Parks & Recreational Areas
If you want to spend a day away from the city center and spend a day with nature, there are two natural parks that we can recommend. How about exploring national parks where you can see all shades of green and witness wildlife?
Örnekköy Nature Park - Karşıyaka
Located in the Karşıyaka district, this park is 15 kilometers away from İzmir’s center. The park is on a sloping area that varies between 350 and 450 meters in elevation. With 112 identified species of plants, the park has a wealth of biodiversity. An ideal habitat for partridges to breed, the park also has wolves, jackals, and wild boar. Some of the bird species that can be observed here are hawks, ouzels, owls, partridge, and wood pigeons.
Meryemana Nature Park - Selçuk
Located in the limits of Selçuk, which is also famous for the Ancient City of Ephesus, this park is 82 kilometers from İzmir’s center and 6 kilometers from Selçuk. Within the limits of the park that can be accessed by car or by tour buses, are the Ortaburun, Kapılıdağ, Dede hills. The area that is comprised of two valleys has amazing flora. The area flora includes calabrian pine, sandalwood, cermes oak, wild olive, heather, hedera, carob and mullein. Wolf, jackal, hawk, ouzel and owl are some of the flora species found here.
In addition to its historical and cultural value, the park includes the House of Virgin Mary, which is one of the must-visit places in the area. The park is important in terms of geological, geomorphological and biological aspects. The park, which consists of two valleys, has Ortaburun, Kapılıdağ and Dede hills in it. The flora includes calabrian pine, sandalwood, cermes oak, wild olive, heather, hedera, carob and mullein. Wolf, jackal, hawk, ouzel and owl are some of the species to be found here.
The area surrounding the House of Virgin Mary is a place where photo safaris, trekking and mountain climbing activities take place, and also where scientific research is conducted.
İzmir, where you will experience the city life and discover its culture, is a real paradise for nature lovers with its recreation areas too. There are 14 recreation areas near İzmir that you can get to by bicycle, car or city bus. In these recreation areas, you can find places to sit, playgrounds, toilets, water and electricity. In some of them, you can camp in your tent or park your caravan. In the recreation areas that are close to the water, you can enjoy the sand and sea. In some recreation areas that have restaurants and breakfast places, you can also find areas to light a controlled fire for barbecues.
Ekmeksiz recreation area - Seferihisar
This area is located in the district of Seferihisar, Sığacık region about 52 kilometers from İzmir and 6 kilometers from Seferihisar. The visitor capacity is one thousand 500 people and 100 tents per day.
There is a country club with a sea view, toilets, snack stand, picnic units, tent areas, electricity, drinking and utility water. It is possible to stay overnight.
Kalemlik recreation area - Menderes
This recreation area is located in Menderes district, 75 kilometers from İzmir and only 1 kilometer from Özdere. With a capacity of 3,000 people and 150 tents per day, overnight stays are possible. There are toilets, a snack stand, picnic units, tent areas, electricity and utility water here. The recreation area is surrounded by calabrian pine and oak forest and has a view of the sea. Equipped with bungalows, tents can also be rented out in this recreation area.
Klaros (Deniz Pınarı) recreation area - Menderes
This area, which is in the Ahmetbeyli region of Menderes district, is 70 kilometers from İzmir and 4 kilometers from Ahmetbeyli. Overnight stays are possible in this recreation area with a daily capacity of 3,000 people and 100 tents.
Gümüldür recreation area - Menderes
Also located in Menderes district, in the town of Gümüldür, the distance of this recreation area to İzmir is 75 kilometers. There is a country club, entertainment area, a snack stand, toilets, picnic units and a tent area. Equipped with electricity, drinking and utility water, Gümüldür recreation area has a daily visitor capacity of 2,500 people and a tent capacity of 300.
Gümüşsuyu recreation area - Menderes
This recreation area is located in Menderes district, the town of Gümüldür, 71 kilometers from İzmir. Overnight stays are possible in this recreation area with a daily capacity of 500 people and 50 beds. If you have turned your route to Gümüldür, don't forget to taste the region's famous tangerine.
Tanay recreation area - Çeşme
This recreation area is located in Çeşme district, Ilıca region, 85 kilometers from Izmir. There is a country club with a sea view, toilets, snack stand, picnic units, tent areas, electricity and drinking and utility water. Overnight stays are possible. The daily visitor capacity is 500 people, 100 tents and 50 beds.
Teos Çamlık recreation area - Seferihisar
This recreation area is located in İzmir’s cute district, Seferihisar. It’s in Sığacık village, 55 kilometers from İzmir and 5 kilometers from Seferihisar. This area is for daily visits. It has toilets, a snack stand, picnic units, electricity, drinking and utility water. The daily capacity for visitors is 500 people.
