Izmir - Turkey
Izmir (formerly Smyrna) is the third city and a major seaport in western Turkey. Set on a sheltered gulf of the Aegean Sea, the city is surrounded by mountains on all sides and has a stunning setting. However, it is a busy modern commercial and industrial city with wide, tree lined central boulevards. Often a starting or finishing point for cruises, it is also used as the gateway to the ancient sites of Ephesus, one of the ancient world's largest and most important archaeological and religious sites and Sardis, an ancient city of Asia Minor. In Izmir there is a good Archaelogical Museum that features a unique collection of finds from the region. Also the bazaar in the city is second only to the one in Istanbul. Outside the city you can visit the Cesme Peninsula that has some nice villages and beaches while the Kucuk Menderes River valley has some lovely untouched old towns. Founded in the 11th century BC by the Aeolians, Izmir (Smyrna) was seized by the Ionians before 688 BC. Later in the 7th century BC, it was devastated by the Lydians , restored in the 4th century BC by the Macedonians and later conquered by the Romans. During the 4th century AD the city was part of the Byzantine Empire, and from the 11th to the 14th century was ruled alternately by the Byzantines and Turks until it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1415. The Greeks claimed Izmir after World War I, but, in 1922, they were driven out by Turkish forces and 70% of the city was burned to the ground and many people killed. The city was completely rebuilt. The following 6 cruises call at Izmir. Discover more by clicking the cruise name or ship or click the Enquire button if you want to check availability and pricing.