URLA

Urla is a town with a population of around 50.000 people, on the western coast of Turkey, and is located at a distance of 35 km from the second largest city of Turkey, Izmir. Urla was named after the Greek word Vourla (Βούρλα, also its name in Greek) meaning marshlands. Its history goes back to the 8th century B.C. when it was known as one of the twelve major Greek Ionian cities, Klazomenai, one of the first cities to issue silver coinage in the Mediterranean. Apart from being a significant cultural centre, the city was also known for the production and export of high-quality olive oil.

The region is also very famous due to Limantepe, an underwater ancient city accidentally discovered in aerial photos, which is now Turkey’s first underwater excavation site, and one of the ten most important underwater excavations sites in the whole world. Limantepe’s harbor is considered as one of the oldest known artificial harbors in the Aegean Sea. The construction of a major Archeo Park is planned, including not only the exhibition of the artifacts found on the spot but even the use of historical ships for short trips! Once the park operates, Urla will become a significant world archaeological centre.

In 1865 a quarantine centre was established in the small island just opposite the Urla quay. It was used until the 1950s and is nowadays used as a public hospital. The island, which can be accessed on foot, still goes under the name Karantina Adasi.

Urla also prides itself on being the birthplace of the Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate [1963] Giorgos Seferis [b. 1900- d. 1971] who lived here until the age of fourteen, when his family moved to Athens, as well as of the Turkish novelist Necati Cumalı [b. 1921- d. 2001]. Seferis’ family home is open to visit.

Although access to and from Izmir and Çeşme (a famous tourist resort with a population of 45.000 people, located just opposite the island of Chios, at a distance of 80 km from Izmir and around 45 km from Urla) is easy and fast, via a modern highway, Urla manages to preserve an overall look of a peaceful and pleasant resort. All villages around Urla bear typical Aegean characteristics and most of the local population works in agriculture and fishing; their products are the core of Batis Modern Inn’s cuisine.