Holiday in Izmir in Post-COVID-19 Era
With the center of the Covid-19 pandemic shifting from Europe to North America and then to South America, Europe's leading tourism destinations are opening their doors to the visitors.
Turkey, one of the countries which have managed the pandemic very well, has lifted the international and national travel bans and has started to welcome its guests.
Izmir, one of the least-affected cities during the pandemic, has also taken all the necessary precautions for its guests to have a safe holiday in this new period.
For example, thermal cameras were installed at 20 different spots of the city.
Besides, in addition to the measures enforced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, an Orange Circle Certificate Program has been implemented for restaurants, cafes, and hotels with the coordination of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and the Izmir Foundation, to ensure that tourism activities can be carried out healthily.
In addition to these measures and the certificate program, when we take the city's world-class health institutions and staff into consideration, “Beautiful Izmir” has deserved to receive a new nickname, which is “Safe Izmir.”
If you want to spend a safe holiday in this paradise city, you can take a look at our suggestions about what to do, where to visit, and what to eat in Izmir.
Enjoying the Sea in Izmir
Izmir has a coastline of 629 kilometers in total! Add that to a climate that allows swimming during the majority of the year, the city becomes one of the most important sea tourism destinations in Turkey.
If you’d like to enjoy Izmir beaches, 49 of which are awarded blue flags, our first suggestion is Çeşme, one of the most popular destinations in the city. Çeşme peninsula has a coastline of 29 kilometers along with a clean sea, sun, fine sands, and sulfurous healing waters bubbling in the sea. Çeşme beaches are heavenly beautiful. The most popular ones are Şifne, Küçük Port, Pırlanta, Paşa Port, Ilıca Beach, Çiftlik, Altınkum, Çatal Azmak, Sakızlı Cove, Tekke Beach, and Ayayorgi.
Dikili also is a destination famous for its beaches. The total length of beaches in Dikili district and Çandarlı county within Dikili exceeds 40 kilometers. Plus, the water is slightly colder in this area, which makes it a perfect destination during the hottest summer days. In addition to all, when you visit Dikili, you’ll have the chance to encounter one of the best sunset views ever!
Pamucak county of Selçuk district is another site famous for its vast beaches and sand. Trademarked as a “tourism center”, Pamucak Beach attracts tourists with its pristine appearance and beautiful facilities.
If you prefer the facilities that have the Orange Circle Certificate when you come to İzmir to enjoy the sea, you can be sure that your facility complies with the hygiene criteria determined by the scientists.
Enjoy the City Center
We recommend you to spend at least one or two days of your Izmir vacation in the city center, see the most beautiful places in the city and taste the famous dishes.
You can start touring Izmir from Alsancak, Cyprus Martyrs’ Street, and Kordon. You can shop on the famous street and have a pleasant time in restaurants and cafes that have the Orange Circle Certificate. Then, do not forget to go to Kordon, which is just around the corner, to take a walk and breath the freshest air. If you wish, you can take a ferry to Karsiyaka as well.
Kemeraltı Bazaar, with its 500 years of history, is another destination you should definitely see and shop in Izmir. Many shops, from coppersmiths to bagmakers, from jewelers to souvenir shops, are waiting for you here. Yeni Şükran, the oldest hotel in Izmir, the National Library, and the State and Opera Ballet are also in this neighborhood. When you get tired, don't forget to have a Turkish coffee in Kızlarağası Inn and then go see The Historical Clock Tower right ahead.
To witness two of the most beautiful views of İzmir, you can go to the Historical Elevator in Karataş district and the Cable Car Facility in Balçova.
Coastal Towns Decorating Retirement Dreams
Everybody in Turkey dreams of settling in a cute Aegean coastal town once they are retired. Even if you still have many years to realize this dream, you can get an idea of what this experience might feel like by having a vacation in these cutest towns of Izmir.
If you are interested in coastal towns that have managed to preserve their local texture, you can go to Sığacık early on Sunday morning. After having breakfast here, you can shop from the organic market.
Foça, Urla, Seferihisar, Karaburun, and Mordoğan are also famous amongst those who want to experience a quiet and calm coastal town in Izmir.
Just like the city center, the food & beverage facilities that have received the Orange Circle Certificate in these districts of İzmir, fulfill a total of 52 criteria including bread being served in packages, closed water bottle, air conditioners being regularly cleaned by authorized companies and such.
The Orange Circle certificate for the accommodation facilities, on the other hand, ensures that your hotel meets a majority of 101 criteria including the presence of protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and disinfectants in the hotel as well as measuring the body temperature of guests at the entrance of the hotel.
Don’t leave before tasting these foods
When you are in the city, don’t forget to taste the most famous two food in Izmir: Kumru (a sandwich prepared by İzmir Tulum cheese, cheddar, tomato, pepper, sausage and salami in a special bread), and Boyoz (a pastry made by baking round pieces of dough which consist of wheat flour, water, and salt). Kumrucu Ömür, Kumrucu Şevki, Kumrucu Ateş, Kumrucu Apo, and Historical Alsancak Bagel Oven are some of the places where you can taste the most delicious kumru. On the other hand, Alsancak Dostlar Bakery is one of the most famous places when it comes to boyoz.
Since you are at the capital of Aegean Cuisine, don’t forget to taste the vegetable dishes with olive oil. Eggplant crunch, sweet tarhana, fish soup, and sinkonta (baked pumpkin) are among the famous and healthy dishes of İzmir.
Even though the vegetables have the leading parts, İzmir’s cuisine does not disappoint meat enthusiasts either. Famous meat dishes such as İzmir meatballs, Elbasan Tava, Tire kebab, Ödemiş kebab, and lok lok are mostly made from lamb meat.
Izmir is also a perfect destination if you are crazy for desserts. Lokma, sakız tatlısı (desert with gum), sakızlı dondurma (gum-flavored ice cream), sakızlı un kurabiyesi (flour cookies with gum), shambali, samsades, lor tatlısı (a dessert with soft uncured cheese), and karabaşotu reçeli (buckwheat herb jam) are the most famous desserts in Izmir.