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Foca, Dikili, Urla & Seferhisar

Foca (Phokaia)

Foca is a cute little town on the Aegean Sea, 70 kilometers (some 40 miles) north of Izmir. It's populations is around 36thousand people but in the summer time it goes up to 70 thousand with local and foreign holiday makers who prefer this area for its natural beauties, crystal clear water, small coves, and the climate. Some of Foca's bays are rewarded with the Blue Flag, securing the clean waters of an area in the Mediterranean, these are; 1st Mersinaki Cove (Samata Beach), 2nd Mersinaki Cove (Club Phokaia Hotel), 4th Mersinaki Cove (Hanedan Hotel), 3rd Mersinaki Cove (ex-Club Med), Yeni Foca Canak cove (Pollen Hotel). The town has many traditional stone houses which some of them have been used as boutique hotels. Foca is also famous for its Mediterranean Seals (Monachus monachus), which are under preservation. Actually the city took its name from the seals.

Pass 23 km north Eski (Old) Foca, there is Yeni (New) Foca town, which has many summer houses. It was originally settled by Genoese who built a naval base here and called it Niyez Fokez or Phokainova, but today it's a modern summer resort for local people and doesn't offer much to foreign visitors. 

There are some small islands facing Foca, these are; Orak, Incir, Kartdere, Fener, Hayirsiz, and Metalik Islands. Especially two of them, Orak and Incir, are the islets known as the Sirens' Rocks mentioned in the Homer's Odyssey. Homer described these rocks as to where ships crashed after sailors loosing their way because of the spell-binding voices of the Sirens, mythological creatures of sort of women having wings. It was probably the effect of the wind passing over the rocks to create this sort of mythological voices. 


Known in ancient times as Clazomenae, Urla Iskelesi offers a marina as well as plentiful accommodations in all price ranges. Restaurants on the top of Güvendik hill afford a marvelous view of the bay and its islands.


On the southern side of the Çesme peninsula near the town of Seferihisar is the small picturesque marina of Sigacik. This important yachting center is surrounded by fortifications dating from the Genoese period and is a good point from which to visit the Temple of Dionysus at the antique site of Teos as well as the lovely Akkum beach.