Foça Travel Guide

Foça is a loveable seaside town which is located in the north of İzmir. It is known also as the Old Foça which named after ancient Phocaea or Phokaia which was an Ionian town in the Ancient Age. Phocaea was located between today’s Old and New Foça has deep-rooted history with its historical artifacts. It is known the Phokaia got its name from the rare seals in the area.

New Foça is formerly known as Nea Phocaea. It is away 16 km from Foça’s town center. New Foça attracts attention with stronghold stone houses built by Turks and Greeks besides the blended pattern of two different culture’s harmonic traces. New Foça has a charming beauty with its modest little bazaar, boutique hotels, and beaches.

Fishing Boats in Foca
Foça is a lovely holiday resort in the İzmir Province of Turkey

Foça counts among the must-see places with its Old and New Foça. Old Foça mostly having archeological and historical importance that makes you want to lose in its streets. Furthermore, New Foça offers an amazing cultural harmony besides the town embraced by the natural beauties and the gorgeous beaches.

Where is Foça Located on the Map of Turkey?

Foça is located nearly 70 km north of Izmir. Foça is surrounded by Aliağa in the east, Menemen in the south, and the Aegean Sea in the west and north.

About the City

Population

The population has increased nearly tripled in the last 55 years. The ratio of rural and urban areas showed a fairly balanced distribution in the censuses of the first years. However, the rural population decreased as some villages were taken into neighborhood status in 2008. The population of Foça has been determined as 33,227 by 2020 data.

Foça is famous for its beautiful stone houses
Foça is famous for its beautiful stone houses

Geography

Foça Islands are connected to the county. The region starting from Mersin and Antalya extends to Izmir, Fça is located within this region. Foça, which attracts the attention of local and foreign tourists, is the first stop of the sea cruises  and other excursions with its blue flag beaches. Foça’s sea is very clear and clean and has a public beach. It is also one of the favorite diving sports stops in Izmir with its many diving spots. Foça has clean air thanks to it is one of the rare places that has managed to stay natural due to its historical ruins.

Climate

Historical Baklatanesi windmills on Foca hills
Historical Baklatanesi windmills on Foca hills

At an altitude of about 31 feet above sea level, Foça has a warm and temperate climate. Winter month receive more rains than in summers. Foça’s average annual temperature was measured as 62.6 °F. For more detailed information about the highest and lowest temperatures measured in Foça, please see:

MonthMean TemperatureExpected Weather Condition
Jan8.5°C (47.3°F)Rainy, Windy
Feb9.2°C (48.56°F)Rainy, Windy
Mar11.5°C (52.7°F)Rainy, Windy, Sunny
April14.6°C (58.28°F)Windy, Sunny
May19.1°C (66.38°F)Sunny, Windy
June23.6°C (74.48°F)Sunny 
July26.2°C (79.16°F)Sunny 
Aug26.4°C (79.52°F)Sunny 
Sep22.6°C (72.68°F)Sunny 
Oct18.2°C (64.76°F)Sunny, Windy
Nov14°C (57.2°F)Windy, Sunny
Dec10°C (50°F)Rainy, Windy

The number of rainy days, on the other hand, starts from 8 days and decreases by one day from january to april. While the number of rainy days is 3 in may and 1 in June, zero in july and august. It is 2 in september, 4 in october, 6 in november, and 9 in december, respectively.

July is usually the driest month of the year. It has not been observed that the temperature has decreased below 0°C (32.00°F) since mild climatic conditions prevail in Foça.

History of Foça

Foça was one of the most important settlements of Ionians back in the Ancient Age. It can be said that today’s Western Civilizations be founded in Ionia in 6 BC. Ionia headed in terms of philosophy, architecture, and sculpture back in its period. Ionian seafarers were greatly versed. They succeeded to produce large capacity boats that fit inside nearly 500 people. They were considered good both at engineering and seafaring which allows them to colonize lots of. Ionians, which also accomplished the trading area, were watched for an opportunity from other civilizations. The glorious history of Ionians comes to an end with the Persian occupation.

