Discover the fantastic city of Izmir in Turkey
The third most populous city in Turkey, Izmir is located near the Gulf of Izmir on the Aegean Sea. The name Izmir is a derivation of Smyrna which is the city's previous name. Izmir is approximately 5000 years old - making it one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean basin. Excavations have revealed not only the type of homes people lived in but also what cultural influences they were exposed to at the time. Izmir of old was transformed from small fishing village to one of the world's largest cultural and commercial centers to city-state. Today it stands proudly as a city with an amazing sense of cultural heritage and commercial pride.
The famous poet who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey - two works of antiquity - was born in Izmir. Homer, son of Meles, lived between 750-700 BC and his works are still reproduced and retranslated to be read and studied to this day. It is believed that Homer was born in Izmir as his nickname was 'Melesigenes' which means 'child of Meles Brook' and Mele Brook is located within the city. The Iliad and the Odyssey are perhaps the oldest poetic records of history and culture and they still exert an influence on literary works today.
Modern day Izmir is considered by some to be the 'pearl of the Aegean'. It is one of the most westernized Turkish cities with regards to values, lifestyles and gender roles. It is also home to the International Arts Festival which is held in the city during June and July, and the International Fair which you can enjoy during August and September. Both Festivals are held annually.
Izmir's expansion has grown to encorporate various ancienct cities, such as Ephesus, Pergamon and Sardis. If you journey here, you will likely see many ancient buildings, sites and monuments in and around Izmir which will captivate your imagination.
Another attraction to be enjoyed here is the wonderful Birds Paradise. The attraction houses some 205 species of birds, both domestic, migratory and transitory. It covers some 80 square kilometers and will keep you busy for hours.
Izmir has so many things to see that it would be hard to determine where to start. Of course, logic tells us to start by booking our tickets so why not start making arrangements to do so today.