Mark Read

İzmir & the North Aegean

An extraordinary number of attractions are waiting to be discovered along the short stretch of coast between the Dardanelles and the Çeşme Peninsula. There are sandy beaches aplenty, and innumerable scenic viewpoints from where the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios appear to float on the sparkling Aegean Sea.

There are also plenty of reminders of the region's importance in antiquity, most notably the extraordinary Acropolis and Askeplion at Bergama (Pergamum), the evocative ruins of Teos and the spectacularly sited Temple of Athena at Behramkale (Assos).

But as wonderful as these beaches and ruins are – not to mention the compelling attractions on offer in the urbane city of İzmir – most people who visit this part of the country say their most lasting memories are of the bittersweet traces of Greek heritage that have influenced the local cuisine and architecture and enriched the lives of its inhabitants.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout İzmir & the North Aegean.