IZMIR: 5 Day Trips from Izmir, Turkey

Note: This article was originally guest-posted for Yabangee.

Izmir offers plenty of local sites within the city of four million people, but it is also known for its access to easy day trips nearby. If you have time, plan a few excursions outside Izmir. A longer trip inland to Ankara, Cappadocia, or the Black Sea can be tempting but don’t miss the coastal towns along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.

Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Izmir:

FunkTravels Eski Foca

Şirince
Little exceeds a well-prepared Turkish breakfast. Şirince, once a Greek village of a mere 600 inhabitants situated north of Ephesus, is famous for its mesmerizing white houses and red-orange clay rooftops. If you are not there in time for breakfast, visit shops known for local fruit wine. Entry is free and you are treated to many free glasses of wine.

Ephesus (a.k.a. Efes)
Ephesus boasts of its 3000-year-old Greek city ruins. Most famous is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis. The area seduces history lovers with its flavorful tales. Entry is 40 Lira (and an extra 15 lira for the newly excavated covered hillside homes) but if you are interested in history, Ephesus is a must see.  If you have time, trek out to the home of Mary, mother of Jesus, renown and highly visited by Catholic tourists.

FunkTravels Eski Foca

Go North to Eski Foça
Northwest of Izmir along the Aegean coastline, Eski Foça is named for the now endangered Mediterranean monk seals which also are the town’s mascot.  Several local companies offer boat tours that will take passengers closer to the island of the seals for approximately 50 TL which includes lunch. Otherwise, enjoy a meal by the seaside lined with renovated historical, yet charming, Ottoman-Greek houses. While all Turkish food is delicious, the meze, or appetizers, and fish are the best options to get in Foça.

Visit a Greek Island
Lesvos, Chios, and Samos, the closest Greek islands from Izmir, ascend from the sea disrupting the majestic view of Aegean Sea from Turkey. With the right visa, start early for a day trip (or stay overnight) by catching a bus to the ferry port and hopping over to the island of your choice. Chios is the most popular among travelers and is easy to access via a visit to Çeşme. Alongside its rich history, including adventures with Saracen pirates, and the Turks during the Greek Revolution, Chios also claims to be the birthplace of the poet Homer. Enjoy local wine, explore the ruined Byzantine village of Anavatos, and relax in the shade of a cafe or park. (Rhodes is a little out of the way, but well worth a visit!)

Cool off at the Beach!
While it’s not possible to swim in the bay in Izmir, beaches line the coast both north and south of the city center. Çeşme comes in an easy first with its pure white sand and crystal clear water, but it also draws a crowd to the much-enjoyed shopping district and nightlight. Take one of the many private buses from your neighborhood or a dolmuş to Çeşme center from the Izmir Otogar.

I would love to hear from you! Comment below or on the video answering one of the following questions:

  1. Have you visited Izmir?
  2. Did you take any day trip? If so, where did you go?

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WRITING: Snowy Weekend in Cappadocia in Lale Magazine

Lale Magazine featured my article titled Snowy Weekend in Cappadocia in their January/February 2018. The article covers a romantic weekend getaway to the snowy land of Cappadocia. The curved canyons of speckled volcanic rock jutting 2 to 3 stories into the chilled winter air were dusted with the recent fluffy snowfall!

The expat magazine, Lale Magazine, is produced by the IWI, International Women of Istanbul. The bi-monthly magazine is shipped to over 600 private home, as well as all advertisers and sponsors. The readers are comprised mostly of Turkish nationals married to foreigners, but also foreigners living in Istanbul. It is full of helpful information about local schools, exhibits for art and workshops, and experiences with IWI groups. There aren’t a lot of English print magazines in Turkey, so this is a fun magazine to have available!

Here is the start of the article:

While most tourists prefer to visit Cappadocia, in central Turkey, in the warmer summer temperatures, our winter travels there proved much more rewarding. Snow covers the usual brown facade and dresses the rocks in white, giving the area a beautiful, wintery glow.

The area prides itself on its carpet-weaving, wines, and the distinctive red pottery of Avanos. The snow and colder weather didn’t stop store owners or their warm rooms from inviting customers into their galleries.

Tour agencies in the region offer four tour routes labeled Green, Red, Blue, and Purple. To best explore Cappadocia you can choose a self-guided, well-traveled tour using a map in a rental car, or via a tour company.  Private day guides are always available and cost less during the offseason. Your guided tour may or may not include the entrance tickets and lunch, so be sure to clarify this before agreeing on a price. Take the Green and Red Tours for the more popular sites or, the less-traveled, Blue and Purple Tours if you have been before.

Continue reading here… or scroll down (flip to page 42).

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

Catie FunkTravels Istanbul Lale Magazine Cappadocia Turkey

 

You can also view the article via the link below. Flip to page 42.

 

Thank you, Lale Magazine for the feature. I am honored to be working with you as a writer.

