Tour of Izmir Through the Centuries
Tour Participation Requirements
Special Medical Restriction
If you've been known to speed-read history books, this tour's for you. In just a few hours, GoBe guides you through more than 20 centuries in lively Izmir. But don't worry. As you walk right into the heart of the old and the new in this city, you'll linger long enough to get a feel for the place and fill up on its fascinating past.
Back in 334 B.C., when it was the city of Smyrna, Alexander the Great arrived to restore the town and establish its agora – the gathering place in ancient Greek city-states. Today in this open-air museum, you can stroll like the ancients through the mighty gates and among remarkably intact stone arches and colonnades that make this one of the best-preserved Roman markets in the world. All that's missing is the haggling.
Over the centuries – from the Romans to the Ottomans – Smyrna prospered. (The Turks arrived in the 1400s and renamed the city Izmir.) But after World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, Athens took over and tensions rose. In 1922, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk took the city back during the Turkish War of Independence. He became Turkey's first president (you'll see the famous monument to him in Republic Square), and Izmir became one of the cornerstones of the Turkish Republic.
Today Izmir is thriving again and, like the agora in ancient Smyrna, the heart of the city is the Kemeralti Bazaar. Centuries-old trading traditions live on in this wild and colorful kaleidoscope for the senses. You'll need to stop for a thunderbolt rush of Turkish coffee or refreshing fresh-squeezed nar suya (pomegranate juice). Speeding through the centuries is thirsty work.
Izmir claims the Greek poet Homer was born there between the 8th and 9th centuries B.C., back when it was still Smyrna. Scholars agree his epic works, The Iliad and The Odyssey, were written in the archaic Ionic Greek of the area. And Homer describes strong winds from the northwest that are common there. The definitive bio for the first author of literature in Europe has yet to be written. So several cities claim Homer as a native son.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.