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Izmir Turkey

İzmir - Turkey İzmir is the third largest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.7 million with the second biggest port after Istanbul. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, it is now a modern, developed and busy commercial center set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. İzmirs broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are set amidst older traditional buildings with red-tiled roofs, an 18th century market and old mosques and churches. The city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey due to the influence the port has had on the city. Unfortunately, the Great Fire of 1920s created a relative lack of historical architecture in Izmir, especially when considering that the city of İzmir is more than 5000 years old. The town of Selçuk, a few hours by bus or train to the south of the city, is a town with many important historical sights including the nearby Roman city of Ephesus and the site of the last house of the Virgin Mary. The Vatican has declared it an official Catholic pilgrimage site. The cuisine of İzmir has certainly been affected by its multicultural history with numerous varieties of foods originating from the Aegean, Mediterranean and Anatolian regions. This together with the large area of agriculturally suited land surrounding the region growing a vast selection of fruits and vegetables. The combination European and traditional Turkish food preparation has created a unique cultural mix that may well define the cuisine of the İzmir region. In the end it is still very much Turkish, but with its own distinct preparations and ingredients.

As a lively and cosmopolitan city, İzmir holds a noteable place in Turkey's cultural life with its International Arts Festival and International Fair - just one of the 35 national or international fairs and exhibitions that are held annually in İzmir. Each year the İzmir International Festival runs from mid-June through mid-July and has been held each year since 1987. The festival has attracted many world-class performers such as Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Bryan Adams, James Brown, Elton John, Sting, and Joan Baez to mention but a few. İzmir is also a few kilometers away from Kuşadası, and the pleasant inland village of Şirince, renowned for its wines. Dry and sunny summers in Izmir can be quite hot and sticky if there is not an air-conditioner in your room. However, a mild breeze coming in ashore from the sea often makes the evenings bearable, especially in locations close to the waterfront. Temperatures can drop down to freezing point (0°C/32°F) during the windy and rainy winters, however snowfall is a rarity.

Adnan Menderes Airport is 16 kilometers south of the city center and has several daily flights to Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. There are also regular flights to and from many European locations.


Region: Aegean
Province: İzmir
Beach: Yes
Marina: Yes
Hotels: Yes
Video: Yes
Airport: Adnan Menderes Airport
English language website: izmir-information.com
izmir-information.com contains detailed information about İzmir with photos and videos. Clicking on the link opens a new browser window. To return to this page - simply close the new window.


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