Uzunkuyu recreation area - Urla
Located in Urla’s Uzunkuyu town, this area is 70 kilometers from İzmir and 7 kilometers from Uzunkuyu. It is available for daily visits. It has picnic facilities and a capacity of 150 people.
Güvendik recreation area - Urla
Also located in Urla, this area is in Güvendik town, 45 kilometers from İzmir and 7 kilometers from the district’s center. Equipped with picnic facilities, this recreation area has a capacity of one thousand people. There are toilets, a snack stand, picnic units, electricity and drinking and utility water in the area.
Efeoğlu recreation area - Torbalı
This park, located in Yeşilköy region of Torbalı district, is 22 kilometers away from İzmir. The area covered with calabrian pines has enclosed snack stands, toilets, picnic units, electricity, drinking and utility water. There are play areas for kids in the park. The daily capacity for visitors is one thousand people.
Karabel recreation area - Kemalpaşa
One of the most popular recreations in İzmir, this area is located in Kemalpaşa’s Karabel region and is 50 kilometers from the city center. It has picnic facilities and it is surrounded by pine trees. It has a capacity of one thousand people per day. Çiçekli recreation area - Bornova This park is located in the Bornova district’s Çiçekli region, and it is 20 kilometers from İzmir. The park equipped with a snack stand, toilets, picnic units, electricity, drinking and utility water is surrounded by calabrian pine forests. You can buy many products sold by the locals in Çiçekliköy. In addition to the breakfast venues in Çiçekliköy, there are also restaurants where you can try the local dishes. The daily capacity is of this recreation area is 900 people.
Karagöl recreation area - Karşıyaka
Located in Karşıyaka district, up in the Yamanlar Mountains, this area is 26 kilometers from İzmir. There is a country club in the park with a view of the lake. It has toilets, a snack stand, picnic units, electricity, drinking and utility water. It is possible to stay overnight in the park. The daily visitor capacity is 950 people.
Yamanlar Mountain recreation area - Karşıyaka
The Yamanlar Mountain recreation area is also in the Karşıyaka district. This 18-acres area has a wastewater treatment facility, seven organic product stands where locals from the Yamanlar Village sell their products, a butcher, restaurant, cafeteria, tent area, fixed grills, fountains, public restrooms, fire extinguisher cabinets, an infirmary, parking lot and a country club. The facility is at the 3rd kilometer of the Karşıyaka-Karagöl road.
Monumental trees, which have an important place in the culture of the region, are like witnesses of history. The monumental trees, which offer a fascinating beauty with their splendid views, are also regarded as an important value with their past. The main monumental trees in İzmir are as follows:
The Kunduracı Plane Tree - Buca
The most popular monumental tree in İzmir is in Buca. This plane tree, located in Kaynaklar Village is one thousand years old. It’s named after a merchant who repaired shoes (kunduracı). The tree is 30 meters tall and has a trunk circumference of 13 meters. The park that the tree is in is used as a resting place on the weekends.
The Ovacık chestnuts - Bayındır
In the village of Ovacık in Bayındır district, a place in İzmir famous for its old chestnut trees, you can see trees that are centuries old. Among these trees that have witnessed history, there is one particular tree certified as being 515 years old. It has a diameter of three meters and a height of 8 meters. There are many other trees around this certified tree with similar features that are predicted to be one thousand years old.
Aslan Poplar - Bayındır
The poplar tree in İzmir’s Bayındır district Kızıloba Village is in a river three kilometers from the village. Its estimated age is 1,300 years and its diameter is 5.22 meters. The trunk circumference of the tree is 21 meters and it stands 39 meters high. This tree is thought to have the thickest trunk among all the trees of a monumental nature in our country.
Dede Terebinth - Menemen
This tree is located on a hill in Çaltı village of Menemen district. It is called Dede (grandfather) by the locals because of an entombed saint nearby. Certified as a natural monument, this terebinth tree is 900 years old. The village organizes many activities and “aşure” festivals around this tree.
Özbek Cypress - Urla
This cypress tree in the courtyard of the Özbek Village Mosque, the plane tree in the village square of Kuşçular Village and the trees in Urla called “Koca Sakız” (big mastic) are all monumental trees. The Özbek cypress is predicted to be 100 years old.
Gencer Plane Tree - Beydağ
The Gencer plane tree in Beydağ district is one of the most magnificent trees in the area. Predicted to be around 600 years old, the tree is 27 meters tall and has a diameter of three meters. The tree is a symbol of the activity called “Gencer” in which young girls of the area congregated under the tree to get to know each other.
