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


Map of Central Aegean
  • 1 Izmir — Turkey's 3rd largest city, undeniably capital of Aegean Region, with beautiful neighbourhoods and promenades on its waterfront
  • 2 Alaşehir — a bleak agricultural town, although the ruins of the St John's Church attest that this was a major centre of early Christianity when it was known as Philadelphia
  • 3 Akhisar — a lovely atmospheric city that contains the ruins of Thyatira.
  • 4 Birgi — medieval Turkey at its best, overlooking the Küçükmenderes Valley
  • 5 Urla, itself agricultural, is the hub for small resorts on the peninsula west of Izmir.
  • 6 Alaçatı on the peninsula is a village with well preserved stone architecture, ancient windmills, and a cove for windsurfing.
  • 7 Çeşme at the tip of that peninsula is a resort with an impressive citadel.
  • 8 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
  • 9 Kula — an inland town with much traditional architecture and a volcanic area, the only UNESCO Global Geopark in the country
  • 10 Kuşadası — resort town south of Izmir, with a harbour that almost any cruise ship on a Mediterranean tour calls
  • 11 Manisa — inland city east of Izmir, a possible for visiting Sardis, the Lydian capital, as well as the beautiful Mt. Sipylus nearby
  • 12 Selçuk — town serving as a gateway to Ephesus, which is also a historic center in its own right.
  • 13 Tire Tire, İzmir on Wikipedia — inland town with a well-known street market
  • 14 Uşak — a city with a museum exhibiting what is purpoted to be the treasure of Croesus and several ancient sites in the surrounding countryside

Other destinations[edit]

Library of Ephesus
  • 1 Dilek Peninsula Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park on Wikipedia is a rare stretch of undeveloped coastline.
  • Ephesus just west of Selçuk is a must-see, the extensive and well-preserved ruins of a Roman city.
  • 2 Şirince is a charming village in the hills above Selçuk, a Turkish Tuscany.
  • 3 Sardis is a ruined city, the capital of Roman Lydia.


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

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

Unspoilt coastline of Dilek Peninsula

By train[edit]

Central Aegean is home to the densest and the oldest rail network in the country: the earliest construction dates back to 1857. In addition to the relatively frequent 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 and larger settlements, especially Izmir.

By bicycle[edit]

A section of EuroVelo 8, one of the European cycling routes across the continent, was developed from Dikili and Bergama in the north, through Foça and Izmir, to Çeşme in the west and Ephesus in the south.



  • Efeler Yolu is a 500-km hiking trail developed from Izmir to Selçuk, leading over the inland mountain ridges and commemorating the efes, the local noble outlaws of the centuries past.
  • Skydive at Efes airfield next to Ephesus. The usual jump for a beginner is a tandem freefall coupled to an instructor, so minimum training, fitness and skill are needed.



Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Central Aegean is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!