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The Best Places To Experience Nature in Izmir, Türkiye

Türkiye National Parks Insider Guides Beaches and Islands
by Matador Creators Mar 9, 2023

Izmir is a beautiful city located on the western coast of Türkiye. While you’ll find plenty of wine tasting, history, art, and culture here, there are also a variety of nature experiences you can partake in as well if you’re willing to travel up to about an hour by car outside of the city.

Cesme Altinkum Beach

cesme altinkum beach near izmir

Photo: Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Cesme Altinkum Beach is a beautiful and popular beach located in Cesme about an hour from Izmir. The beach features crystal clear turquoise waters and soft golden sand, making it the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The area surrounding the beach is also home to many cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine while taking in stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

Alacati Beach

Alacati Beach is a stunning beach located in the town of Alacati, which is part of the Cesme district in Izmir province, Türkiye. The beach features crystal clear waters and soft golden sand, and is surrounded by picturesque hills and olive groves. It’s known for being one of the best spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing in Türkiye, thanks to its constant wind conditions.

Alacati Beach is approximately 70 kilometers away from Izmir city center, which takes about an hour by car or bus. Despite its distance from the city center, it’s still a popular destination among locals and tourists alike due to its natural beauty and excellent water sports opportunities.

Ilica Beach

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Ilica Beach is another beautiful beach located in Cesme. The beach is known for its thermal springs and turquoise blue waters, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The sand on the beach is soft and golden, and there are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas available to rent. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, visitors can also enjoy a variety of water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Izmir is approximately 90 kilometers away from Ilica Beach, which is about an hour’s drive by car. There are also regular buses that run between Izmir and Cesme, making it easy to reach Ilica Beach even if you don’t have access to a car.

Karsiyaka Shore Promenade

If you’re looking for a picturesque location to take a stroll or go for a jog, the Karsiyaka Shore Promenade in Türkiye is the perfect destination. This scenic path runs along the Aegean Sea for about four miles and offers stunning views of the coastline. As you walk along the promenade, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful landscapes and architecture. The lounge pedestrian bridge that connects two banks adds to the charm of this place. You can also take short ferry sails to explore more of the area.

The Karsiyaka Shore Promenade is located in the Karşıyaka neighborhood, which literally translates to “the opposite shore.” It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy some fresh sea air while taking in the sights and sounds of Türkiye’s western coast.

Izmir Bird Paradise

izmir bird paradise

Photo: Cpyusuf/Shutterstock

If you’re a bird lover, then the Izmir Bird Paradise in Türkiye is a must-visit destination. This national park is home to nearly 300 species of birds, and some 50 thousand birds pass through during their annual migrations. Here, you can see species like flamingos and the endangered Dalmatian pelican. The park spans across an area of 8,000 hectares and is located in the Çiğli Çamaltı Salt Marsh.

Apart from bird watching, there are many other activities that you can enjoy at this national park. You can take a boat tour and explore the marshes or go on a hiking trail and discover the diverse flora and fauna of the region. There are also picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the stunning views.

Walk the vineyards of Urla’s wineries

Urla is a small town located on the Aegean coast of Türkiye about a 40-minute drive from Izmir that’s famous for its vineyards and wineries. There are several wineries in Urla that offer wine tasting tours for visitors. The most popular ones include Urlice Vineyards, Melen Winery, and Paşaeli Wines. These wineries have beautiful vineyards and cozy tasting rooms. Wine tasting tours in Urla often include food pairings with local cheeses, olives, bread, or even chocolate. This enhances your wine-tasting experience by providing complementary flavors that bring out the best in each other. If you like any particular wine during your tasting session, you can purchase them at the winery itself. Many wineries offer shipping services so that you can take home your favorite bottles.

Dilek Peninsula-Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park

aegean sea cove

Photo: Sergey Malomuzh/Shutterstock

If you are a nature lover and planning to visit Türkiye, then Dilek Peninsula-Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park should be on your list. The park is located near Kusadasi, about an hour’s drive from Izmir. Established in 1966, this national park is located in western Türkiye and covers an area of more than 100 square miles. The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, stunning vistas, azure coves for swimming, deep-green forests, and walking trails. The park is home to over 804 plant species, including the endemic ones like the Dilek Peninsula Tulip. You can also spot various animals like wild boars, foxes, badgers, wolves, jackals, and many bird species like eagles and falcons.

There are numerous activities that you can do in the park. You can go hiking on the walking trails that offer spectacular views of the mountains and sea. If you love swimming or sunbathing, then there are azure coves where you can relax. You can also go camping or have a picnic with your family or friends.

Where to stay in Izmir

We hope you love the spaces we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Sea view house with private terrace

airbnbs in izmir

Photo: Airbnb

The renovated apartment is situated in an old building in a peaceful and safe family neighborhood. The 1,400-square-foot rooftop with gazebo and offers panoramic sea views. The apartment has four air conditioners that make it easy to warm up or cool down. The location is convenient as it’s just a five-minute walk to Konak city center, the Archeology Museum, transportation center, and Kemeraltı old bazaar. Alsancak downtown is only five minutes away by car or 25 minutes on foot. Guests have access to the quiet neighborhood area and can easily explore the city using public transportation like buses, metro, and ferry available from Konak Square which is also within walking distance.

11 guests, three bedrooms
Price: $60 per night

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Iconic stone house

airbnbs in izmir

Photo: Airbnb

This one-story private house is a restored traditional dwelling built in the early 20th century by Tatarian migrants from Crimea, reflecting a blend of comfort and traditional details. The house has a terrace that offers stunning views of İzmir bay and city, making it an ideal spot to work or relax. Located in the historical old city on a small hill known as Varyant by locals, the neighborhood has a village-like atmosphere with mainly one- or two-story houses and few busy roads. It’s just a five-minute walk to Konak Square, Clock Tower, the historical Bazaar, and the seaside. Guests have access to common sea view terrace and garden shared with three independent houses next to each other. The hilly roads around Varyant may pose some challenge for travelers but there are free and secure parking zones available nearby. Additionally, the beautiful pet-friendly garden is home to harmless street cats and dogs which should be considered by visitors with allergies or phobias.

Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $55 per night

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