The Kral Valonia Oak - Kemalpaşa
This valonia oak is located in Kemalpaşa district’s Mezarlık region. It is a large trunked tree with cherry orchards inside. Predicted to be 900 years old, this tree has the thickest trunk among the monumental oaks in our country. It has a circumference of 8.50 meters, a diameter of 2.7 meters and it stands 27 meters tall.
Çeşteman Poplar Tree - Tire
The Çeşteman Poplar on the Selçuk-Tire road is estimated to be 800 years old. It stands 37 meters tall and has a diameter of 2.55 meters. The poplar tree has a special place in the local culture. It is a known fact that Süleyman the Magnificient set up his pavilion under this poplar tree when he was setting out on his voyage to Rhodes. It is also recorded in the local history that Evliya Çelebi passed under this tree and the famous French author Le Martin also rested here.
Wetlands are areas with artificial or natural, permanent or temporary, stagnant or flowing, fresh or saltwater swamps, marches, wet meadows, and bogs, including areas of seawater that do not exceed six meters during tides. There are 4 wetlands that fit this description in İzmir. You can go bird watching or on a photo safari in such places.
The Gediz Delta Wetlands - İzmir Bird Sanctuary Menemen
The Gediz Delta Wetlands are in Menemen, to the northwest of the İzmir Bay. It has an area of 20,400 hectares. Within the İzmir Bird Sanctuary area, there is a saltwater ecosystem (Dalyanlar and Çamaltı salt marsh pools), a freshwater ecosystem (marshes), pastures and hilly areas comprising four different types of ecosystems. In the areas where fresh and saltwater pass through, a hard water ecosystem is encountered. In this area, 289 species of birds and 315 species of plants have been observed.
The species that are seen most frequently are flamingo, spurling, black-backed gull, snowy plover, Mediterranean gull, pygmy cormorant, mallard, ruddy shelduck, Dalmatian pelican, Caspian swallow, black-billed plover, swamp swallow, stone curlew, little egret, oystercatcher, stilts and coot.
At the İzmir bird sanctuary, where there are many different species of birds, there are also many other animals like jackals, fox, rabbit, wild boar, weasel, hedgehog, snake and marsh cat.
Gebekirse Lake Wetlands - Selçuk
This wetland is located in Selçuk District, in the area of Zeytinköy inside the Küçük Menderes Delta. It is very close to the İzmir province center and tourist destinations like Kuşadası, Selçuk, and Gümüldür. The area spans over 839 hectares. It has a fresh and saltwater ecosystem. There are about 50 species of birds living here. The entire area is a First Degree Preservation Zone.
Belevi Lake Wetlands - Selçuk
If you’re already in Selçuk to discover the historical sites such as Ephesus, you should also check Belevi Lake Wetlands, which is located within the borders of Küçük Menderes Delta. It has a lake area of 150 hectares. Several different bird species live in this freshwater ecosystem.
Gölcük Lake Wetlands - Ödemiş
This wetland is in Gölcük, Ödemiş. It was declared a wetland in 2006. It has an area of 80 hectares. Many bird species live in this freshwater ecosystem.
Wildlife protection areas are places with a high protection status due to the sensitivity of the species that live in them. The Homa Dalyan Wildlife Protection Area in the province of İzmir is under the charge of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs IV. Region Directorate Izmir Branch Headquarters.
The Homa Lagoon Wildlife Protection Area located in the Menemen - Çamaltı Tuzla region is 25 kilometers northwest of İzmir where the Gediz River had emptied in the past. It holds a saltwater and freshwater ecosystem, coves, salt marshes and lagoons and is an expansive shore wetland that covers 8,000 hectares of the 20,400 hectares Gediz Delta Wetlands Area.
There is a visitor’s center, preservation building and three different bird watching towers in various locations throughout the area.
In areas where visitors are forbidden, two different closed-circuit camera systems have been used to watch birds in five different locations without disrupting them. Very special lenses are used for the zoom that enables clear viewing up to 2.5 kilometers from the camera location without disrupting the bird habitat.
The footage from the cameras placed in two different locations is transmitted to the visitor’s center through underground fiber optic cables and power transmission lines extending 3,600 meters to one camera and 3,400 meters to the other. The images can be watched on two different monitors here.
There are two wildlife development zones in İzmir: The Gebekirse Lake Wildlife Development Zone and the Bayındır Ovacık Wildlife Development Zone.
The Gebekirse Lake Wildlife Development Zone is in the Zeytinköy region of Selçuk. This is a 54,530-acres protected ares which is rich in terms of bird species.
