We had a pleasant stay in Turkey’s third-largest city with a welcoming laid-back lifestyle. It is one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean and an important Aegean port since ancient times garlanded around the azure-blue Bay of İzmir. Excavations indicate a settlement contemporary with that of the first city of Troy, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Greek city of Smyrna was founded by Aeolians but soon was seized by Ionians. From modest beginnings, it grew into a stately city in the 7th century, with massive fortifications and blocks of two-storied houses. The city’s rich and fascinating heritage reflects the fact that it has been the home of Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Levantines, and Turks over the centuries. While not as multicultural these days, it still has resident Jewish and Levantine communities and its unique and delicious cuisine attests to this. We parked next to Konak pier from where it was easy to explore the city’s landmarks – Kemeralti market, Konak square, Agora (🎫 50 TRY), and its lively seafront promenade Kordon, where most of the restaurants and bars are located.

Parking location – Izmir: 38.416450N 27.124060E (🅿️ – 60 TRY / 24 hrs, 🚻 – 2 TRY / 2 min walk)