URLA FESTIVAL TOURISM
Urla has become quite popular with its many gastronomical festivals in recent years. The International Urla Artichoke Festival, the Barbaros Scarecrow Festival, the Traditional Herb Festival, the Bademler International Village Theatres Festival, the Nohutalan Cantaloupe Festival, the Sardine Festival, the Literature Festival, and the traditional 2600-year-old Grape Harvest Festival may be a reason to visit and experience Urla.
Urla International Artichoke Festival
The International Urla Artichoke Festival is held every year, in the last week of April, to honor and promote the infamous Urla mastic artichoke. The festival lasts three days and hosts thousands of out-of-town and international visitors. The festival is enlivened by tasting events, kitchen workshops, cooking talks, exhibitions, and music concerts. The event is a part of the World Gourmet Cities Network and has become a cooking and tasting playground for world-famous chefs.
The mastic artichoke is a perennial plant with purple flowers and is unique to the Urla Peninsula. The beauty of this delicious plant lies in the fact that it is entirely edible – you would be surprised how delicious its stems can be. The artichoke has been commercially produced in Urla since 1945 and shown a great increase in planted agricultural land in the last years. Thanks to this festival, artichoke production in the town reached 35 million pieces per year and the producers' income has increased tremendously. In 2018, the Urla mastic artichoke was awarded a regional geographical distinction and is a special gastronomic product that is now exported to many corners of the world.
Urla Grape Harvest Festival
This traditional holiday has been carried out under the name of “Grape Festivals” for more than 20 years in cooperation with the Municipality of Urla and the Chamber of Agriculture. The festivities are held every year in August, in the historical Malgaca Bazaar.
During the festival, the producers bring out their hard-earned harvest and present their grapes to the festival visitors, accompanied by folk music and drums. The festival starts with folk dances on the giant stage set up in the festival area and continues with the selection of the best grape producer. Ranked producers are awarded.
Barbaros Scarecrow (Öyük) Festival
Barbaros Öyük Festival was fırst initiated in 2016 with the support of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, the Urla Municipality, and the Western Urla Villages Association, and became one of the favorite events held in Urla.
The three-day festival attracts attention every year. The hand-made scarecrows give the village a mysterious, beautiful view. The villagers have called these scarecrows ‘öyük’ for many generations, therefore, the name of the festival became Öyük Festival. The most beautiful scarecrow, the most beautiful courtyard, and the best cooking competitions are held throughout the festival.