The ‘pearl of the Aegean’, Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city and second most important port. A city of palm lined promenades, avenues and green parks set in sweeping curves along a circular bay, Izmir has an exceptionally mild climate and many fine hotels.
Izmir – Birth Place of Homer
Known in Turkish as “Beautiful Izmir”, the city lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships and yachts. The climate is mild and in the summer the constant and refreshing sea breezes temper the sun’s heat. Behind the palm-lined promenades and avenues which follow the shoreline, the city, in horizontal terraces, gently ascends the slopes of the surrounding mountains. The third largest city in Turkey, Izmir’s port is second only to Istanbul’s. A cosmopolitan and lively city all year round, during the International Arts Festival (June/July) and the International Fair (August/Sept), Izmir bursts with an added vibrancy.
The original city was established in the third millennium B.C. (at present day Bayrakli), and at that time shared, with Troy, the most advanced culture in Western Anatolia. By 1500 B.C. it had fallen under the influence of Central Anatolia’s Hittite Empire.
In the first millennium B.C. Izmir, then known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the important cities of the lonian Federation; during this period – one of the city’s most brilliant it is believed that Homer resided here.
The Lydian conquest of the city, around 600 B.C., brought this period to an end, and Izmir remained little more than a village throughout the Lydian and the subsequent 6th century B.C. Persian rule. In the fourth century B.C. a new city was built at the instigation of Alexander the Great on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale). Izmir’s Roman period, from the first century B.C., gave birth to its second great era. Byzantine rule followed in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in the 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmet Celebi; Izmir became part of the Ottoman Empire.
Districts Of Izmir
İzmir province is divided into 28 districts; Aliaga, Balcova, Bayindir, Bergama, Beydag, Bornova, Buca, Cesme, Cigli, Dikili, Foca, Gaziemir, Guzelbahce, Karaburun, Karsiyaka, Kemalpasa, Kinik, Kiraz, Konak, Menderes, Menemen, Narlidere, Odemis, Seferihisar, Selcuk, Tire, Torbali, Urla
Main events in izmir
April (28-30): Theatre and Folklore Festival in Ephesus. June July: International Cesme Song Festival, The International Arts Festival. July,-August: Folklore and Sports Festival in Foca. August – September: International Trade Fair.
Major Sights in izmir Places To See Things To Do
Archaeology Museum, Ethnography Museum, Ataturk Museum, Selcuk Yasar Art Museum, Kadifekale, The Agora, The sirinyer and Yesildere Aqueducts, Mosques from Seljuk and Ottoman Periods.
Tours and Excursions in izmir
Ancient/Early Christian Civilisation (half/full day). Ephesus and House of the Virgin Mary, Classical Cities (full day). Pergamon. Ancient Civilisation and Natural Wonders. Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Aphrodisias. Early Ottoman Architecture and Classical Archaeology Mosque Complexes and Archaeology Museum in Manisa.
Access izmir by Air: Izmir International Adnan Menderes Airport, 10 km from the city centre.
Access izmir by Road: Direct bus connections from all the main cities and nearby towns.
Access izmir by Rail: Direct connections to Istanbul and Ankara.
Access izmir by Sea: Car ferries from Venice in summer and overnight car ferries from Istanbul all year round.