IZMIR: Turkey’s third biggest city and second port after Istanbul, Izmir is home nearly three million people. It is blessed with a mild climate and an enviable position, flanked by mountains on all sides straddling a fifty kilometers long gulf. Possibilities of the original site can be traced back to around the 3rd millennium BC but its first real origins were marked by the arrival of Alexander the Great after which the city became known to the west for centuries as Smyrna. Present day Izmir built from scratch on the ashes, is a booming commercial and industrial centre. Attractions for visitors include; the bazaar where you can shop for hours; from the ancient agora a series of numerous passages and staircases lead to Kadifekale (Velvet Castle) for unrivalled views of the city; the Ethnological Museum is unique. There is also an Archaeological Museum, State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
CITY BREAK IZMIR (4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS)
DAY 1 IZMIR
Arrival in Izmir, the "Pearl of the Aegean", nestled on the side of Mt.Pagos on the shores of the bay sharing the same name. Transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure (or optional half day Izmir city tour) Overnight in Izmir.
DAY 2 IZMIR
Full day tour of the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Then continue to the Hellenistic and Roman Ephesus to see the Celsus Library, the marble paved Arcadian Road, the Brothel, the Roman Baths, and the Theater where St. Paul preached. After lunch visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in Seljuk. Return to Izmir for overnight. (B, L)
DAY 3 IZMIR
After breakfast drive to Pergamum, once one of the small kingdoms in the Middle East. Visit the Acropolis where you will see the great amphitheater, the library which once held 200.000 volumes (that later Marcus Antonius gave to Cleopatra), the sanctuary of Athena, and the monumental altar of Zeus. After lunch at local restaurant, visit Asclepium, the world’s oldest medical center, built in the name of the god of healing, Asclepius. Return to Izmir for overnight. (B, L)
DAY 4 IZMIR
Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight. (B)