Urla Vineyard Route
A Rhapsody of Colors
Imagine a quiet, laid-back town by the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean. Located between İzmir and the famous resort town of Çeşme, Urla is an authentic place where you can stroll along the cobblestone streets of multi-cultural coexistence, roam freely around the vineyards and olive groves. Urla represents the Aegean spirit with small squares, cafés under centuries-old plane trees, fishers, village bazaars, vineyards, and wineries.
Urla’s history begins at Limantepe. Just at the pier of Urla, one finds Limantepe, a green hill lying towards the sea just opposite Karantina Island (lit. Quarantine Island) as the Bronze Age port of the region. An ancient settlement, known as Klazomenai, is where people lived continuously since 4000 BC and established olive oil workshops and recognized winery, perfume making, and weaving. They were also advanced in mining.
Olive has been known in Anatolia for approximately 6000 years. The oldest olive oil workshop in the world was found in ancient Klazomenai in Urla. The microclimate at Klazomenai, and its terrain made it also suitable for viniculture. The wines produced here in antiquity were placed into unique amphoras. They were highly sought after in vast geography covering the Western Mediterranean and the Black Sea coasts after the 7th century BC.
Urla Vineyard Route offers delicious, high-quality, award-winning wines made of grapes with a 6,000-year-old history; peaceful vineyard walks; top-notch wineries in small, boutique establishments; and gourmet restaurants presenting unique tastes.
Making your way along the Urla Vineyard Route, the soothing sceneries spoil you. You'll come across characteristic country houses weaved with looked-after stone houses, wine estates gracefully making contact from afar, palm trees, and horse ranches. In the vineyards, you'll be greeted by plump, red grapes resembling grains, showing off their vigor through the vines and announcing harvest time.
Urla is one of the most enticing destinations with its ever-developing viticulture. With a rich wine tradition going back to antiquity, Urla has a distinctive terroir with the advantage of being on a peninsula surrounded by the sea, a fitting climate, moist soil structure, and iodized air.
Urla's wineries have been carrying on a wine tradition with international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Nero d’Avola, and indigenous grapes like Bornova Misketi, Sultaniye, and Boğazkere. Considered as a lost grape variety in the region, the ancient Urla Karası has been reintroduced in the local vineyards. Foça Karası and Gaydura, other old and extinct grapes unique to these lands, was reproduced and brought back from extinction.
Wineries using the flow technique that utilizes natural gravitational force, vineyards and wines stripped of chemicals, and acceptable agricultural practices differentiate this region and allow it to stand out. A handful of visionaries and entrepreneurs have brought much-deserved attention and recognition to the Urla vineyards and their wines. Today, Türkiye's world-class winemaking has become visible through a series of prestigious international awards.
Along the Urla Vineyard Route, you can visit several chateau-type local wineries. In addition to wine tasting, the route offers many trekking and bicycling opportunities, visiting horse farms, enjoying accommodation in boutique hotels and savoring meals at gourmet restaurants.
- Karantina Island
- Ancient city of Klazomenai
- Klazomenai Ancient Olive Oil Press, the first olive oil pro-duction facility in Anatolia
- Sunset in Çeşmealtı
- Köstem Olive Oil Museum
- Necati Cumalı Memorial and Culture House
- Theater at Bademler village
- Village of Barbaros
- International Urla Artichoke Festival
- Urla Traditional Grape Harvest Festival
- Urla Jazz Festival
- Urla Underwater Museum
- Olive oil
- Urla enginarı (artichoke)
- Fresh local herbs like turp otu (wild radish), radika (chicory)
- Gözleme (savory Turkish flatbread) with ayran Kalburabastı (nut-filled cookies that are drenched in syrup)
- High-end restaurants offering a fusion menu of modern and traditional regional cuisine
- Refreshing the scent of olive trees and pine forests
- Wind on the top of Güvendik Hill
- Iodine of the sea breeze
- Artichoke fields
- Healing waters of the mineral springs at Malgaca, 1,000-year-old olive tree
- Local artisan products at Malgaca Bazaar
- Fresh fruits and vegetables at Urla Farmers Market.
- Verses of Turkish poet and novelist Necati Cumalı