|Top holiday (Flight+Hotel)||£181|
|Family holiday (Flight+Hotel)||£179|
|Romantic holiday (Flight+Hotel)||£186|
|Luxury holiday (Flight+Hotel)||£155|
|Budget holiday (Flight+Hotel)||£93|
A monument of immense cultural, historical and architectural importance, bathing golden in the late afternoon sun, a few palm trees rustling lazily in a light breeze, the iconic clock-tower in Konak Square sits proudly as the centre-piece of Izmir. Turkey's third-biggest city, Izmir is anything but the forgotten little brother of Istanbul and Ankara. In a metropolis stretching from its busy harbour to rolling hills, Izmir holidays offer a rare glance at a city steeped in ancient history, filled with architectural gems, and a culture that is firmly Turkish but with a classy Mediterranean air.
Hundreds of flights from within Turkey or from other European destinations arrive into the international Izmir airport, which is either a short taxi ride or cheap bus ride away from Izmir (GMT +2). Izmir holidays are always appropriate - the temperatures never drop to zero during winter, while in summer the seaside city buzzes. However, it may be best to wake up early in order to get out and about before the searing sun reaches its peak, and then spend carefree afternoons cooling off in one of the city's many cafes or public squares.
A hub of civilisation for over 3,000 years, Izmir has been a vitally important port for the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and Turks, amongst others. Go to Ephesus to marvel at the greatest Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, or indulge in ancient Greece at the Agora. Izmir holidays can easily be spent simply strolling around the splendid city, perhaps with a few 'kumru' in hand (a very local experience - a warm sandwich that is apparently hard to find anywhere else in Turkey), taking in the Ottoman influence of Alsancak, and zipping up the iconic centuries-old 'Asanor' elevator for a majestic view over the city to soak up the charm of Izmir holidays.