at the city in 333 BC. The Castle of Kadifekale was built during the re-foundation of the city. In the Hellenistic Period, the limits of the city extended to the area which is at present known as the Bahribaba Park on one side and to the River Meles on the other. At present, Kadifekale is a unique place to enjoy the view over the bay. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality initiated archeological excavations inside the castle and restoration works of the ramparts. In addition, studies are being carried out to reveal the ancient Roman Theater which is located at the outskirts of Kadifekale with a capacity of approximately 16000 people.

It is a market place founded in the period of Alexander the Great. Its repaired state after the eathquake in AD 178 has reached the day. Excavations works are still under way in a section of the Agora. Besides these archaeological works supported by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, the surroundings of the historical building are cleared through ongoing expropriation works, thus ensuring Agora to be integrated into the city. Agora and its environment have been projected to be designed as “ History and Art Park”.

İzmir Cuisine
Cultural interactions between tens of civilizations living on this earth, geographical conditions, blessing presented by the nature and the most important of all is olive oil Olive oil has been used in İzmir’s cuisine since antique ages. The most important evidence of that is the ‘Olive oil workshop’, stated in Klazomenai Ion antique city in Urla and the oldest sample of olive oil factories in the world. When the case is that, the taste of the dish is very delicious and especially of herbal food. Many vegetable, fish, grapes, vine, olives, olive oil and Aegean meal have the features of strengthening the body, natural protection against the diseases and even being cure for some diseases. Aegean cuisine has the dish cooked by using olive oil and herbals that is not known in other districts. It is enough to look at the bazaars to understand Aegean cuisine. These bazaars are rich in terms of vegetable and herbals especially in spring and autumn. Most of these herbals can be eaten as a salad by adding olive oil and lemon. Some can be roasted and even adding eggs on, it can be cooked in frying pans.

Besides fruit, yoghurt, milk, egg, different olives, some dried vegetables, tomato sauce, cream, different cheeses, butter and homemade jams are the richness of the Aegean bazaars. İzmir’s cuisine is mainly composed of sea food. Barbun fish, octopus- squid, perches, and gilthead bream are transformed into watering delicacies in İzmir. Shrimp, sea urchins, cidonnia are also prepared very well. You may taste delicacies unique to the Aegean region in the fish restaurants that line the Kordon, İnciraltı, Narlidere, Çeşme and Foça districts (especially onion piyaz, grilled perches with olive oil and lemon, or baked levrek with black paper carrots, potatoes and onions).
Authentic Flavours
The vegetationcover and the variety of ethnic groups are the mainreason for this rich mixture. Tere soup, Tarhana soup, Keşkek, Zerde, İzmir meat balls, Ödemiş kebab, Tiremeatballs, Boyoz (a kind of Jewish Pastry), roast beef, Mücver, tomato soup, kol böreği (pastry), Gerdan desert, Tel kadayıf and Radika Salad are some of İzmir’s famous dishes. We advice you to trysome of these authentic dishes.

Kumru and Gevrek
Kumru is a kind of sandwich originating from Çeşme and sold 24 hours a day inbuffets. Gevrek is a kind of ring shaped short bread covered in sesame seeds. These are two of İzmir's delicacies.

While visiting İzmir, try breakfast at one of the ferryboat stations or at one of the cafes around. Ask for a glass of hot Turkish tea, some cheese and some Gevrek. You will enjoy this cheap and healthy breakfast in the serene morning silence of İzmir.