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Top Things to do in Urla

Last Updated on July 30, 2022

Urla aerial view

Urla is one of the hidden gems of the Aegean, located around half an hour drive west of İzmir. If you enjoy upscale cuisine, wine tours, handicrafts, and a tranquil environment near the sea, keep reading to discover the top experiences.

Wineries

Urla is well-known for its wineries (şarapçilik) which form a vineyard route (Urla Bağ Yolu) throughout the region.  Since the wineries are located at various places, driving a car would be preferable.  Popular wineries include Perdix, İsabey, Urlice Vineyards, Urla Şarapçilik, and Usca Şarapçilik, Mozaik Şarapçilik, and MMG Şarapçilik.

Be aware that at some establishments, you’ll receive top-quality food and service and as a result, you’ll also be paying top-quality prices. It’s not uncommon to find local celebrities wining and dining in Urla.

Çeşmealtı

This area, approximately 10km north of the town of Urla has a number of beaches, including Çeşmealtı Blue Beach (Mavi Plaj). You can walk along the coast (sahil) and go swimming. There are camping facilities nearby. At Güvendik Park, have a picnic surrounded by trees with a view of the sea below.

This area is generally less crowded and much quieter than the more well-known towns of Alaçatı and Çeşme. There are fewer facilities and restaurants, as a result.

Art Street (Sanat Sokağı)

In the center of the village, walking along cobblestone alleyways, you’ll find a number of nice eateries as well as handmade items. Local artists and craftspeople sell art, pottery, jewelry, handmade soap, antiques, etc.  It’s a lovely place to have dinner and enjoy an evening stroll.

Klazomenai Ancient City Olive Oil Workshop

The ruins of the 6,000-year-old Ionian city of Kalzomenai or Clazomena (Klazomenai Antik Kenti), can be found in Urla.  Little remains of the original city, which was moved to nearby Quarantine Island (Karantina Adası) in 5th Century BC. 

Klazomenai was revolutionary in the production of olive oil.  Visit the Klazomenai Olive Oil Workshop (Antik Kenti Zeytinyağı İşliği), the oldest of its kind in Anatolia, but only excavated in 2004-2005. You can see how olive oil is extracted from the many groves which grow in the favorable climate of the region. Turkey is one of the world’s top exporters of olive oil, and the oil is also used generously in local cuisine. 

Festivals

Urla hosts a number of festivals each year, including the Artichoke Festival (Enginar Festivali) which attracts thousands of visitors over the course of 3 days each April. Besides artichoke tasting, activities include food markets, cooking workshops, and live music performances.

Other festivals include the Urla Herb Festival and the Urla Traditional Grape Harvest Festival. The Urla Jazz and Gastronomy Festival is held in the middle of September each year.

by Kimberly Price

Explore other sights nearby:

Alaçatı & Çeşme

İzmir

Aegean Region

 

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