Most individuals suppose they know Turkey. In any case, it’s simply Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, and some seashore resorts, proper? WRONG! Turkey is a large nation, and there are such a lot of small cities and resorts to go to, a lot of which fly proper underneath the radar. I’ve spent years dwelling and touring round Turkey. Should you’re on the lookout for a chilled-out, lovely, and cultural spot to go to, I’ve bought the right place for you.
Why This Lesser-Recognized Gem in Turkey is a High Vacation spot for 2024
With no scarcity of gorgeous locations to go to in Turkey, it’s straightforward to be spoiled for selection, however Urla ought to positively be in your checklist of locations to not miss. This chilled-out seashore location has all the pieces you possibly can probably need for a break within the solar, with an enormous dose of tradition for good measure. Forbes named Urla as among the finest locations to journey in 2024, and I agree; let’s try why.
1. Wine, Superb Wine!
Urla sits proper in the course of one among Turkey’s largest wine areas; in reality, there’s even a wine route known as Urla Bağ Yolu, which takes you to some top-quality spots for wine manufacturing. Urlice is likely one of the finest wineries across the space, in a stupendous setting with a improbable restaurant on web site. USCA Vineyards is a specific favourite of mine, providing free wine tasting, and MMG Vineyard presents some gorgeous views over the countryside past.
You may not have thought that Turkish wine was a factor, however belief me, it’s scrumptious. Most of it’s distributed domestically, so it’s not one thing you’re prone to discover exterior of the nation. However that simply means you can purchase a couple of bottles to take residence.
2. A Chilled-Out Seaside Vacation spot
A lot of Turkey’s prime seashore resorts change into extraordinarily busy throughout the peak summer season months, however if you happen to desire a extra stress-free and serene seashore day, Urla matches the invoice. Akarca Plaji is a good spot, with impossibly clear water and tender sand; I’d advocate this seashore for households particularly as as the ocean is calm and shallow. Yat Limani Seashore and Akkum Plaji are different prime seashores to spend a couple of hours.
The summer season climate positively helps invite you to the seashore – Urla’s hottest month is July, with a median of 31°C/89°F; making a day splashing within the sea a must-do. Nonetheless, in my expertise, regardless of the ‘common’ temperature quoted, it typically feels lots hotter because of humidity, so all the time bear in mind solar safety.
3. Plenty of Native Festivals
Annual festivals are an effective way to be taught extra concerning the tradition of an space, and Urla has loads all year long. The Artichoke Competition would possibly sound like an odd one, nevertheless it spans over three days throughout April and it’s an actual crowd-pleaser; I’m not the largest fan of artichokes, however I loved the group vibe regardless. The Grape Harvest Competition and the Urla Jazz Competition are different noteworthy occasions so as to add to your calendar.
There are additionally typical, yearly celebrations that happen, reminiscent of New 12 months’s Eve, and spiritual Bayram festivals to attend. Throughout these instances, the entire city comes collectively to rejoice and there’s such an pleasant vibe within the air. I’d advocate you e book your resort early to keep away from disappointment, nevertheless it’s greater than value it for the expertise.
4. Superb Meals
Urla is legendary for its artichokes, therefore the yearly pageant devoted to the vegetable. That is the perfect place in the entire of Turkey to strive conventional artichoke dishes, reminiscent of stuffed artichokes and lamb. In fact, you may as well discover genuine Turkish meals in Urla, and since it’s much less touristic, you’ll have a greater probability of having fun with real, native fare.
Urla can also be a prime spot for contemporary fish and also you’ll discover loads of native eating places to strive. I went to Sahil Restaurant and had an incredible meal, together with among the finest shellfish I’ve ever had. Every little thing is freshly caught that day and the view is gorgeous.
5. A Nice Base for Exploring Additional
Urla is simply half an hour away from Izmir, which means you may have a chilled-out seashore break mixed with metropolis enjoyable. You possibly can take a guided tour of Ephesus, which is simply an hour away, and also you’re simply 25 minutes away from lovely Alaçatı. I’d positively advocate you head to Ephesus on the very least; it’s one among my favourite locations on the earth and it feels such as you’re proper there within the second.
All of which means Urla is a good spot to base your self and discover the world additional if you happen to select. In fact, you would possibly resolve to stay round and benefit from the calm vibe in Urla itself, however a minimum of you could have the choice ought to the temper take you. However if you happen to ask me, the temper ought to take you …
6. The Native Paintings
Urla’s Sanat Sokağı, or Artwork Avenue, is a good place to discover native paintings and buy souvenirs to take again residence. Visiting this avenue is an effective way to assist native artists and achieve one thing actually genuine in return. Right here, you will discover native pottery, images, work, handmade jewellery, and even do-it-yourself cleaning soap merchandise and if you happen to haggle, you’ll get them cheaper.
This isn’t a spot for large malls and large bazaars, which implies buying in Urla typically is a extra laid-back expertise. However, for anybody who enjoys genuine merchandise and particularly artwork, it’s a vacation spot to run towards.
7. The Street Much less Traveled
Urla is an up-and-coming space, which implies it’s neither crowded nor bustling; that’s what I loved most about it. Most individuals head to Izmir itself or go to Çesme or Alaçatı, and whereas these are improbable spots too, Urla presents a extra genuine and stress-free expertise.
It’s not off the overwhelmed observe per se, nevertheless it does provide you with a style of the ‘actual’ Turkey, fairly than the vacationer model. For that purpose, Urla is a good place to go to—earlier than everybody realizes how nice it’s and the key will get out.
Turkey has many hidden gems, and I rely Urla as one among them to not be missed. A improbable space for wineries, nature, gastronomy, and seashore life, Urla will present you a slower tempo of life, which is a good reduction from any on a regular basis stresses and worries.
When you may not discover it on a daily search of the preferred locations to go to in Turkey, it’s not prone to keep that method for lengthy. So, I like to recommend you intend your journey now, when you can benefit from the genuine vibe in whole peace and quiet.