Located just inland from the coast, between Izmir and Bodrum, the ancient ruined city of Ephesus is the jewel in the Turkish Riviera’s crown. Excavations here have uncovered incredibly grand monuments, dating from the Roman Imperial period, with highlights including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre.

It’s also here that the famed Temple of Artemis once stood, though little now remains of what is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Wandering around this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site will take you on a memorable journey back in time, to a location that was founded in the 10th century BC, and all just a short journey from another strip of inviting Turkish coastline.

In the Turkish Riviera’s northern reaches sits Izmir, Turkey’s third most populous city, presenting a liberal and deeply cultured impression of the country. Home to some intriguing landmarks and good eateries, the city functions primarily as a base for discovering the likes of Ephesus and the scenic Çeşme Peninsula.

One of the real gems of this peninsula is Alacati, providing an insight into the area’s heritage, all the while anchored by a sense of boutique chic attributed to many great restaurants and attractive hotels in the unassuming village. Wandering its picturesque streets will see you pass exclusive boutiques and aromatic eateries, as well as traditional houses with colourful doors and windows, ensuring Alacati is one of western Turkey’s most photogenic locations.

When to go

The best time to visit these two areas are between April and June and September and October. July and August experiences very hot weather, but visits are still viable. December to March is low season when much of the tourism infrastructure is closed.


What to do

  • Admire the Library of Celsus at Ephesus
  • Discover the Great Theatre of Ephesus
  • Pay a visit to Izmir and its famous clock tower
  • Stroll the atmospheric streets of Alacati
  • Discover some inviting nearby coastline