Hello fellow travel-lusters and foodies! I’d like to share with you a recent trip I took to the Izmir region of Turkey. If Turkey is on your bucket list, there are many options for culture, food, landscape, sweets, and much more, all with easy access from Istanbul, a travelers first destination of choice. If you’ve already hit up Istanbul, the beautiful unimaginable landscapes of Cappadocia, the white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, and boated your way through the southern party coast of Bodrum, and just want to relax and shop for an affordable price on the Aegean Coast, Izmir is an outstanding choice. The blue waters off the coast of Izmir are the perfect holiday getaway, and a quick ride via ferry boat to the Greek Island of Chios if you prefer to country hop without the hassle of flying.
How to get there?
The beaches outside Izmir are a quick flight from local carriers or Turkish Airlines via Istanbul’s 2 airports. On a budget? Check out the KamilKoc overnight bus schedule where the seats are comfortable and plenty. If you are planning on visiting from Greece, you can ferry from the Greek Island of Chios to/from Alacati Marina. Chios is a lesser known island and where Mastic gum comes from (or Chios Mastiha) and makes the puddings, ice cream and other sticky sweets in Turkey and Greece so much more delicious and palatable. My favorite being the pudding Sakizli Muhallebi with of course a side of Turkish Coffee.
Looking to sit on a beach or lounge by the pool?
I stayed in Sigacik at the Maya Bistro Hotel & Beach and opted for affordable villa housing with less crowds, uninterrupted sea-side lounging, relaxed slow placed food and drink service, ION Club water sports (windsurf, diving, SUP, paddleboats) and access to amenities at the sister hotel Club Resort Atlantis. If you are looking for an all-inclusive, child-friendly, activity-friendly, pool filled cushy get-away Atlantis may be more accommodating for you! However be sure you are ok sharing space and waiting in lines during the summer season with upwards to 1,800 others on this massive resort.
For more of a boutique feel away from the water and closer to town and the marina (boat friend’s listen up!) check out the ornately decorated top rated hotel our friend who knows the owner recommends - Monza House . I absolutely loved touring this unique hotel with a fantastic garden and breakfast space!
A posh, luxurious gem I’d recommend getting an B&B at is in the must see city of Alacati in the Cesme peninsula. For a more traditional beach hotel check out Solto Hotel. While shopping your way through town or tasting the ice-cream shops, you can also view history of the Ottoman Cesme Castle dating back to the 16th century. Most spectacular are the private unspoiled silky sand beaches sitting between mountains and the cobble stone. Don’t be surprised if you spot celebrities laying out at one of the beach clubs at night.
Keep exploring friends! xoxo Erin @tbltrips