Later, the Ionian lands, which hosted Alexander the Great, the Kingdom of Pergamon, and the Romans, passed to the Genoese. Later, Mehmet the Conqueror annexed Ionian to Ottoman lands. Foça was in Greek domination from 15 May 1919 to 11 September 1922. In the War of Independence, Atatürk saved Foça and annexed it to Turkey again. Today, September 11 is celebrated as the liberation day of Foça.

Getting to Foça

There are many possibilities for transportation to Foça, which is 70 km from İzmir. If you prefer to go in your personal vehicle, it is reasonable to let you visit all the bays. However, narrow streets in Old Foça can also put you at a disadvantage.

By Plane

If you have decided to see Foça which is one of the most beautiful holiday resorts with its touristic importance, beautiful bays, and historical importance, you must first go to Izmir. The distance between İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport and Foça is approximately 80 km. You can take the train from Izban Airport Station and get off at the Hatundere stop and reach Foça by taking the 744 ESHOT bus from Hatundere.

Another option would be to go to the bus terminal with the municipality bus number 204 from the airport. You can reach Foça by minibusses from the terminal. However, if you are not familiar with Foça, we recommend you choose the first option for a more guaranteed way in order not to miss your destination.

İzmir International Nonstop Flights 

  • Germany
  • Azerbaijan
  • White Russia- Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Finland
  • Holland
  • Iraq
  • England
  • Iran
  • Sweden
  • Italia
  • Lithuania
  • Qatari
  • Cyprus
  • Kuwaiti
  • Moldova
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Ukraine
  • Jordan
  • Greece

Izmir Domestic Nonstop Flights

  • Istanbul
  • Ankara
  • Adana
  • Antalya
  • Diyarbakır
  • Gaziantep
  • Kayseri
  • Trabzon
  • Van
  • Samsun
  • Elazığ
  • Hatay
  • Erzurum
  • Malatya
  • Kars
  • Şanlıurfa
  • Ağrı
  • Sivas
  • Konya

By Bus

According to the information I received from the Old Foça Bus Terminal, a direct intercity bus to Foça from any part of Turkey is not available. However, you can find direct bus and minibus services from Izmir districts such as Ayvalık, Dikili, and Bergama to Foça.

In addition, you can find intercity bus services from all over Turkey to Izmir.

How to Get to Foça From Izmir City Center?

There are many alternatives to go to Foça from Izmir city center. The services that provide transportation services to Foça are as follows: Izban, municipal buses, minibusses, and ferry services.

Additionally, you can provide transportation from İzmir to Old Foça without transferring by Foça Birlik Tourism services. For a piece of detailed information, please see: http://www.focabirlikturizm.com/

Urban Transportation

Urban transportation in Foça is varied and easy. We have listed the alternatives that you can use in Foça and while arriving Foça from Izmir:

Bus Services

There are bus services between İzmir and Foça that depart from Yenigaraj every half hour on average. Due to the pandemic, working hours and the number of passengers may vary. Prices may vary between 4 TL and 20 TL depending on the station to be descended. For detailed information about departure times and fees, see: http://www.focabirlikturizm.com/

Izban

You can also reach Foça from Izmir by using the Izban metro. After getting off at the Hatundere station, you should take the 744 Foça-Hatundere ESHOT bus. For detailed information about the starting points and price schedule of the Izban metro line, see: https://www.izban.com.tr/FiyatTarifesi.html

Ferry Services

 In summer, there are ferry services from Foça-Karaburun-Mordoğan. In addition, you can find ferry services in the direction of Konak-Karşıyaka-Foça on weekends. For detailed information about ferry services, tariffs, and additional information about the normalization period of pandemic conditions, see: https://www.izdeniz.com.tr/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Minibusses

It is also possible to find a minibus every 20 minutes to the beaches from Eski Foça to Hanedan Bay during the summer season. During the winter months, the minibusses times change as once an hour. 

Alternative vehicles

You can choose a taxi or a personal vehicle. In addition to contributing positively to your travel plan, the narrow streets of Old Foça can put you in a difficult situation.

Bicycles

It may sound surprising, but cycling is very common in Foça! If you wish, you can bring your bicycle for a stroll in the touristic streets of Foça blended with history, or you can rent a bicycle.

Top Things To Do in Foça

In this part of our article, we have brought together the historical and natural beauties worth visiting in Foça. We continue our article with the beautiful side streets and rare stone houses of Foça.

