The Turkish Aegean region in western Turkey enjoys much fame. Surrounded by the Marmara, Mediterranean and Anatolian regions, it includes eight provinces and is home to over nine million people. The Aegean Coast is breath-taking as well as rich in agriculture and history. Adventure through many ancient ruins where decaying remnants of history reflect the region's past while also enjoying modern amenities and gorgeous beaches.
About the Turkish Aegean Region
1: Landscape and Geography
The Aegean region is like the Mediterranean region in climate, but there are differences in the landscape. Unlike the more typical parallel mountains found along the Med, Aegean mountains often cut directly into the sea. This, of course, causes differences in landscape and beaches. The perpendicular mountain ranges create coastline bays and coves as opposed to the exposed Mediterranean coastline.
The Aegean is superb for keen sailors and boaters, whereas the Mediterranean is ideal for beachcombers. Turkey's Aegean Coast, backed by fertile valleys and hills, hold quaint villages and large olive tree groves. It is not surprising this region is one of Turkey's prominent olive oil exporters. Warm and moist ocean air trapped near the coast by the mountains creates a natural greenhouse that olive trees love.
2: Best Time to Visit Aegean Turkey
The Aegean Coast has a favourable climate all year round. The spring brings sunshine and comfortable, warm weather. It also brings offers lush green beauty. Sunny hot summers bring travellers for boating and water sports on the blue waters and are the prelude to mild temperatures and pleasant winters with light rain showers. This steady inviting climate beckons travellers to visit throughout the year.
Summer and spring are the best times to visit for beach or water activities because of warm, bright weather and clear skies. Spring and Fall are also a perfect time for exploring the inner terrain because the mild yet comfortable weather will be warm enough to enjoy, yet cool enough to take long hikes through ruins or hillside terrain.
The mild winter makes it a perfect area to holiday because of uncrowded tourist areas, and the cooler temperatures make exploring a brisk pleasurable experience. Winter is an ideal time to stay because of mild temperatures. Towns and resorts are less crowded, so winter months also bring visitors ready to enjoy various winter festivals and celebrations in a more tranquil environment.
4: Where to Stay
Turkey's Aegean region has a plethora of furnished apartments for rent to travellers. Most apartments are in modern resort buildings furnished with lavish amenities and located either on or near the beach. Most rentals also come with access to a swimming pool and other amenities; otherwise find many global hotel branded properties in the major cities. Still, more adventurous travellers may instead opt for renting a room at an inn in many tiny villages found throughout the region. Regional residents are lovely hosts as well as often doubling as available tour guides. Regardless of your vacation desires, every traveller can find what they want in Turkey's Aegean region. Be as busy or sedate as you wish, surrounded by sea or mountain views.
5: Famous Aegean Destinations
Afyon: As the centre of Turkey's legal opium trade, Afyon is home to many historic buildings and earns fame for the world-famous clotted cream served at most pastry shops in town. An inaccessible and imposing Byzantine Era citadel overlooks the area. There are also historical rock face carvings north of the town.
Assos (Behramkale.) This beautiful seaside village faces Lesvos Island, known worldwide as the hilltop home of the Athena Temple. Relax in this area, a vacationer’s paradise and take in local history and a beautiful climate.
Ayvalik: Surrounded by olive tree groves, Ayvalik, a popular North Aegean seaside resort, is also a common vacation choice for locals who take ferries to the Greek island Lesvos from here. Boasting many waterside open-air restaurants, it is a romantic getaway with many small streets filled with shops, an isolated beach walk, and the surrounding groves.
Bodrum Peninsula: The beautiful resort town has become a favourite yachting port due to its vibrant nightlife. The nightlife often hosts Europe's trendiest and wealthiest vacationers. Additionally, other places on the peninsula have risen to famous like Glitzy Yalikavak, which holds a mega-yacht marina, and Golturkbuku, home to millionaire waterside mansions.
Ephesus Ancient Ruins: Ephesus, the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey, is the first stop on any history buffs tour. Transporting you back in time, feel what it was like to live 2000 years ago. There are also two famous religious stories connected to Ephesus. St. Paul wrote his gospel here and the nearby Virgin Mary's reconstructed house where she spent her last days.
Cosmopolitan Izmir: Home to Turkey's third-largest city, Izmir is the Aegean region's capital and home to 3 million people. Its history dating back 5,000 years includes being the birthplace of famous poet Homer. Now a modern city, it is the principal port and transportation hub for the region. It boasts excellent restaurants and is usually the starting city for many vacationers. It has a large airport near and a supporting bus terminal, making it a perfect point for regional travellers. Alacati, a charming untouched town west of Izmir and near Cesme, has seen more international visitors in recent years. Some are avid windsurfers as Alacati offers Europe’s best coastal winds.
Ruins of Troy: This famous ancient city was thought fictional until 1863 when archaeologists completed excavations. These days tourists visit on their own or take a guided tour and have pictures taken next to a replica sizeable wooden horse depicting Troy's battle.
Pamukkale and Hierapolis: Pamukkale’s beautiful thermal springs are magical oases forgotten by time with unique white petrified basins. The spring's thermal waters contain calcareous salts that run off the plateau's edge and create monumental stalactite formations. These springs have been in use since the Roman Empire, which highly favoured them for their healing qualities.
6: Other Things to Do
Alacati and Bitez are well known and visited for their excellent windsurfing. With the long coastline, it is easy to find someplace to swim. Visit the city of Ilica and enjoy their natural hot springs that erupt from the seafloor into rocky pools. The seaside village of Ildiri, northeast of Cesme, gives a unique opportunity at dusk to climb up to the Acropolis and admire romantic sunset scenes slipping slowly overlapping water and distant islands. The area is also full of exciting water sports to enjoy all year, including diving and particularly sailing.
There are many bays and coves, so any avid boater or yachter will enjoy travelling around this region’s waterways. Kusadasi is one of Turkey’s premier resorts with its amazing beaches that overlook crystal blue water. The nights are just as exciting when the sun goes down, and everyone clicks into full swing with its pulsating nightlife.
The Aegean region's hills and mountains create the perfect backdrop for hikers; whether you prefer shorter day hikes or overnight adventures, you find a particular spot. This region also hosts a variety of diverse festivals. For example, in May, the area holds the International culture and tourism festival and camel wrestling in Selcuk during January.
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