Izmir Region Holidays
Holidays to Izmir – Beautiful weather from May to October
The Izmir province is home to the third biggest city in Turkey, Izmir itself. And there are some wonderful beach resorts to choose from along the coast including Cesme, Foca, Selimiye and Turunc, each with its own unique character. It’s a classic beach holiday destination, loved for its incredibly friendly local people, stunning coastline, amazing weather, fantastic food, excellent watersports and a remarkable number of world-class historic and archaeological sites.
The long, hot summer season runs from May to mid-October and means there’s plenty of choice. If you prefer your beach holidays on the quiet side, try May, June and September before and after the school summer break. The peak summer season, July and August, is busiest and most expensive time for Izmir holidays, as well as extremely hot and potentially very humid. Some resort bars, clubs and restaurants close up in mid-October, but you can fly direct to Izmir airport all year round.
Explore the historic city of Izmir
Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and a bustling commercial centre surrounded by mountains forming a stunning natural harbour. The city offers a great deal for the tourist including lively bars and restaurants, great shopping opportunities at local bazaars and plenty of cultural and historical interest.
Sample the wonderful beaches
A short drive west leads to an area famous for picture postcard coves and gorgeous beaches. The pretty resorts of Cesme, Alacati and Altinkum offer everything the visitor could wish for, including some of the best beaches on the Aegean coast boasting white sands, warm seas and secluded, protected bays.
Get out on the water
The bluest, crystal clear waters of the Aegean are hard to resist. Scuba diving, snorkelling and windsurfing are popular activities and to experience the beauty of the coast, many resorts offer sailing trips or more leisurely cruises on traditional Turkish gulets that can last from a few hours to days for those wanting to explore further a-field.
Experience ancient history first hand
An hour south of Izmir lies the ancient preserved city of Ephesus. Comparable with Pompeii, Ephesus is a precious jewel in Turkey's cultural crown. Spend a few hours wandering the ruins and marvel as you step back in time surrounded by incredible architecture that has survived for thousands of years. Also worth a look is the Belevi Maua; a huge ancient structure reputed to be the second largest and second highest tomb of ancient Anatolia, built in the Hellenistic era. The only bigger one is Halicarnassas, in Bodrum which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Marvel at a natural wonder
Further inland, Pamukkale is an amazing geographical phenomenon. A series of huge, white plateaus seemingly cascade down a mountainside creating a visual wonder. Visitors can bathe in pools fed by the warm spring waters that flow through the site.
Soak up the Turkish hospitality
Turkey is rightly famous for offering tourists a warm welcome and whether sampling culinary delights such as kebabs, pide and seafood while dining al fresco, sipping traditional tea or enjoying a cocktail overlooking the Aegean Sea you cannot fail to feel at home in and around Izmir.
Between June and August the Izmir region delivers scorching hot daytime temperatures as high as 33C, dropping to 18C minimum after dark. Expect 13-14 hours of sunshine per day during the peak season, with high humidity common in July and August. There’s occasional rain in summer too, but it’s warm rain and tends to be stormy, never lasting for long. In May it hits 26C daytimes, 14C at night and September is also completely glorious, hitting 29C during daytime and 17C after dark.
Millions of us visit the Izmir province every summer and it can get very busy in the peak season, but there are always bargains to be found. You’re most likely to find the cheapest deals either side of the school summer holidays and in term time. Find out more with our detailed country, city and resort pages. Or check our best deals and package holidays to Izmir below.
The region’s international airport is the well-equipped, efficient Adnan Menderes airport (ADB), also called Izmir airport, only eleven miles from the city itself. You can fly direct to Izmir from various convenient UK airports including London Gatwick, Dublin, Birmingham and Manchester. There are regular Havas shuttle buses between the airport and central Izmir – they run around three times an hour from outside Turkish Airlines’ offices. From the city’s main bus station you can catch a local bus – a dolmus - to many of the region’s main holiday resorts. You can hire a taxi at the airport, but make sure you negotiate a decent price first and fix it in advance. Haggling is expected! Car hire is a great way to sample the Turkish countryside at your leisure, and they drive on the right. If your package holiday provider doesn’t include airport transfers you can book a taxi or shuttle bus, return or single, online, which is also a good way to check average taxi fares to and from your resort, so you have a reasonable sum to aim for when haggling.
- If you love trying your hand at exciting beach-based sporting activities, you’ll adore the popular beach at Alicati Bay, whose stunning white sands and great facilities make it the ideal beach for water sports. Popular with locals as well as holidaymakers from Britain and beyond, its windsurfing and sailing are legendary, reaching international standards because of the stiff and more or less constant cooling breezes. In fact it’s widely regarded as the third best windsurfing venue in the world, and holds the prestigious Windsurf Turkey Cup. As you can imagine, there are numerous windsurfing schools, open April to the end of October and even offering special lessons for younger children aged seven and upwards.
- If isolation is more your cup of tea, head for the Cesme Peninsula, isolated and relaxed, lapped by the blue waters of the lovely Aegean Sea. This is one of Turkey’s most attractive stretches of coastline, with sea views to die for and inland, a patchwork of aniseed, sesame and artichoke fields, plantations of fig and gum trees. The peninsula’s countless natural and often completely unspoiled bays are perfect for totally private swimming and lounging in the hot sun, in a peaceful, mellow atmosphere.
- If you like nothing better than to settle down with a good book, on clean sand, with all the amenities you could possibly need on tap and plenty of company, choose Kadinlar Plaji, also known as Ladies Beach. It’s just quarter of an hour on foot from the city of Kusadasi and offers half a mile or more of fine golden sand with contemporary wooden terraces to relax on, and imported palm trees for an extra-exotic feel. Because it’s so close to the city centre it’s conveniently fringed with handy shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.