In the Kemaraltı Historical Bazaar you will find products from the skilled hands of İzmir that bring together the traces of the past with the texture of the present. These products sometimes take you to the past and keep the history alive and sometimes they reflect the face of modernity.
You should stop at Kızlarağası Inn, located in Halim Ağa Bazaar in Kemeraltı, which is one of the most popular inns in the city with its Ottoman-style architecture. There are shops selling ceramic, wooden and glass souvenirs, local handicrafts and evil eye beads, silver jewelry and antiques.
If you want to have a souvenir of your vacation, you can consider the evil eye bead made in İzmir. Evil eye bead, glass art with its colorful and pleasant appearance, attracts attention not only as a decorative product, but also for use from the past to the present. You may want to touch to get rid of fears, distress and negative energy.
Cave of Seven Sleepers / Eshab-ı Kehf
This cave, which is mentioned in the Qur'an, is considered sacred by Muslims and Christians. A legend of the Eshab-ı Kehf Cave is told among the people.
According to the legend; Seven young men, who were members of the Christian religion brought before the Roman Emperor Decius or Diocletian, because they refused to offer sacrifice to pagan gods. Together with their dog Kıtmir, these seven young people choose to escape from death and took shelter in this cave.
They fall into a deep sleep for 300 years. The first to wake up goes to the city to buy food, but is caught because of the outdated money he has. When he comes to the cave with him, they see nothing but a nest where seven birds perched. For this reason, this place is known as Seven Sleepers Cave.
House of Virgin Mary
Christians believe that after Jesus' crucifixion, the Virgin Mary came to Selçuk with his apostle John and spent the last years of her life here. That is why the House of the Virgin Mary is considered one of the holy places of pilgrimage.
The house received visits from Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979, which strengthened the belief that Virgin Mary lived and died in Ephesus. This site has become a frequent destination for pilgrims, since the image of the Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. A special mass is held each 15 August and attracts innumerable visitors.
Ayasuluk Castle is located on the Ayasuluk Hill in the town of Selçuk which was the first place of settlement of Ephesus. The castle is also famous for its view overlooking Selcuk. It is not known exactly when was the castle built.
The city walls seen today belong to Byzantine, Aydınoğulları, and Ottoman periods. The walls, built of stone, brick, and plaster, are supported by 15 towers. In the castle, there are stone tiled streets, cisterns of various sizes, a mosque and at the highest point the remains of a church.
Şirince, located in the Selçuk district of İzmir, is one of the most famous villages of Türkiye. Şirince earns its name, which translates as "cute" in English, with its nature, streets, houses and people.
The village is located about 10 km from Selçuk and 83 km from İzmir. You should definitely visit Şirince it is famous for its wine and stone villas and its reputation goes beyond the borders of the country. The local 19th century architecture is well presevered in the village as most of these houses are carefully restored by their new inhabitants, now welcome visitors as small pensions, restaurants, cafes or shops.
The village maintains its cultural character with thematic education, mathematics, art and theater facilities.
One of the places of interest in Şirince is the market in the center of the village. Many products from soap to olive oil are sold at the bazaar, where you can also buy handicrafts made by local women.
Another must-do activity in the village is tasting the world-famous Şirince fruit wines. You can stop at the wine houses to taste homemade wines made from many different fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, melons and strawberries.
At the fifth kilometer on the way to Torbalı from Kemalpaşa, one can see an intersection adorned with the colors of the evil eye bead. This place is the Nazarköy village. Previously known as Kurudere, the village has been home to evil eye bead workshops for 75 years. The name of the village was then changed to Nazarköy (the village of the evil eye) in 2009.
Established among pine trees, the village welcomes visitors with stands of evil eye beads in every color and size.
Evil eye bead workshops can also be found here, where the sounds of skewers and iron are heard in front of 1,200-centigrade furnaces.
Mahmut Sür, who has been making evil eye beads for 43 years in his atelier in Nazarköy in İzmir’s Kemalpaşa district, is on the UNESCO List as a Living Human Treasure List (LHT). This title is given to people who possess a very high degree of knowledge and skills required for performing or re-creating specific elements of the intangible cultural heritage.
It is a peaceful place where you can breathe some fresh air, listen to the birds, and touch the pines with the meticulously grown trees and flora. There are 9 thousand 500 trees brought from all over the world, from America to Siberia, from Europe to the Far East within the Kültürpark.
