« TURKEYDiscover TurkeyAegean Turkey • Izmir

Discover magical Izmir

Magical Journeys to Turkey

Izmir has almost 3,500 years of recorded urban history and possibly even longer as an advanced human settlement. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation midway on the western Anatolian coast, the city has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.

Magical Journeys to Izmir, Turkey

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» Agora

Agora, Turkey

Before there was Izmir, there was Smyrna, an ancient Roman city on the Aegean coast of Anatolia (now Turkey). Evidence of this fact in modern-day Izmir is most apparent upon visiting ancient Agora, which was the name for a 'public gathering place or market' in ancient Greek city-states. The Agora of Smyrna is one of the best preserved ancient agoras in the world today, in large part due to its excellent open-air museum on site. Built by Alexander the Great and later rebuilt following an earthquake …

» Archaelogy and Ethnography Museum

Archaelogy and Ethnography Museum , Turkey

The Izmir Archaeology and Ethnography Museum are 2 separate museums located side by side on the hill at Bahribaba Park, just a short walk from Konak. The Archaeology Museum is blessed with Greek and Roman relics taken from its neighbouring ancient cities. Here you'll find elaborately decorated sarcophagi and tomb carvings, an extraordinarily well-preserved frieze depicting the 250BC funeral games at the Belevi mausoleum, and an enormous Domitian statue taken from Ephesus …

» Asklepion

Asklepion, Turkey

This ancient medical center, honoring the Greek god of healing Asklepios, has existed since the 4th century BC. Built around a spring with waters that were believed to be sacred, the columns and walls still standing today once surrounded rooms for psychotherapy, massage, herbal remedies, baths, mud treatments and dream interpretation. The Roman period brought the center its most notable patients, including emperors Marcus Aurelius and Hadrian …

» Ephesus (Efeze)

Ephesus (Efeze) , Turkey

The ancient Greek city of Ephesus, also know as Efeze. Famed for its Temple of Artemis, it is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus's most spectacular site has to be the façade of the Library of Celsus. Constructed between 110 and 135AD, the library originally had three floors, but an earthquake destroyed the building in the 10th century. Other sites include the Theater, Basilica of St. John, the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Church of Mary, House of the Virgin, the Isabey Mosque, the Prytaneion …

» Hierapolis

Hierapolis , Turkey

Perhaps better known by tourists as Pamukkale, Hierapolis is an ancient city of the Lycus River valley famed for its sacred hot springs. There's a lot to see at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose most popular attraction includes the thermally heated Sacred Pool where you can swim among the remains of ancient Roman columns, toppled into the water by various earthquakes. Among the ruins are the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Gate of Domitian, the tomb of Flavius Zeuxis …

» Kadifekale

Kadifekale, Turkey

Kadifekale, also known as The Velvet Castle, presides over the town from its vantage point on top of Kadifekale hill. Built by General Lysimachos, a successor of Alexander the Great, Kadifekale appears to have acted as both a castle and a fort, giving clear views over much of the city and across to the Gulf of Izmir. Restoration work is underway at Kadifekale but you can see the castle gate, Roman cisterns, watch tower and some castle walls …

» Pergamon

Pergamon, Turkey

Pergamon is an ancient city dating as far back as the 5th century BC. Credited with the invention of parchment, this once great seat of learning and culture had a library with over 20,000 volumes and a medical center - the remains of which can still be seen today. Listed in the Bible as one of the Seven Churches of Asia, Pergamon flourished until the 14th century when, under Ottoman rule, it was abandoned and left to decay. Today, much of the remains of this once magnificent city lie underneath the modern-day city of Bergam …

» Pergamon (Bergama)

Pergamon (Bergama), Turkey

A visit to Pergamon (Pergamum) means stepping back in time to one of the most well-preserved ancient Greek city-states. The city rose to prominence under the rule of Alexander the Great's successor Lysimachus, who with his fortune built many of the structures that stand as ruins today. There are two main areas to explore: the Upper Acropolis and the Lower City. The path up the hill to the Acropolis leads to the square base of the Altar of Zeus (the reliefs were taken by German explorers and are now on display at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin) …

» St John's Basilica

St John's Basilica , Turkey

A visit to St. John's Basilica allows a glimpse into the history of this ancient site, built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century. It is believed that the church sits on the burial grounds of John the Apostle and was designed in the shape of a cross. At its completion, it was covered by six domes, with many of the walls presumably once covered in frescoes. As nearby Ephesus began to lose significance, the basilica was converted into a mosque, hit by an earthquake and completely destroyed by a Mongol army in 1402 …

» St Mary's House

St Mary's House , Turkey

A holy shrine to the supposed death place of St. Mary, the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus is a standing testament to the home of the beloved mother of Jesus. Many believe that the house was indeed the place where she spent her final days, and today you can visit the restored stone house, which now serves as a chapel. Serving as sacred territory for Christians and Muslims alike, the significance of the house has called hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims since its discovery in the 19th-century …

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« TURKEYDiscover TurkeyAegean Turkey • Izmir

Magical Journeys to TurkeyIzmir Travel
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Magical Journeys to Turkey

Although it has a dramatic setting around a bay backed by mountains, most of Izmir is modern, which makes it a hard city in which to fall in love with at first sight. Give it a chance and you may find Turkey' third-largest city growing on you. Nowadays, the sea-facing Kordon is a great place for jogging, cycling, walking the dog and just plain lounging about, while the northern district of Alsancak is being steadily restored …

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Places to Stay in Turkey

Izmir is a busy commercial centre and the gateway to the Aegean Region. Magnificent coastline, the clear water of the Aegean, vast pristine beaches surrounded by olive groves, rocky crags and pine woods. Dotted with idyllic fishing harbours, popular holiday villages, and the remains of ancient civilizations …

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