Izmir brims with a young crowd. This magical city buzzes with activity and fun. From archaeological sites to modern amusement parks – you get everything you want in Izmir. If you are planning a New Year’s trip to Turkey, Izmir should definitely make it to your itinerary. The city is so multifaceted that it attracts people with all kinds of tastes. You can plan day trips to various places from Izmir and absorb the essence of this city in a number of ways. Museums, churches, mosques, beaches, forts, and more – choose any or all, and get acquainted with the history of the “forever beautiful” city as you travel. Check out the best day trips from Izmir and turn your holiday into a memory for life.
Pamukkale in western Turkey is about a three-hour drive from Izmir. Here you can go sightseeing the ruins of the Roman city of Hierapolis where you’ll find one the most ancient and largest graveyards containing more than 1200 sarcophagi. In Pamukkale, you can also visit the ruins of Roman Baths, the temple of Sun-God Apollo, and the Great Theatre. Enjoy a relaxing bath in the thermal basins and the ambiance of surrounding mineral forest and hot-water spring will offer you the perfect time to unwind in Pamukkale.
Private Pamukkale (Hierapolis) Tour: Full-Day from Izmir
Duration: 10 hour
The ancient Greek city of Ephesus is less than 80 km (about 49 miles) away from Izmir. Ephesus houses one of the largest archaeological sites of the Roman empire found in the eastern Mediterranean. The city is also famed for the Temple of Artemis, which is located nearby. While traveling to Ephesus a visit to the shrine of the Roman Catholic Church – the House of Virgin Mary is a must. Don’t forget to make a wish at the underground spring here, before you explore other parts of the city.
Ephesus Tour with The House of Virgin Mary From Izmir
Duration: 6 hours
While in Izmir, you can also plan a day trip to the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Pergamum, which is a two-hour drive away. Here you’ll get to see the Acropolis and the Asclepeion, the two most primitive therapeutic centers in the middle-east. What attracts visitors here is the religious history attached to the various ancient edifices. Besides, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, which is regarded as a major center for Christian practices, is situated in Pergamum. The hillside theater, the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Athena, and many other important monuments are there to see.
Daily Pergamum Tour from Izmir
Duration: 6 hours
Just a short drive away from Izmir, this heart-warming little village attracts thousands of travelers because of its aesthetics. Located on a hill, the village is a sanctuary for olives and vines and figs and peaches and walnuts and what not! Tread along the ancient cobblestone streets of Sirince and witness the serenity for yourself. Here you get to see the art of weaving and the procedure of making Turkish delights, and the amicability of the locals wins your heart. Your soul feels free amidst the mesmerizing blend of two-story buildings and an abundance of greenery.
The small town of Urla is famous among the wine-lovers across the globe. Travelers gather in Urla to experience the joy of tasting unmatched flavors. You can plan a short trip to Urla Winery and indulge in world-famous wine straight from barrels, and learn about the history of wine-making that dates back to 4,000 BC. You may even opt for a day’s rest at the onsite hotel of the winery and find more about grape harvesting and pruning. Make your trip to Urla a treasure for life by sipping on your favorite variety of wine and by taking pleasure in biking through the charming greenery.
Keep a whole day free for a day-tour to Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. You need a car so that you get enough time to enjoy the artworks that stand tall at every single site you stop. Priene bears the earliest examples of the geometric city-building plans. The architecture of this city will leave you awe-struck. Miletus, the town that gifted their alphabets to the rest of the world, and had been the abode of many saints and philosophers. Move next to the temple of Apollo in Didyma – one of the most sacred places bearing all signs of antiquity. Even after being invaded several times in history, the cities have successfully kept their essence intact.
Daily Priene Miletus Didyma Tour from Izmir
Duration: 9 hours
7. Çeşme and Alaçati
Youngsters’ favorite destinations from Izmir are the towns of Çeşme and Alaçati. The lively streets reverberating with restaurants and ice-cream parlors and the vibrant beaches with eateries and shops offer a fun trip to young people. But worry not if you are a grown-up soul. The place has things for you as well. Visit the popular fortress of Çeşme built in 1508. The majestic castle has great courtyards to flaunt. It serves as an archaeological museum to many and showcases collections of extraordinary artifacts, ceramics, and coins. The 360-degree view from the top is worth the time and money you spend.
Ayvalık is one of the most popular seaside resort towns in Turkey frequented by locals as well as tourists. The city is located 151 km (94 miles) away from Izmir. The town is surrounded by olive trees and here you can find some of the best olive oil found in the country. Visit Sarımsaklı Beach to spend a relaxing day or take a ferry to Alibey Island where you can experience some of the best dining options in town.
The historic city of Manisa is just about an hour’s drive from Izmir. Trace the history of global medicines at Medical History Museum or explore prehistoric to modern artifacts at Archaeological Museum of Manisa. The magnificent 16th-century Sultan Mosque is also one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the city. Don’t forget to try the delicious kebabs from local eateries in Manisa.
The small village of Nazarköy near Izmir is one of the best places where you can make your own ‘Evil Eye Bead.’ The village was previously called Kurudere but due to its long history of producing some of the best Evil Eye Beads (nazar boncugu in Turkish), the name was changed to Nazarköy. The village has about a dozen Evil Eye Bead shops from where you can buy your favorite one.
A seven-hour day trip to one of the most renowned structures in the world, the Pergamon is a great way to learn more about Ottoman history. For USD 246.52, get the chance to see the Acropolis via a cable car ride, visit the fascinating Asklepion, and discover the impact of Ancient Greek civilization across the Mediterranean.
Travelers who wish to book this GetYourGuide tour are entitled to hotel transfers in Izmir, a professional tour guide, entrance fees, parking fees, as well as lunch. The tour starts at 8:30 am and is a highly recommended way to learn about a new place when traveling around one of the most historic capitals in the world.
From Izmir: Private Guided Day Trip to Ancient Pergamon
Duration: 7 hour
History buffs alike will have quite the time learning about teh religious history of Ephesus in this GetYourGuide bible study tour. With a private tour guide, spend a day seeing some of the most recognized Biblical sites of Ephesus, as the House of Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John. Snap solid photos of ancient ruins and find out more about its role during the ancient Greek and Turkish empires’ rule.
Those who book this tour will also get to see the breathtaking views of Harbour Town, all with comfort and convenience in mind. Inclusions are a licensed professional English speaking tour guide, airconditioned luxury vehicle with a driver, and pick up and drop off service. Entrance fees to museums and sites are also included in the USD 150 tour fee.
Ephesus Bible Study Tour from Kusadasi or İzmir
Duration: 6.5 to 7.5 hour
Experience the diverse culture of Izmir
Located on the Aegean coast, Izmir is very rich in culture and enchants travelers. Here you can delve into the history of Roman, Greek and Roman empires. The city has a lot to offer and is perfect for visiting nearby towns like Sirince and Urla. Take a day trip and visit some of the most beautiful and historic towns and cities near Izmir.
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