Take a look at our holidays to Izmir and start planning a trip to an absorbing destination on Turkey’s central Aegean coast. The area is steeped in history, known as Smyrna in ancient times it was conquered by Alexander the Great and the Ottoman Empire, and you can unlock the secrets of its past with our holidays to Izmir from Stansted.
A thriving port with a long history and liberal attitude, Izmir is located in the west of Turkey, and is the country’s third largest city. Compare holidays to Izmir and experience the unique feel of the city that is brought about by its Levantine, Greek, Armenian and Jewish heritage.
Izmir is a developed, contemporary city, having grown from its ancient roots to boast an array of modern shopping centres and glass-fronted buildings. A plethora of old churches and mosques, red-tiled roofs and an 18th century market allow the city to retain its character however, particularly when blended in with the charm of the huge bay and surrounding mountains that bless Izmir with such natural beauty.
During the 1920s the Great Fire destroyed many of Izmir’s ancient sights, yet a range of pleasing attractions still remain. The city centre’s main square is Konak Square, which plays host to the iconic clock tower that was built in 1901. The Kemeraltı Bazaar and Konak Yali Mosque are also located around the square.
The remains of the original Roman city of Smyrna can be seen at Agora, while the Asansör is an elevator that was built in 1907 to help residents get back home to uphill areas of the city. At the summit of the elevator there is a great restaurant that throws up stunning views back over Izmir.
To enjoy views of the city from the water take a public ferry, and keep an eye out for beaches that you may wish to visit. There’s plenty of sandy stretches close to the city centre, such as the beaches of Çeşme, Foça and Urla.
Check out the events calendar to see what’s on when you're in town, with highlights including March’s Izmir European Jazz Festival, the International Izmir Festival that takes place across June and July, and the Izmir International Fair in September.