Turkey
İzmir

Here you’ll find travel reports about İzmir. Discover travel destinations in Turkey of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

25 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Izmir, Turkey

    June 13, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    The short crossing from Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece to Ayvalik, Turkey took only 1.5 hours and it was a beautiful warm sunny early evening for the sailing. On arrival at Passport Control in Turkey however I was advised I had to pay 25 Euros for a Visa. ‘Now you can be in Turkey for 3 months’ an Immigration Official told me, even although I had already told him I would only be here for 3 days. ‘Yes, that’s correct, 3 months’ he insisted.

    I was a bit panicky that with the later crossing, it might be hard to get to my next destination, Izmir, by public transport, and I knew there was no rail connection. I caught a local bus to the bus station just in time to catch the 20.15 express coach to Izmir. This turned out to be quite the luxury coach with reclining seats, airline-style at-seat video screens, and complimentary refreshments on the 2.5 hour trip. And all this for the princely sum of £4.90. It was just like the Megabus Gold to Aberdeen (minus the tablet). Izmir is a huge city of 3 million inhabitants, and the Coach Station was somewhere on the outskirts. I was about to take a taxi but the helpful transport officer told me there was a free connection to the old town, some distance away, and I was even dropped off right at my hotel.

    Given the excellent value in Turkey, I had decided to splash out on the 5 star Renaissance Hotel Izmir. It is one of the best hotels I have stayed in. My room was almost a suite with separate bathroom and shower rooms - a far cry from my cell at the Clink in London. I chilled out with a glass of Merlot on the rooftop bar surrounded by the lights of the city. The breakfast was terrific, 2nd only to the Intercontinental Hotel in Singapore (courtesy of Mr Super Kenny tours!).

    In spite of my late night, I got up early to explore some of the sights of the old city, all within walking distance of the hotel. The impressive Smyrna Agora from Roman times; the old Bazaar selling everything from fruit, veg, fish and meat (including pigs trotters - sorry, Betty) to costumes which would look great in Aladdin; and the elegant Clock Tower, emblem of the city.

    Back at the hotel, there was time for a rejuvenating swim in the pool before heading off, all to soon, to catch the train to Bandirma port. Izmir surprised and is well worth a visit.
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  • Day8

    Kusadasi

    May 17, 2015 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Kusadasi! First up we had a guided tour of the Emphasis and Terrace Houses followed by a trip to where they make hand made rugs. We were taught how the rugs were made and how they get the silk. After that we were dropped off near the ship where we did a little bit of shopping followed by dinner at a local restaurant - we ended up with a platter to share and it was pretty tasty!Read more

  • Day5

    Ephesus, Second City of the Roman Empire

    November 9, 2013 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    Although Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, it is a charming city in its own right. Our guide, Ergin, was a bit older than our other guides, but he was fantastic--well informed, competent, and with a dry sense of humor. Ephesus was the second city of the Roman Empire, a major port until it was silted up in the fourth century. Failure to drain the increasing swamps resulted in mosquitoes that caused epidemics. By the fifth century the city was abandoned. It was a major center of the Christian Church. We saw the tomb of St. John. In medieval times there had been a basilica constructed over the site. Now it is a simple tomb in the ground. The library of Celsus is magnificent even in its ruined state. What is reputed to be the house of the Virgin Mary is the site of Roman Catholic pilgrimage. Only one column remains of the Temple of Diana. We had an excellent five-course Turkish lunch, complete with folkloric dancers. After lunch we went to a carpet cooperative, but, of course, with our acquaintance with the Capels, had already learned enough to buy the carpets we need.Read more

  • Day48

    Sirince & Selcuk

    February 25 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    A short drive away is our stop for the next two nights. Getting into the town of Selcuk early, we first headed to the nearby village for Sirince first for a wander and lunch. In the wintertime, it's a bit of a sleepy village though village shops of the local wineries are open for free tastings and some shops of local artists as well.

    The area I think is more known for fruit wines, there's certainly a variety to try. We sampled 2 reds, their version of sangria as well as cinnamon, mulberry, strawberry and peach. The latter two I came across at a very friendly shop on a different street. Sadly the wine only comes in the large bottle and I'm now very limited on space in my backpack to go home. Perhaps another return trip should also be in the works.

    Ended up skipping lunch to wander felt shops, leather shops and simply taking it all in. I think another half hour or full hour would've been nice, but as is with group trips, we always need to take into account what everyone's interests are. I did get to sample Turkish coffee that is brewed by being heated with hot sand though, very different from others. It was really neat to watch it being prepared and then boiling to being poured into a small cup.

    Back in Selcuk, we checked into our rooms, and my roommate and I headed out to explore the town in the short free time we were given. A good idea since we got to see a lot more than our orientation walk later. We even found a shop that sold fried dondurum (fried ice cream) that we would take our group to later. Not sure if we fully sold our guide on it, but it was delicious and something different but local.

    We had dinner at another local restaurant, this time, the recommendation came from our driver and it was a delicious offering of mini shish kebabs on my plate. Yum yum!
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  • Day49

    Selcuk Explorations

    February 26 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    This morning, we hopped into taxi's to visit the House of the Virgin Mary. According to the Bible and other writings, it was believed that she moved to then Ephesus with St John the apostle. There's an entrance fee and it actually goes to the town of Selcuk, so we made donations and lit candles to help with the upkeep of the site. St John himself is buried in the basilica named after him in today's Selcuk itself.

    From Mary's house, we drove back passing the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, where legend has it that several Christians were trapped in a cave because the ruler wanted to silence them for their religion, but they fell asleep instead and years later when the rock to the cave entrance was removed, they awoke and didn't realize time had passed.

    We got dropped off at St John's Basilica, I didn't realize it was ruins, thinking it was an actual basilica. The locals really loved St John, and it's said that had there not been geographic limitations, the basilica would've been even larger.

    Just steps down the road is the Isa Bey Mosque. There weren't a lot of visitors so we mostly had it to ourselves. Outside an older gentlemen and his son run 2 souvenir stands. The older gentlemen worked for the mosque for many years and told us about its transformations over the years.

    Back in town, we grabbed an early lunch before meeting our group for our afternoon Ephesus tour.
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  • Day8

    Exploring Ephesus

    June 23, 2016 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 91 °F

    The Odeion Theatre, The Celsus Library, the intricate Terrace Houses, the public toilets & bath houses, and the Great Theater where St Paul was said to speak, are just some of the beautiful buildings uncovered in Ephesus.

  • Day21

    Leben on the road

    September 23, 2016 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    ...heute durfte ich das Zimmer aussuchen ;-)

  • Day22

    Back to the roots

    September 24, 2016 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Noch werden die Ausblicke aus dem Zelt nicht so richtig schlechter, mal schauen wie lange noch :-)

You might also know this place by the following names:

İzmir, Izmir

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