Urla, Turkey is an adorable seaside town and one of the best day trips from of Izmir. Know for its wine, clear waters and abundance of fish, a visit to this lovely town should be on everyone’s agenda if they are traveling this part of Turkey.
Located a half hour from Izmir’s city center, boats rock gently in the ocean and seagulls squawk in the breeze. We spent an afternoon in Urla after the morning in ancient Pergamon.
Nestled on the Aegean Sea, the town is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills that offer breathtaking views. This small fishing village offers plenty of things to do Urla that finding ways to spend a day or two in this adorable town won’t be a problem.
From swimming in the warm waters of the Aegean to sipping local wine, Urla is a town not to be missed when exploring the city of Izmir. In this article I’ll go over all the awesome things to do in Urla, include things to do nearby, where to stay and any additional tips you’ll need for an awesome visit.
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Urla, Turkey is a charming coastal town located about a half hour drive from the city center of Izmir. Visiting Urla is like stepping into a wonderland of natural beauty and culture.
Some of the countries best wines and olive oils are produced in this region of Turkey. Not to mention Urla is know for is a world renown kitesurfing destination so this small town attracts foodies, art lovers and adrenalin junkies from all over the world.
If you’d like to see exactly what Urla is like skip to 6:10 on this video. We explored Urla after we spent the morning wondering around the Pergamon Ruins.
Best Things to do in Urla, Turkey
Urla is not a destination you can visit without your own set of wheels. Most of the things to do in Urla listed in the post are spread out and would require your own transportation to visit and have an enjoyable time doing it.
We rented a car twice during our month long Turkey travels, including Izmir which is how we were able to vsit Urla. You can rent a car here.
Visit a Winery
Urla is known for its wineries so for obvious reasons, one of the most popular things to do in Urla is visit a winery (or two). Visiting a winery in Urla is extremely easy as there’s even a winery route known as Urla Bağ Yolu that runs through the region. These vineyards are a wonderful compliment to Zeytin Rotasi (Olive Grove Road), which we will discuss later in detail in the next section.
While foreign grape types make up the majority of the wines created in the Urla region, many of the vintners are also reviving long-forgotten native varieties. One of the most well-liked white wines among local producers is Bornova misketi, a beverage with sweet, lemony undertones. Another popular local variety is the Foça karesi grape, which blends well with Shiraz.
Some of the most popular vineyards in Urla include the Urlice Vineyards, USCA, Mosaik, Limantepe and MMG. Expect farm to table food, tasty wine and an awesome experience.
Olive Grove Road
The Olive Grove Road or in Turkish Zeytin Rotas is a scenic road that runs along the olive tree-lined coastline in Urla. It provides breathing views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. This was established by the larger Izmir municipality to promote cycling, walking, and driving tours of the region’s picturesque olive-growing regions.
Urla Sanat Sokağı (Art Street)
Urla Sanat Sokağı, commonly known as the Art Street is a quaint, pleasant, beautiful street full of art. Located in the heart of Urla, Urla Sanat Sokağı is a pedestrian street known for its lively atmosphere, with plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops to explore.
It is also home to many art galleries, showcasing a wide range of artwork from local and international artists. There are many shops selling hand made items, pottery, small jewelry, textile and other things. You can also find art workshops including ceramics and mosaics.
If you happen to be here on a Sunday, Zafer Caddesi (Zafer Street) turns into an open-air market so don’t miss out on the fun. From time to time different festivals and events are organized on this street as well. If you are driving input Sanat Sokak in the GPS as this is the name of the actual street.
Did you know that Urla is one of the best places in Turkey to go kitesurfing? Since Urla is located on the Aegean Sea, this area is known for its strong winds, warm waters and perfect kiting conditions.
When I’m not traveling the world, I live in Maui, Hawaii – where there is some epic kitesurfing so naturally this appealed to me. Although I didn’t try kitesurfing myself, the shallow lagoons and sandy beaches make Urla an ideal destination for all levels of kitesurfers.
📍 Travel Tip: Another alternative for the adrenalin seeking traveler is Alacati. This town is one of the best places for windsurfing in the world and that’s only a 30 minute drive from Urla.
Dine on the Water
Since Urla is located on the Aegean coast, dining on the water is always a fun way to treat yourself. From high-end restaurants to laid back seafood shacks, there is something for everyone.
The waterfront restaurants offer a variety of delicious cuisine, from traditional Turkish dishes to international favorites. We dined on the water and had a friendly cat sit in the chair next to us the whole time.
These are some of the best restaurants in Urla according to TripAdvisor. *Some restaurants may not be located on the water.
