Regional Image of Calis beach at sunsetCalis beach at sunset

With its pristine beaches and wealth of historical monuments, Turkey's Aegean Region is a great place for a holiday. The region's largest city and main point of entry is Izmir, an ancient city founded in 3000 BC. Its busy port and pretty, palm-lined avenues make strolling here a joy, but you can also check out some of the city's sights and museums. The Archaeological Museum gives insights into the area's rich past, while the excavations of the ancient city allow you to see up close what life here was like thousands of years ago. At night, head to the terrace cafes for dinner and catch a concert by the Aegean Philharmonic Orchestra afterward. The Cesme beach near the city centre is a long white strip perfect for sunbathing and relaxing after a few days of city sightseeing.

Your options outside Izmir are endless. Rocky beaches like Kusadasi and Fethiye provide quiet escapes, while villages like Guvendik are ideal if you're looking for busy town life and good restaurants. Head to the fishing village of Cesmealti for excellent seafood and to inland Alacati for a taste of local life. Some of this region's loveliest beaches are along the Cesme Peninsila, just west of Izmir. Other popular resorts include peaceful Assos, party-hard Bodrum and upscale Marmaris.

The Aegean coast was an important centre for trade in the ancient world, and it's loaded with amazing ruins. One of the largest archeological sites in is Bergama, in North Aegean, where you can see ruins of an altar to Zeus, various temples, a library, theatre and gymnasium. At ancient Empesus you can marvel at the intricate fa?ade of the old library and see the city's church, mentioned by St. John in the book of Revelation.


Covered with colourful flowers all year round, Gundogan means 'the Sunrise'. Famous for its ancient rock cemeteries, it is a small town on the Bodrum Peninsula. It is an important town for fishing, sponge diving and olive and tangerine growing. It is situated approximately 30 minutes from Bodrum International Airport which opened just a couple of years ago. Many professional people have their ‘summer houses’ in Gundogan which remains unspoilt and very Turkish. It is apparently the summer retreat for many high level members of the diplomatic service. Gundogan Beach is one of the largest on the Peninsula. Situated among tangerine, olive and pine trees, intimate restaurants and cafes built on jetties circle the Bay offering traditional Turkish cuisine. There is a small harbour with fishing boats, yachts and gullets as well as a sailing school run by Neilson offering dingy sailing, windsurfing, jet skis, waterskiing etc.Across the Bay is 'Rabbit Island' which has an old Greek church and standing remains of a Byzantine monastic settlement dated to the 9th Century A.D. History, dramatic landscape and a natural unspoilt Bay and friendly people await you! There is a small harbour with fishing boats, yachts and gullets as well as a sailing school run by Neilson offering dingy sailing, windsurfing, jet skis, waterskiing etc.


Bodrum sits in the beautiful Peninsula of the Aegean and Mediterranean sea. It is famous for its vivacious, friendly and bohemian atmosphere. Intimate seaside cafes with magnificent views of the 15th Century castle mingle with the energetic street side bars, international restaurants, shops and boutiques. Bodrum castle houses lots of history to include a torture room, a cistern, Turkish baths and 14 skeletons with heavy iron chains shackled to their ankles. One of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum in the heart of Bodrum starts the trip back in history. There is also the Museum of underwater Archaeology within the castle, showing restored shipwrecks including the most precious cargo of a 3,500 yr old shipwreck. This museum also houses the oldest chess set found in the world! There are trips by hydrofoil or ferry to the greek islands of Kos and Rhodes. The Black Island is also just opposite the town where you can have a mud spa. Bodrum offers all the facilities of a major town all year round. This is the ‘playground’ of the rich and famous and many actors and actresses holiday here.

Regional Image of Calis beach at sunsetCalis beach at sunset

The Aegean Sea ensures a mild climate year-round, with warm and breezy summers and short winters. The beach season lasts from April through October along the southern coast (the season is a little shorter in the north) but any time is a good time to explore the ancient monuments and ruins.

Regional Image of Calis beach at sunsetCalis beach at sunset

Throughout the summer season most major UK airports have direct flights to Izmir in the north of the Agean region, Bodrum further south and Dalaman airport in the south and east, bordering onto the Mediteranean region. Dalaman Airport serves, Marmaris, Gocek, Calis Beach, Fethiye etc. You can also get around by ferry (there is a ferry from Istambul to Izmir) or train.

Driving is fairly straightforward in Turkey and throughout the Aegean region. Roads are good and well-maintained, though following Turkish road signs can be a challenge.

Regional Image of Calis beach at sunsetCalis beach at sunset

The long Aegean shore gives plenty of opportunity for water and beach sports. If laying on the beach just gets to be too darn relaxing, you can rent sailboats or jet skis in larger resorts. Chartering small yachts is also popular and is a great way to see the coast and discover remote beaches accessible only by water. Along these rocky coasts, snorkeling and scuba diving are popular; you'll find numerous outfitters renting equipment.
Gundogan - Local produce and clothes - Wednesday all day.
Bodrum - Tuesday all day, Thursday half a day, Friday all day.
Yalikavak - Thursday all day

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