There are many meanings of the olive tree. It is a symbol of friendship and reconciliation, cleansing and healing, light, victory, and richness - a sign of peace. It is a plant that should be treated with reverence as it holds many spiritual gifts.
It’s been blessed by all religions and you would encounter it along the fig tree bearing the same sacred meaning in Urla. Did you know that every olive orchard has a fig tree?
Urla is the place, where the first known olive oil workshop was built. Olives grown in Urla are perhaps the fattiest ones grown in the country. In addition, there is a species called 'date' ('hurma' in Turkish) that matures on its branch and becomes edible right off the tree. This phenomenon can only be observed in a narrow region starting from Urla and extending to Karaburun and can occur only under special atmospheric conditions in the middle of the olive harvest.
Grapevines, Fig, and Olive trees, spread out all over Urla, have existed in this geography since prehistoric times and have been known as the ‘fruits that established civilizations’ in the world.
The Urla mastic artichoke harvest producers can meet almost all the artichoke needs of our country today. This miraculous plant diversifies its wide local cuisine culture. Therefore, it is very likely you encounter artichokes in any given meal in Urla.
To taste the abundance and colorful flavors of the local produce from the beautiful citrus gardens and the pomegranate trees, planted in almost every olive orchard, you should come and visit Urla.
Urla Wine Route
Imagine a laid-back, peaceful town by the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. Situated between Izmir and the famous resort town of Çeşme; Urla is a special place where you can stroll along the old streets of multi-cultural coexistence, roam freely in the vineyards and olive groves for exceptional products.
Famous for its wine, this land has been named unique and indispensable for the likes of Ionians, the Persians, the Romans, and finally the Turks.
It has touched the lives of many famous and important characters such as the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, the Roman ruler Dominiatus, Evliya Çelebi, the Noble Laureate Seferis, and the famous Turkish writer, Necati Cumalı.
When the subject is viticulture for wine production, Urla is one of the premier spots in Turkey. In the fertile soils of the region, besides the internationally known grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Nero D’Avola grapes; Anatolian varieties such as Boğazkere, Sultana, and the local Bornova Muscat are popularly grown.
All these vineyards, some are 6000 years old, are proof of historical abundance and productivity.
Among the modern-day heirs, Urlice Vineyards was the first to prove its worthy of this rich heritage with its national success, where Urla Wines carried its fame internationally, with its state-of-the-art production facilities and its efforts in renovating antique local grape varieties such as Gaydura and Urla Karası. Likewise, USCA Winery with its Foça Karası and MMG Winery with its Bornova Muscat produced their signature red and white, respectively, from these antique and local grape varieties. Another claim to fame from this region is Mozaik Winery, collecting international medals with the new hybrid grape varieties of the modern viticultural world.
With new wineries, Limantepe, Urla Bağevi, and Perdix, under construction, Urla is soon to be the number one Boutique Wine Destination in Turkey. Urla Wine Route and its associates are welcoming you to discover the region, its natural beauty, and internationally acclaimed delicacies
Urla Olive Route
The olives in Urla have a story to tell ...
Klazomenai: Urla, as we know it today; is one of the 12 cities of the Ionian Civilization. Home of Anaxagoras, teacher of one of the most prominent figures in the history of thought, the founder of Ethics - Socrates. Also home of the Nobel-prised poet Giorgos Seferis. It is where Neyzen Tevfik has decided to learn to 'breathe into' the ney, where Necati Cumalı has created his best pieces of literature, where Evliya Çelebi has praised the 'date olive' (Hurma - Olea Europea), where the ancients and poets have found inspiration... Urla is where monumental olive trees, bear witness to history and an unfathomable knowledge in olive cultivation. There is a lot to say about Urla when it comes to olives and olive oil.
Olive Oil has been produced in Urla Since 600BC!
In Limantepe excavations, small handy-mortars used to crush olives from 3000-2000 BC grinding stones ceramic pots used to separate olive oil from the 'black water' and olive oil stores from later periods have been found as the precursors of the adventure of olive in Urla. The olive oil workshop in Klazomenai is a priceless asset dating back to the 6th century BC. Its impact still lingers as this was the ‘Silicon Valley’ for many technological advancements of the time where many ‘firsts’ took place.
How did humans actually learn to eat a fruit that was so bitter on its branch? According to one view, the answer to this question is hidden only in the Erkence Tree, the indigenous olive variety of the Urla Peninsula, and its fruit, the ‘date’ olive.
An atmospheric effect carried by the wind blowing from the sea by fungi-like particles, the olives on the Erkence Olive Tree ripen on their branches and they become fruity and edible with the help of the suitable environmental conditions of the region. The color of the olive fruit changes from black to golden brown becomes wrinkled and resembles a dark date fruit. This mysterious transformation, observed only in this region of the world, strengthens the argument that human beings have discovered that this bitter fruit is edible and consequently over time, resulted in processing its oil.
Your eyes undoubtedly get caught in the Anıt Erkence Olive Trees while wandering around on the Olive Route in Urla, you cannot help but notice that they hide the history of our region in its artful curves.
2600 years ago, olive oil and wine were transported in ceramic amphorae with Cycladic boats from Urla Limantepe port to all Mediterranean ports. Our esteemed local producers have taken over today and carry on this great historical heritage with pride. With their valuable efforts, Urla’s name is up onto the national and international trades today.
Agro- and gastro-tourism in Urla revolve around the vineyards and mysterious olive trees where you are invited to be a part of the stories the Urla peninsula offers you when you step on its soil.