It’s what you would expect from a bustling modern city, but Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey, is distinctly more Mediterranean in nature than Turkish. The city owes its beginnings to the Trojans around 3 000 BC and has been ruled by the Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols and even Greeks in its centuries old past. Although it has such a volatile past, very little of its ancient history remains today. Tourists can however visit The Agora, a 2 000-year old marketplace where Roman farmers and merchants once traded cotton, fruit and olive oil.
Of course a visit to Izmir would be incomplete without popping in to the KemeraltÄ± area for its exceptional Turkish coffee. Like kusadasi, Izmir is a wonderful base from which to explore Ephesus, which began its development as an ancient Greek city, becoming one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world and a major Roman settlement. The city was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation, home to the 550 BC Temple of Artemis and the site where the Gospel of John was written.