İnciraltı Urban Forest
It is a place where you can enjoy both the sea and nature in İzmir. Moreover, you can do exercise walking, jogging and picnic in this area. İnciraltı Urban Forest covers an area of approximately two million square meters with İnciraltı fishpond.
The Natural Life Park
There are countless different species roam freely in their natural habitats is the largest natural life park of Europe. The Park is home to 1048 animals in 128 species from mammals to birds and reptiles, as well as endangered species such as the Asian elephant. Being a member of The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Natural Life Park attracts great attention, especially from children.
Homeros Valley And Recreational Area
Taking after its name from the Iliad and Odysseia epics, the valley offers the serenity it promised. The recreation area including seven kilometers of valley arrangement includes picnic areas surrounded by rare flowers. The area was also traditionaly known as a resting place of the poet in the past.
Karagöl Natural Park
It is a place for an escape from the city. It is on Yamanlar Mountain in Karşıyaka district. Karagöl is İzmir's oxygen reservoir. At the end of your journey with all the generosity of nature and the magnificent İzmir Bay, Karagöl welcomes you like a picture that reflects every shade of green. You feel yourself in a postcard in Karagöl. Karagöl is a gorgeous nature paradise and provides an opportunity to explore the beauty of Yamanlar Mountain. You can have your picnic in Karagöl while watching the elegant swimming of ducks.
Çiçekliköy and Yakaköy
These two neighboring villages, whose mountains and stones are covered with pine forests, promise pleasant hours away from boredom and stress with their dazzling clean air, colorful flowers that bloom in spring, friendly people, local products, appetizing breakfast tables and picnic areas.
Agamemnon Hot Springs
“Agamemnon Hot Springs” cited by Homer’s legends and the geographer Strabo’s works have been used as a curing centre from ancient to present times. The spas where the wounded soldiers of Alexander the Great were treated were very popular in those times. This region is presently called “Balçova Springs” and offers thermal waters, mud baths and a source of drinking water. The Balçova Springs, which also provides accommodation, are particularly beneficial for the treatment. The curing water of the Balçova Spas contains sodium chloride.
With its natural beauties, healing herbs, traditions, and peaceful life philosophy, Karaburun is one of the trending tourism destinations in İzmir. 100 km away from the city center, the district is easily accessible by Çeşme highway and is one of the unique places on earth.
Karaburun Peninsula, also known as Mimas, is a must-see destination not only with its history of thousands of years, but also with its cleans sea, and beaches.
Despite its beautiful bays, clear sea, and natural beaches, Karaburun is one of the rare places that maintain its calmness. There are beautiful beaches where you can enjoy the sea.
Urla is a charming coastal town about 38 km from downtown İzmir. Excavations show that Limantepe Mound found at the İskele (Harbour) of Urla dates back to 4000 BCE. The ancient city of Klazomenai, one of the 12 Ionian cities, on the south coast of the İzmir Gulf, sat in a prime position here in today’s town of Urla, to control sea traffic into and out of the gulf as well as around the neighbouring small islands. Another major industry that was olive oil production. Archaeologists recovered the remains of a 6th century BCE olive press. Carbonized olive seeds, terracota pots for separating the olive oil mixed with, the water contained in the olive fruit and the hot water used to facilitate the process, small hand mortars or grinding stone tools that can help crush the olive grains were uncovered.
Urla, today, as well as the ancient times, is known with its wine production. Local vineyards produce some of Türkiye’s best wines.
Urla’s beautiful harbour is lined up with fish restaurants and cafes, art galleries, and a popular yacht marina for sailing enthusiasts.
Its town center turns into an open-air market where artisans sell design objects, hand made goods, local products, olive oil. Urla Sanat Sokağı (Artisans Street) is where crowds stroll along every Sunday to sip their tea and enjoy the lovely little shops.
Blue Flag Beaches
The Aegean coastal strip in the Province of İzmir runs for a length of 629 km, 101 km. of which is a natural beach.
İzmir has 52 beaches listed in the Blue Flag Programme which secures the high standards in water quality, environmental management and safety. The geographical formation of İzmir’s coastal strip consisting of a peninsula and some small bays provides ideal opportunities for water sports as well as the use of a beach. The most popular beaches in the province include beaches at Pamucak, Urla, Gülbahçe, Çeşme, Ilıca, Alaçatı, Altınkum, Gümüldür and Özdere, as well as those at Dikili, Çandarlı, Foça and Ören in the north.