 

See my past work published in the Lale Magazine:

For more pictures and my other accounts of our weekend in snow-covered Cappadocia, read more via the links below:

Episode027: When there is plenty of room at the Inn

Now to you:

Did you enjoy the article?

Would you go in the winter?

 

 

2017CatieFunkTravelsBrasovRomaniaEurope

WRITING: Guide to Braşov, Romania featured on Destinations Magazine

Destinations Magazine featured my article titled Guide to Braşov, Romania. The article covers the highlights of Braşov, the nearby city of Bran and Dracula’s Castle, and, of course, all the where to stay, eat, when to go! I still can’t believe we made it to Dracula’s Castle! Just FYI, Romania is totally overlooked!

Destinations Magazine is a “digital travel resource that debuts the best in the written word, photography and video, catering to the adventurous at heart.” They aim “to inspire people to seek out new adventures and meaningful travel experiences.”
 Here is the start of the article:

Sitting in the centre of Romania’s Transylvania region, the medieval town of Braşov is encircled by the Carpathian Mountains, an area synonymous with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

This walled city has a colourful history, having been the prize of many wars fought over the centuries. Even with its small-town feel in the middle of the mountains, restaurants and activities are plentiful. The town’s 250,000 residents celebrate their diversity and welcome visitors warmly. Braşov offers much to explore within, and around, the city.

Continue reading here

 

Transylvania: A Guide to Braşov, Romania

 

Thank you, Destinations Magazine for the feature!

See my other published works in my portfolio.

Catie FunkTravels Christmas Markets Europe

WRITING: European Christmas Market Tour Article featured in Lale Magazine

I wrote an article featured in Lale Magazine titled European Christmas Market Tour. The article covers our Christmas Market Tour starting in Basel, Switzerland and ending in Prague, the Czech Republic with our route taking us through Strasbourg, France and several places in Germany. My favorite market would be our short time in Basel, but check out the rest to see which one you would prefer!

Lale Magazine is an expat magazine produced by the IWI, International Women of Istanbul. The bi-monthly magazine is shipped to over 600 private home, as well as all advertisers and sponsors. The readers are comprised mostly of Turkish nationals married to foreigners, but also foreigners living in Istanbul. It is full of helpful information about local schools, exhibits for art and workshops, and experiences with IWI groups. There aren’t a lot of English print magazines in Turkey, so this is a fun magazine to have available!

 

Continue reading here… or scroll down (flip to page 42).

FunkTravels Lale Magazine European Christmas Markets

FunkTravels Lale Magazine European Christmas Markets

FunkTravels Lale Magazine European Christmas Markets

 

You can also view the article via the link below. Flip to page 42.

 

Thank you, Lale Magazine for the feature. I am honored to be working with you as a writer.

 

See my past work published in the Lale Magazine:

For more pictures and my other accounts of European Markets, read more via the links below:

Now to you:

Did you enjoy the article?

What market would you like to visit?

 

CatieFunkTravels Brasov Romania Europe

WRITING: Article featured in SUITCASE Magazine

Romania was supposed to be a ‘side trip’ to our month-long SouthEast Asia itinerary, but it has definitely gotten more attention. This month, SUITCASE Magazine features my article titled CASTLES, CRÊPES AND THE CARPATHIANS: EXPLORING BRASOV, ROMANIA on their online publication.

SUITCASE Magazine is a quarterly print magazine as well as an online website that giving adventurous creatives and entrepreneurs eclectic and affordable travel options. They also dabble in apps and a series of pop-up shops and eventers around the UK. Suitcase ‘aims to immerse you in the fabric of a destination, helping you explore with insider knowledge and acting as a point of entry for cultures around the world.’

 

Continue reading here

 

SUITCASE Magazine

 

 

SUITCASE Magazine

 

SUITCASEMagInfo

 

Here is the start of the article:

Often overlooked on the regular European tourist trail, Romania is a worthy travel destination in its own right, offering a varied getaway thanks to architectural towns and medieval villages set against a backdrop of dense forests and rugged mountains.

With 20 million people spread over 240,000 square kilometres, the country is perfect for a road-trip-meets-city adventure. Serviced by most major airlines, Bucharest makes an easy starting point. Once known as the “little Paris” of Romania, the capital sets an example for the smaller outlying villages like Brasov, with a diverse cityscape made up of gothic, baroque and renaissance styles.

Sitting in the centre of Romania’s Transylvania region in the Carpathian Mountains (made famous by Dracula) Brasov was established by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. During the medieval period it was occupied by the Saxons, who turned the city into a walled citadel to protect against invaders. Today, Brasov is surrounded by those same medieval stone walls, but crêpe stands and cafés line the town’s wide, pedestrian-only main boulevard.

…..

Continue reading here.

 

 

Thank you SUITCASE Magazine for the feature. I am honored to be working with you as a writer.

 

To my readers:

Did you enjoy the article?

What was something new you learned?