The Bayındır Ovacık Wildlife Development Zone is in Bayındır district and includes the villages of Ovacık, Hisarlık, Kızıloba and Sarıyurt. An inventory study on roe deers was conducted in this zone which is 578,890-acres wide.
In addition to the known routes in İzmir, there are other potential areas for hiking, horseback riding, and cycling. In these areas, which are mostly in villages or near vicinities, you can access natural sources, examine the flora and have picnics. Some of these areas have places to park your RV, camp, do some rock climbing and enjoy the local products of the villages. We recommend that you keep your camera close at hand to record the beauty of these regions.
Bornova-Buca Gökdere Canyon
Nature Hiking, Camping, Caravan, Picnic, Rock Climbing
The Gökdere Canyon is near the Gökdere Village which can be accessed from the Buca-Kaynaklar road. Gökdere Village, which is in the borders of the Bornova district, is at the mouth of the canyon. The wide expansive camp area located here is also suitable for caravans and picnicking. The flow of water in the canyon river (called Karapınar River-Gökdere River or İzmir River) lasts through July. The banks of this river are popular amongst hikers. There are also good picnic places at the entrance of the canyon. There are trash receptacles and toilets in this area provided by the Bornova municipality. The rocks at the entry of the canyon are suitable for rock climbing. Calabrian pines, maquis, century-old plane trees, streams and naturally therapeutic vegetation (thyme, daisies, bay leaves, sage) are just some of the elements of natural beauty in this canyon.
Nature Hiking, Camping, Picnic, Rock Climbing, Caravan, Tableland Tourism, Bicycling Horseback Riding, Botanic Tourism
There are forests in this area for hiking. This region is rich in water sources and perfect for eco-tourism with its natural features. The villages here have understood the importance of eco-tourism and tourism has started to develop in the region. The area is actively used by hikers for rock climbing and camping.
8 kilometers from Kırıklar Village, there is an area locally known as “Deliahmet’s Place” which is about 1,032 meters high and has the right features for camp-caravan tourism. The region covered in black pine and juniper trees also has natural water sources.
8 kilometers from Kırıklar Village, there is another area locally known as “Yörük Düzlüğü” (Nomad’s Plain) at 1,050 meters elevation which has been identified for tableland tourism. The centuries-old black pines, paeonia (Paeonia peregrina) and sage plants are lined up along the road.
There are many other areas between Kırıklar, Kaynaklar, Karaağaç, and Belenbaşı villages for horseback riding, hiking, and cycling.
Nature Hiking, Local produce market, Camp-Caravan tourism, Cycling, Photo Safari
You can access Beşpınar and Ansızca Canyons via the İzmir-Ankara highway. The highway also provides you access to Kemalpaşa, Sütcüler, and Beşpınar villages and the Beşpınar canyon as well as Kemalpaşa, and Ansızca villages, and Ansızca canyon.
Beşpınar and Ansızca canyons are popular hiking destinations. The presence of natural water sources, a forest structure that is suitable for hiking, and the beauty of nature all attract nature lovers.
Due to a large volume of water flow in the region, hiking cannot be done in the winter and spring. So, fall and summer is a preferred time. Mountain climbing and nature hiking groups contribute to the village economy by stopping for a rest in Ansızca.
Ansızca Canyon can be considered a monument of nature. Many sites are suitable for camp-caravan tourism, bicycle tourism, horseback exploring, rock climbing, botanic tourism, photo safari, and fauna watching (Anatolian eagle, hawks, etc. can be spotted).
Nature Hiking, Camp Caravan, Bird Watching, Photo Safari, Rock Climbing, Botanic Tourism, Local Produce Market
Nazarköy is a village on the Kemalpaşa-Torbalı road that is known for the glass evil eye talisman amulets. This village, which is popular amongst eco-tourists, is a colorful village where you can buy many local products.
Kurudere canyon is located at the exit of Nif Mountain near Nazarköy. Hikers start at Nazarköy and walk along a 10 km route along the Kurudere Canyon. There are areas for camping and caravans at the entrance to the canyon. All along the canyon and in the Nif Mountains, activities like botanic tourism, fauna watching, photo safari, horseback exploring, scouting, and bird watching can be held.
Dereköy is located at the skirts of Mahmut Mountain. About 1 kilometer beyond Dereköy, there is an area used for camping and rock climbing. There are also training sites for novice rock climbers and also sites favored by professional climbers.
In the areas of Dereköy and Mahmut Mountain, many activities can be done, such as botanic tourism, fauna watching, photo safari, horseback exploring, bicycling tourism, scouting, and bird watching.
