Explore Urla: Turkiye's Emerging Culinary Gem

Whether you're a food lover, history buff, or nature enthusiast, Urla promises a memorable experience for everyone
A trip to Urla in Turkiye
Urla, Izmir, TurkeyShutterstock

Nestled along Türkiye's Aegean coast, Urla, a picturesque neighbourhood in İzmir, has captured the hearts of global travellers with its charm and rich heritage. Known for its Michelin-starred restaurants, vineyards, and farm-to-table experiences, this culinary oasis is a haven for food enthusiasts and cultural explorers. Wandering through Urla's cobblestone streets, past stone houses with bay windows, and relaxing in its luxurious boutique hotels offers a blend of nature, history, culture, and gastronomy. Here are five compelling reasons to explore this Aegean town.

Indulge In Michelin-Rated Dining

Urla's culinary scene is a testament to the area's fertile lands and innovative chefs who have transformed local ingredients into gastronomic masterpieces. The town boasts six Michelin Guide stars for 2024, highlighting its exceptional farm-to-table cuisine. Visitors can savour olive oils, exquisite Aegean flavours, and the region's renowned wines. Alongside traditional Michelin-starred establishments, Urla is home to restaurants with Green Star and Sommelier awards, celebrating sustainable practices and exceptional wine experiences.

A trip to Urla in Turkiye
A vineyard in UrlaShutterstock

Experience The Delight Of Urla Wines

Urla's mild climate provides perfect conditions for viticulture, a tradition dating back to ancient times when local wines were traded across the Mediterranean. Urla remains a prominent wine destination today, hosting August's annual Vintage Festival. The Urla vineyard route showcases unique grape varieties like Urla Karası, Foça Karası, and Gaydura, produced in local boutique wineries. Wine enthusiasts can explore these vineyards and taste the flavours that define Urla's wine heritage.

Uncover The Olive Routes

Urla's fertile lands have nurtured olive trees for thousands of years, making it a cornerstone of olive production. The region is home to the world's oldest olive oil workshop in the ancient settlement of Klazomenai. Visitors can embark on olive oil tastings, explore the scenic olive routes, and delve into the rich history of olives at the Köstem Olive Oil Museum in the district centre. This journey deeply appreciates the olive's role in Anatolian culture.

Relish The Warm Aegean Winter

Urla's stunning bays and crystal-clear waters make it a year-round destination. The sunny, warm Aegean climate is perfect for a winter getaway, encouraging strolls along picturesque streets. Visitors can enjoy outdoor cafes shaded by ancient plane trees, shop for handmade products at village markets, and soak in the beauty of Urla's charming squares and coastal views.

A trip to Urla in Turkiye
The coast of Urla Town in IzmirShutterstock

Journey Through Ancient Civilisations

Rich in history, Urla is a gateway to Türkiye's ancient past. Just an hour's drive away is the ancient city of Ephesus, home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the impressive Library of Celsus. This UNESCO World Heritage Site spans nine millennia, showcasing relics from prehistoric times to the Ottoman period. Nearby, visitors can explore sacred sites such as the House of the Virgin Mary, the Basilica of John, and the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, delving into the early Christian era's significant historical and religious landmarks.

Getting There

Reaching Urla is easy. Fly into İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport, about 45 minutes away by car. You can rent a car, take a taxi, or use shuttle services to reach Urla. Public buses also connect İzmir to Urla, making this charming town accessible for a getaway.

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