Home > Destinations > İzmir

Once famous for figs, Izmir (formerly Smyrna), is now Turkey’s 3rd-largest city, the “capital” of the Aegean region, a major port and commercial center set dramatically around a huge bay and backed by mountains to the south.

It is the transport center of the Aegean region.

During the War of Independence (1922) a disastrous fire destroyed most of old Smyrna.

Today Izmir (EEZ-meer, pop. 3 million) is a mostly modern city with good hotels and restaurants, an interesting bazaar, a few small archeological sites, a big, busy Otogar (bus terminal), and an important airport south of the city on the way to Ephesus.

Some travelers use Izmir as a base to visit such regional sights as Bergama/ Pergamum, Çeşme & Alaçatı, Sardis, Ephesus & Kuşadası, Aphrodisias & Pamukkale, because Izmir has a great variety of hotels.

You needn’t linger in Izmir if your time in Turkey is short, but if it suits your schedule to spend a night here, enjoy Izmir’s Aegean ambience: see the sights, wander in the bazaar, sip drinks and dine at the pleasant waterfront restaurants.

Cultural Tours

Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller’s country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.

Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance.

Hiking

With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world (some more arduous than others). We chose some of the best hiking trails from around Turkey so you can pack up your gear and book your tickets.

Lycian Trail

One of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya with amazing views all around and great stops along the way such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, and the historic ruins of Olympos.

Uludağ Mountain

Uludağ is usually known as one of Turkey’s most popular destinations to go skiing, however, in the warmer months the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky area, and glacial lakes, and definitely traverse the best trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.

Kaçkar Mountains

Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is located in Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea region whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4000m.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Rose and Red Valleys, and the Zemi Valleys where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous Fairy Chimneys, rock churches, and stunning rock formations.

Via Egnatia

The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.

Taurus Mountains

Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, and beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular.

Mount Nemrut

We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, however, in the warmer months, the climb to the 2150m peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.

St. Paul Trail

This special trail also has a lot of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km St. Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Mt. Olympos

It’s hard to overlook magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik, and you can only imagine what the view is like from up there, Mediterranean coast and sea and all.

Yenice Forest Trail

One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty that calls itself the Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails goes past forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.

Nature Walk

An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.

In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.

Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called “theme paths”, “theme trails” or “theme routes”, or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.

Road Cycling

Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling. It includes recreational, racing, and utility cycling. Road cyclists are generally expected to obey the same rules and laws as other vehicle drivers or riders and may also be vehicular cyclists.

Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position. In an effort to become more aerodynamic, some riders have begun using aerobars. Who and when aerobars where invented is unclear but they seem to date back to the early 1980s. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the second most efficient self-powered means of transportation, behind only recumbent bicycles due to the latter’s higher aerodynamic efficiency.

Turkish Bath

A Turkish bath or hammam is a steambath, sauna, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam. In Western Europe, the “Turkish bath” as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.

We provide you a free shuttle service from your hotel to the hammam.

You will:

Enjoy a 1,000-year old Turkish tradition
Relax your body with a foam and oil massage
Experience an original Anatolian ritual
Get an invigorating body peel
Take time out in the sauna and Jacuzzi
Receive a face mask and facial massage

The Turkish bath starts with relaxation in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before they wash in cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation. The difference between the Islamic hammam and the Victorian Turkish bath is the air. The hot air in the Victorian Turkish bath is dry; in the Islamic hammam the air is often steamy. The bather in a Victorian Turkish bath will often take a plunge in a cold pool after the hot rooms; the Islamic hammam usually does not have a pool unless the water is flowing from a spring. In the Islamic hammams, the bathers splash themselves with cold water.

Turkish Night

Turkish Night Show is organized not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing Cappadocia day. We pick you up from your hotel in Goreme or other towns of Cappadocia at 20:00 in winter and 20:30 in summer and drive you to one of the cave restaurants of Cappadocia where the show will be performed.

The dancers, including the bride and groom, come on the dance floor and perform the traditional way, which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride dressed in a beautiful red dress dances in the middle and the groom comes up and put on different shows for her. He first shows how handsome he is, and than how strong he is and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are starting to their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them, as well.

After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: Belly Dancer! She makes her breath-taking dance and then goes around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly-dancing with some basic figures. Their wives Well, it was made sure there were no sharp objects around, before the belly dancer!

After some other dances and shows like fire dance, Caucasian dance with knives and drum show, the night ends around 23:30 and we drive you back to your hotel for a deep sleep.

During the night the waiters will serve unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks with appetizers. The main course will be lamb with rice, the traditional wedding meal of Turkey.

Change Language »