Nature Hiking, Camping, Botanic Tourism, Bird Watching, Bicycling
The Suuçan Waterfall can be reached via Menemen-Çukurköy and Aliağa Karakuzu villages. The waterfall is about 34 meters high and on the İbrim River.
Oak, hackberry, terebinth, pine and plane trees can be seen around the Suuçan Waterfall, which is rich in vegetation. There are places in the area that are suitable for camping.
In the areas around Dereköy and the Mahmut Mountain, it is possible to organize activities for botanic tourism, fauna watching, photo safari, horseback exploring, bicycling tourism, scouting, and bird watching.
Festival Tourism, Nature Hiking, Agro Tourism, Photo Safari, Winter Tourism, Paragliding
The town of Bademli can be reached from the district of Ödemiş or Tire.
A Cherry Festival is organized in this town in June. There are a festival site, picnic areas and camp areas organized for visitors.
Three popular hiking routes are starting from Bademli. These routes end at Cevizli Mountain at 1,200 meters, Mum Kayası at 1,650 meters, and Hacetdede at 1,831 meters.
Bademli River, which flows during the summer and winter, has three waterfalls of varying heights on it. The largest of these waterfalls is 10 meters in height.
Agrotourism, horseback exploring, photo safari, and bicycling tourism are all possible in this town. The two historical mosques and the centuries-old plane tree in the village square are worth seeing.
At the borders of Bademli town near Mum Kayası, there is a point at 1,412 meters elevation that is a favorite for paragliding.
Ödemiş-Bozdağ is the only destination in İzmir for winter tourism. There is also great potential here for paragliding, nature hiking, photo safari, and mountain biking.
Ödemiş-Gölcük Tableland is named after the Gölcük Lake. The forest here is comprised of black pine trees. There are also economically valuable chestnut trees here. It is possible to do camping, caravan, nature hiking, bicycling, tableland tourism, sports fishing, bird watching, photo safari, botanic tourism, fauna watching, horseback exploring, and scouting.
Menderes Deliömerli-Yeniköy and Değirmendere-Ataköy (around Karacadağ)
Hiking, Agro Tourism, Photo Safari, Bicycling, Camping, Caravan Tourism, Bird Watching
Deliömerli village can be reached from the Menderes-Gümüldür highway. There is an ancient bath about 1 kilometer from the village, which is said to be the only Roman bath carved in the rock.
There are areas for camping-caravans, bicycling and horseback exploring.
The roads in Karacadağ, on the other hand, are suitable for cycling and horseback exploring. There is a river flowing through the valley and small waterfalls on the river. The riverside is ideal for hikers.
There are places for camping and caravans along the roads and rivers in Karacadağ. It is also possible to do fauna watching, scouting, and orienteering in the region.
It is possible to reach this area via the İzmir-Çeşme highway or the Karaburun exit of the toll road.
Due to being a good distance from İzmir, many of the Karaburun villages have managed to maintain their original features. Since most of the villages have a view of the sea and nature, they are all attractive. It is possible to ride your bike and do horseback exploring on the village roads. It is possible to spot Mediterranean monk seals around the peninsula.
The Karaburun Peninsula is a region favored for diving. It is also rich with Neptune grass (Posidonia Oceanica).
The Iris Lake Marshes along the Karaburun-Ildır road have striking features. The lake is also a habitat for different types of birds.
The Payamlı-Küçükkaya-Çamlı villages are located in Güzelbahçe district. They have areas for hiking, cycling, orienteering, camp-caravan, and festival tourism. The region is very close to the city center. A fig festival is organized in Payamlı Village every August.
Narlıdere-Altınvadi (Alionbaşı River)
Due to its proximity to the center of Narlıdere district, a forest area starting here where the residential area ends, and its natural beauty, Altınvadi has a high potential for eco-tourism. The region is ideal for mountain biking, photo safari, and horseback exploring.
Tire-Sarılar-Çeşme Başı and Subaşı Regions
In the Çeşmebaşı and Subaşı regions of Sarılar village, in the district of Tire, there are plane trees, some of which are over 500 years old and have a circumference over 10 meters. There are no roads in the region suitable for vehicles.
There are many monumental old chestnut trees in this region. These ancient chestnut trees and mixed forests located around the recreation area near Ovacık Village have a rare structure. The area, which has been designated as a wildlife development zone is also suitable for eco-tourism.
The river in Sinancılar of the Ovacık Village flows during the summer and winter. There are hiking routes in the river valley. Around Kayrak village and Çatalköprü, there are places for hiking and fishing. The Ovacık region is extremely suitable for botanic tourism, thanks to the local climate.