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The tangerines grown in its fertile lands, the evil eye talisman amulets and its grapes have become symbols of the district. It dates back to Roman times and has Turkey’s first archeological park. With its historical heritage and blue-flagged beaches, Menderes is one of the most important districts of İzmir regarding tourism.
Beaches of Menderes
The first thing to do in Menderes is to enjoy its perfect beaches and sea. The two most popular destinations to do so are Gümüldür and Özdere.
The land of Satsuma with the great smell, Gümüldür combines the green with the blue and with a 7-kilometer coastline and blue flagged beaches and hotels that cater for all budgets, it is one of the towns where the sea tourism is blooming. 50 kilometers from Izmir City center, 35 from Adnan Menderes Airport, thanks to its accessibility, it has become one of the towns preferred by many sea lovers.
Özdere is also one of the most popular touristic destinations during the summer with its 30-kilometer-long beach that includes blue-flagged beaches, beautiful bays and its nature that combines blue with the green, and with its perfect climate.
The other places to see in Menderes
If you’re into archeology, you should visit Klaros Prediction Center. Located very close to the Ahmetbeyli coast, it was one of the most important prophecy sites of its time. Like in ancient times, today, Apollon Klaros Shrine Area has an important place in the Anatolian and the world archeology. Further, in the prophecy site, a katagogeion (a guesthouse), a very rare building of the ancient times in Anatolia can be founded.
The first archeological park of Turkey is also in Menderes. It is deemed as extremely important for the archeology of Anatolia and the world. In open and sacred areas in the park, the historical ruins that have been excavated since 2001 are being displayed.
The other ancient places to see in the area are The Ancient City of Kolophon, which had a coin pressed in its name and was known to be a large and magnificent city in the 4th century B.C.; The Ancient City of Notion, which was used in the Byzantine era as an important center for the Bishop; and Lebedos Antique City, which used to be one of 12 Ionian cities.
When in Menderes, don’t neglect to visit the Yıkık Minare (Demolished Minaret), which is thought to be constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries; the Roman Bath, and the mosques.
Evil eye talisman amulets
In all ages of the history of civilization, humankind has benefitted from various talisman to get rid of its fears and anxieties and also bad energy. In monotheistic religions, it was believed that sacred symbols and signs kept negative energies away from people. The “eye” is the most popular among these symbols in every culture.
The 3,000-year-old Mediterranean glass arts has not changed much within the centuries. Believed to protect one from the evil eye and is deemed as one of the immaterial cultural heritage, the evil eye talisman amulets are renowned all around the world and the production continues by few craftsmen in the traditional ovens in the Görece Quarter of Menderes district.
What to eat in Menderes
The two most popular fruits to taste in Menderes are the Gümüldür tangerine (satsuma), and Efemçukuru Grape.
The world-famous satsuma tangerines that are grown on Gümüldür's shores are juicy, seedless and thin peeled. These tangerines played an important role in promoting the district around the world and became a brand on their own in Turkey and the countries they are exported to with their color, scent, taste and healthy properties. It is promoted in the annual Gümüldür Tangerine Feast, growers are supported and the products are delivered to new markets.
Efemçukuru Grape is grown traditionally and with special techniques. The grapes in the vineyards of Efemçukuru District, which is under the influence of the Mediterranean Climate, are edible black grapes called "Alphonse" commercially and "Enfes" locally.
Where to visit
Menderes is a place you cannot get enough of with its beautiful bays, recreation spots, and hiking trails. Gümüldür and Özdere awesome bays and blue flag beaches. At Klaros (Denizpınarı) you can camp and enjoy the sea at the same time. Menderes Forest is another good destination for camping. If you’re a history enthusiast, you should visit the Ancient City of Kolophon, which was the only Ionian city that wasn’t built by the sea, the Ancient City of Temnos which was built on Kayacak Hill, Ancient City of Nation and the theater in it, and the Klaros Prediction Center, which was one of the most important prophecy sites of its time. Yıkı (meaning ruined in Turkish) Minaret, Cüneyt Bey Mosque, Kasımpaşa Mosque and Mausoleum, and Samancıoğlu Mosque are among the other buildings worth seeing.
What to do
You can see the production process of the evil eye beads in the Görece neighborhood and buy them as a gift. You can visit Turkey's first Archeopark to see the historical artifacts unearthed in excavations carried out since 2001. You can also spend a day enjoying the sun and the sea on the blue flagged beaches of Gümüldür and Özdere.