Belfast Telegraph

Izmir a popular destination for Irish tourists seeking sun and lively nightlife

By Peter Woodman

Both the Turkish city of Izmir and the resort town of Kusadasi are steeped in history and have become popular spots for Irish tourists.



Less than 60 miles from Izmir and on Turkey's west coast, Kusadasi offers holidaymakers long, hot summers and mild winters.

The town is known for a number of powdery-sand beaches, cafes and restaurants, as well as bars and discos.

Beyond the nightlife, tourists swarm to the Ottoman and Turkish mosques in the town. Many are attracted by the 300 days of sunshine each year, which make watersports such as windsurfing and water-skiing very |popular.

Just over 10 miles away is Ephesus.

For many Irish tourists this is the highlight of their trip to Turkey because of the spectacular ancient ruins there.

This was the site of the original Temple of Diana (also known as the Temple of Artemis), which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

South of Kusadasi is a national park and visitors can also travel to another historic town — Selcuk — which is about 10 miles away.

Izmir, scene of the murders of the two Co Down women, is Turkey's third-largest city with a population approaching four |million.

Visitors to the city, which is set around a bay and fringed by mountains, have to contend with fiercely hot summers.

Much of the old part of the city was burnt down in a devastating fire in the early 1920s, but the clock tower in Komak Square, a popular spot for tourists, is still standing.

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