Old Foça Streets and Foça Stone Houses

A beautiful stone house in Foça
A beautiful stone house in Foça

One of the most loved and known features of Foça is its stone houses, all of which are more beautiful than the other. We recommend that you do not underestimate Foça’s uniquely beautiful stone houses and the historical texture they will make you feel. To discover these uniquely beautiful streets and stone houses in Old Foça, all you have to do is stream through the side streets. Foça is such a beautiful and unique place that sometimes you can find surprisingly beautiful views from the side streets that you never expected. Reha Midilli Street is one of the most unique and beautiful streets of Foça with its historical houses. You can start your tour here. In order to leave Foça in a completely satisfied state, we can recommend that you do not limit your trip to the coastline only.

Foça City Walls and Beşkapılar Castle

Old castle and city walls of Foça
Old castle and city walls of Foça

It’s just like, “Okay, there’s nowhere to go anymore.” when you think, the city walls and Beşkapılar Castle, which you come across after you pass the fishermen, offer you a unique view by the sea. Indeed, Beşkapılar, which takes its name from the 5 doors lined up side by side, offers visitors a unique viewer experience to its landscape. Beşkapılar, which is used as an open-air theater nowadays, also hosts various events and exhibitions. You can go and see it whenever you want!

If you want to see the breathtaking view of Beşkapılar, you can spend a beautiful day against the view in the opposite direction.

Boat Excursion in Foça

If you want to see the beautiful and different bays of Foça, witness its sights and immortalize those moments with unique photographs, we recommend a boat tour. If you want to see the legendary Siren Rocks, named after the Sirens, you should join the day-long tours. It is not possible to see the Siren Rocks with short tours. On the other hand, if you want to spend a romantic evening, “Moonlight Tours” lasting approximately 1, 1 and a half hours is just for you.

Kozbeyli Village

Kozbeyli village which is connected to Foça is a place that is not yet known so much. Kozbeyli village, which is both famous for its stone houses and a quiet settlement, definitely deserves a tour. If you want to explore the stone houses and the unique texture of the village in this quiet village, we recommend you to visit Kozbeyli in september and october. Because taking a stroll in the hot summer months can be a bit overwhelming and tiring compared to normal.

Where to Go Swimming in Foça?

One of the most beautiful activities to do in Foça is undoubtedly swimming in its beautiful beaches and bays. We have listed a few places for you:

  • Hanedan Beach: It is one of the most preferred places to swim in Foça.
  • Sazlıca Beaches: Between Old and New Foça, it is one of the suitable areas for camping.
  • Voodoo Beach: It is a beach where young people are concentrated, which is considered more crowded and fun than others.

What to Eat?

We have listed the local and famous dishes of Foça for you:

  • Red Mullet: The taste of this special type of fish grown in Foça is another good one. We recommend you try it.
  • Fritter with Mussels and Shrimp: We recommend you to try this unique dish of Foça, where the seafood is very popular and often consumed.
  • Salads: If you want to have a light meal with purslane and rocket salads, you are at the right place.

Nightlife

There are options suitable for all kinds of entertainment in Foça. If you want to listen to live music,  you can go to bars on the beach. Or, If you want to spend a quiet evening, you can spend time in stylish and quiet cafes. In addition, discos and clubs have no end to the fun.

Shopping

You can find products of local culture in Foça’s most famous bazaar.

Foça Yeryüzü Bazaar

The bazaar, which is set up on Sundays, includes products produced naturally thanks to local producers in the villages. You can do your shopping comfortably without having any doubt about whether the products contain GMOs. The market maintains its importance as the products reach the consumer directly from the producer.

Events

The festivals that have been going on for years in Foça have moved to the international level in recent years. The festivals that started in 2004 are now known as the International Foça Festival. The festival usually lasts 3 days and hosts many Turkish celebrities and visitors.

Where to Stay?

If you are having problems about whether to stay in Old Foça or New Foça, we hope this section of our article will help you. Yeni Foça is a region where the majority of sites are located and people who want to take a summer vacation stay. On the other hand, Old Foça is a place known as the “real” Foça, which makes you feel like a local. Our recommendation is to stay in Old Foça if you want to witness history and stay in a relatively quiet place.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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