Izmir is located on the Aegean Sea near the Gulf of Izmir and is the capital of the Izmir Province. As a major city, it is easily accessible by plane, train or automobile and abundant in facilities for travelers. Izmir makes an excellent base for exploring the famous ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamum, Miletus, Priene and Sardis, all of which are within easy driving distance.
Rich in history and archaeological remains, Izmir is also widely regarded as the most westernized city of Turkey in terms of values, ideology and lifestyle. Nicknamed "the pearl of Aegean," Izmir is home to wide palm-lined boulevards, smart shops, hotels and restaurants, a busy port and exotic old quarter. The climate is pleasant even in the summer, thanks to a refreshing sea breeze.