Hugging a broad Aegean bay beneath rugged hills halfway down the west coast of Turkey, Izmir is an energetic, forward-looking city with a vibrant nightlife scene. Jet2 now flies direct from Glasgow Airport to Izmir, giving you a chance to visit this palm-fringed metropolis and escape to the gorgeous beach resorts nearby.
Private beach access at Kusadasi
With a coastline strung with soft sands and warm waters, Kusadasi (81km south of Izmir) boasts a wide range of all-inclusive resorts and beach clubs occupying the best beachfront locations and offering you private access to a slice of paradise. Several large resorts also have a thrilling waterpark onsite, which is useful for keeping children entertained for hours. In the evening, the Old Town in Kusadasi bursts into life with bars and clubs packed with those seeking out the vibrant food and music scenes.
Situated on a bay that hooks onto the north shore of a narrow peninsula leading out into the Aegean Sea, Çeşme (89km west of Izmir) has pockets of golden sand beaches and several thermal springs for you to unwind. The turquoise water at Tekke Plaji makes it one of the finest beaches in the area. At Ilica Plaji, the pristine crescent of sand and geothermal-heated sea at combine for a relaxing spa break. The water here is shallow; you can wade 100 metres out into the sea before reaching swimming depth, making it a perfect choice for children and less confident swimmers.
The beaches around Izmir have long been popular for a myriad of watersports, from scuba diving to stand-up paddling. The wind never ceases at Kusadasi, making it a popular destination for windsurfing, while expert divers look for ancient shipwrecks scattered along the Turkish coast. Sailing is another popular activity, charter a yacht or join a small group for a fun day out and enjoy the freedom of diving into crystal clear waters wherever you like.