Cruise Holiday Travel Guide: Izmir

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Set sail on a Mediterranean cruise with Cruise 1st Australia and experience the colourful and diverse culture of this beautiful part of the world. Choose a cruise which stops at Izmir, Turkey, and you will be amazed by it’s Mediterranean beauty and unique heritage.

Read on to find out more about Izmir, or click here to see the latest deals on Mediterranean cruises.

About Izmir

The thriving metropolis of Izmir is the third most populated city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara and it has the biggest port after Istanbul. It’s colourful history includes it once being known as the Greek city of Smyrna.

The city is nestled between mountains and the Aegean Sea which makes for some spectacular scenery. With its culture borne from Greek, Armenian, Levantine and Jewish heritage, Izmir is quite distinct from the rest of Turkey.

The city has a laid back, liberal atmosphere. Even during the holy month of Ramadan, when many bars and shops across the country close, it is virtually business as usual in Izmir. However don’t let Izmir’s modern vibe distract from the fascinating history behind this city – recent archaeological digs have unearthed ancient Roman statues and pottery which serve as a reminder of the city’s rich history.

The most popular shore excursion from Izmir is to the ancient ruins of Ephesus – the best preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean. This beautifully preserved city was an important centre for early Christianity, and in the Book of Revelationsit was one of the seven churches addressed by Jesus in a vision. Here you will find the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You will also have the opportunity to visit the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. Most trips also include a delicious lunch of authentic Turkish cuisine.

Within the city of Izmir itself there is plenty to see and do. The bustling Konak Square with it’s iconic Ottoman Clock Tower is the main gathering place for young Turks and has a lively atmosphere. The main square leads onto a long, winding bazaar where there are many bargains to be had if you are prepared to haggle!

A long promenade runs parallel to the seafront and offers many cafes, restaurants and bars. Not to be missed is the Agora – a 2,000 year old market place where Roman farmers and merchants sold olive, fruit and cotton. This is remarkably well preserved and still a fascinating site today.

Book your Izmir cruise

Visit our Mediterranean deals page for our very latest offers, but to whet your appetite here is just an example of one of our recent deals.

Eastern Mediterranean – Fly/Stay/Cruise
Sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line on board the Norwegian Jade
16th March 2015 for 13 nights

You will set sail from Rome and then cruise onwards to Katakolon, Athens (Piraeus), Izmir, Istanbul and Naples before returning to Rome (Civitavecchia). This fantastic deal includes a hotel stay in Rome.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit:  Tambako the Jaguar

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About Author

Alyssa Beit

Alyssa lives in Sydney, NSW. Born on the 14th October and is a Social and Human Service Assistant at Cruise 1st Australia. She is in her early 40’s and loves tranquility on luxury cruises.

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