Kostem Zeytinyagi Muzesi
The Kostem Zeytinyagi Muzesi is a unique museum that celebrates and preserves the history, culture and traditions of Turkish olive oil production. It was established in 2016 and hosts a variety of educational and interactive activities such as guided tours, tastings of local olive oils and workshops for visitors to learn about the process of making and bottling olive oil.
The museum also has a library and permanent exhibitions that showcase the history and culture of olive oil production in Turkey. There’s even a restaurant at the museum. Come with an appetite to learn and to eat.
You can’t miss the marina if you make it to the coast in Urla. The marina is a fun place to stroll around and admire the boats of all different sizes. Urla has 12 islands off of its coast and one of the best things to do in Urla is take a boat trip to explore some of these islands. Go on a boat trip in the summer so you can add taking a refreshing dip in the sea to your agenda.
Klazomenai Ancient City of Olive Presses
Klazomenai is an ancient city located in Urla, Turkey. It was founded in the 7th century BC and is know for its olive presses. The city remains from the Hellenistic and Roman eras have been well-preserved and are a popular tourist attraction.
Highlights include the Temple of Apollo, the ruins of a theatre and several baths. Visiting Klazomenai, you can explore the many olive presses in the city, some which date back to the 2nd century BC.
Uzbas Botanical Garden
Uzbas Botanical Garden is home to a variety of plants and flowers. This is a perfect place to stop in between your winery hops as its located close on the winery route. Stroll the gardens and you can even purchase a plant if you so desire. Open daily from 10am – 6pm.
Our last thing to do in Urla is hang out on the beautiful beaches. There are lots of beaches in Urla ranging from sandy beaches suitable for swimming to rocky coves.
Many of the beaches here are surrounded by lush foliage and crystal clear waters, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind. Be prepared for large crowds if you come here in peak summer time.
Other Things to do Near Urla
Urla is located next to Turkey’s third largest city of Izmir so you know there are tons of things to do near Urla. Most of these activities are located in the city of Izmir but there are also a few day trips outside the city worth mentioning.
- The ancient city of Ephesus – one of the most popular things to see in Turkey.
- Pergamon Acropolis
- Kemeraltı Bazaar
- Hang out at Konak Square & Izmir Clock Tower in Izmir.
- Visit the Mountaintop Town of Sirince.
- Agora of Smyrna
- Çeşme and Alaçatı towns
- Pamukkale – about a 3 hour drive
💡 For more Inspiration: Best Things to do in Izmir
Where to Stay in Urla (Best Urla Hotels)
There are a handful of places to stay in Urla that offer charming and comfortable accommodations. Urla is a popular spot with locals escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city. Make sure you check out these Urla hotels if you plan on staying a night or two in town.
🕯 Read Next: Where to Stay in Izmir
Two Rooms Hotel
The Two Rooms Hotel is a fantastic Urla hotel located on your own private vineyard. Located a bit inland, this hotel has rooms all with modern amenities and comforts.
Staying here also comes with traditional Turkish breakfast which is served with locally produced and organic ingredients. Depending on what season you visit Urla in, you can observe or take part in various steps of winemaking, such as harvesting and crushing.
If you love the outdoors, there is hiking and horse back riding opportunities nearby. Stay here for a peaceful and relaxing getaway and for the wine!
Art Design Otel
The Art Design Otel is a stylish, boutique hotel located close to the city center of Urla, a few steps away from the art street. The location is close to all kinds of shops, restaurants and art galleries, yet far enough away to get a peaceful nights rest.
The rooms are tastefully decorated and you’ll love the breakfast that is included with the stay. Enjoy a tasty, traditional Turkish breakfast that has been all locally sourced from farm to table. This is the perfect Urla Hotel to relax and unwind in style.
Teruar Urla is a charming hotel in Urla amidst the wineries. Rooms are cozy and comfortable and some rooms come with a balcony that epic mountain views. Along with breakfast that is included when you book a stay, guests can also enjoy free parking and a bar on site.
Final Thoughts on Urla, Turkey
In conclusion if you are asking yourself the question is Urla worth visiting, I would most definitely say yes. From coastal vineyards to olive tree farms and boat trips, Urla is a hidden gem and peaceful escape from the big city of Izmir.
Turkey Travel Tips
📍Plan your Trip: The Ultimate Guide to Turkey
🗺 How long to travel Turkey? 2 Weeks in Turkey Itinerary
☔️ Best Time to Visit: April, May, September and October are the best months to travel Turkey.
💰 Average Daily Budget: Expect to pay 30-50 USD’s a day for basic accommodations, sit down meals at a cafe and entrance fees.
⛺️ Turkey accommodation Guides
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- Exploring Ephesus
- Discovering Istanbul
- Pamukkale Cotton Castle
- Pergamon Ruins
- Magical Cappadocia
- The Coastal City of Izmir
- Wander the Capital of Ankara
🧳 What to Pack: What to Pack for Türkiye
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