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Central Aegean

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Central Aegean is the central section of Aegean coast of Turkey, including Izmir, the third biggest Turkish city, and its vicinity.



  • Izmir — Turkey's 3rd largest city, undeniably capital of Aegean Region, with beautiful neighbourhoods and promenades on its waterfront
  • Alaçatı — village with well preserved local stone architecture, ancient windmills, and a cove perfect for windsurfing
  • Çeşme — town on Turkey's (almost) westernmost tip with an impressive citadel
  • Foça — town north of Izmir noted for its preserved architecture and the nearby islands that are one of the last refugees of endangered monk seals
  • Ilıca — village known for its thermal springs discharging from sea floor, near Çeşme
  • Kuşadası — resort town south of Izmir, with a harbour that almost any cruise ship on a Mediterranean tour calls
  • Manisa — inland city east of Izmir, hub for visiting Sardes, the Lydian capital, as well as the beautiful Mt. Sipylus nearby
  • Selçuk — town serving as a gateway to Ephesus
  • Tire — inland town with a well-known street market

Other destinations[edit]

Library of Ephesus
  • Ephesus — well-preserved ruins of Roman city
  • Şirince — inland village close to Ephesus/Selçuk, surrounded by olive- and vineyards, can be best described as Turkey's Tuscany
  • Dilek Peninsula National Park situated just south of resort town of Güzelçamlı, which is about 15-min minibus ride south of Kuşadası, this peninsula is perhaps the wildest stretch of land on Turkish Aegean coast. Centred around the Mt Samsun (Samsun Dağı) which juts out towards the Greek island of Samos, this place covered with lush forests were declared as a national park in 1966 because of a number of rare species of animals inhabiting it, Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana), which is thought to be extict by now, being the most important one. Although you will most likely not have a chance to encounter any of these rare fauna (except maybe a horde of wild horses if you choose to visit in winter and perhaps the ubiquitous wild boars which mostly subsist on food refuse left by humans, sometimes going as bold as directly scavengering unattended lunchboxes—be careful), with its hiking trails and quite secluded beaches sandy and stony alike—some of which, except the first four ones to be more precisely, are closed to public presumably due to military reasons when arriving overland, although all are attainable by boat tours departing from Güzelçamlı—the park is a great get-away when you are bored of concrete sprawl of Aegean resorts. 4 TL pp, 10 TL/car. It's impossible to overnight (legally) within the park.


Central Aegean encompasses what were historically called Ionia on the coast, and Lydia inland.


Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

By train[edit]

Central Aegean is home to the densest (as well as the oldest—the earliest constructions date back to 1857) rail network in the country. In addition to the frequent (relatively speaking) regional trains that run on main trunk lines between Izmir and Manisa, and Izmir and Aydın, many railbus (raybüs) services connect agricultural towns lying at the end of branch lines with larger settlements, especially Izmir.

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