Guide to Birgi: One of The Best Tourism VillagesBy SU Magazin / 2023-01-26
Birgi added to UNWTO Best Tourism Villages List
As announced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Birgi village has been added to the 2022 Best Tourism Villages List. 32 villages from 18 countries around the world were awarded by UNWTO and Izmir's Birgi is one of them!
Candidates for the list were evaluated on nine criteria consisting of cultural and natural resources, protection and promotion of cultural values, economic sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, tourism development and integration of the value chain, infrastructure and accessibility, health, safety, and security.
Some 130 applications were submitted from 57 countries for the 2022 competition and Cumalikizik village from Bursa province and Anitli village of Mardin province were also among the candidates. As a result, Birgi managed to be among the best 32 entrepreneur tourism villages in the world this year. Birgi was also included on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2012.
When and How to Visit Birgi?
Birgi is one of the villages in the inner regions of Izmir and spring is the best time to visit Birgi. You can meet the awakening of nature in the spring with the warmth of the Aegean people and experience the miraculous colors of nature in autumn under the atmosphere of Birgi. If you plan your Birgi trip on a Saturday, you can visit the market in the village where local products are sold.
If you are going to choose a plane for transportation, Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport will be your first destination. Renting a car to reach the village from here can be your primary choice. If you prefer public transportation, after arriving in Izmir, you can reach Odemis by taking the Odemis trains departing from Basmane station and lastly reach the village by a minibus ride.
Places to See in Birgi
The most interesting aspect of Birgi is its preserved structure bearing the traces of different civilizations it has hosted. Birgi awaits us with its stone houses, centuries-old plane trees, and history. The houses that offer nature and history intertwined on cobblestone streets, usually decorated with wooden details on top of stone walls, constitute one of the important steps of Birgi's travel route.
Cakiraga Mansion was built in the 1700s by a former merchant, Cakiroglu Mehmet Bey. The mansion, which has been restored and turned into a museum today, is considered to be one of the rarest works that carry the architectural features of the period, from wall paintings of Izmir and Istanbul to pencil and wood carvings.
Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey Mosque
Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey Mosque was built in 1312 and is one of the structures that has become a symbol of Birgi over time. After being built by Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey the mosque has become known as Great Mosque among the people and it expanded its area with the Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey Tomb and the tombs of the family members of the Aydinogullari Principality.
Dervis Aga Mosque
Another structure that is among the must-see places in Birgi is Dervis Aga Mosque. The mosque, which was built in the second half of the 1600s, is one of the addresses that are the subject of Evliya Celebi's travel book. Dervis Aga Madrasa, built by Dervis Aga, is also valuable in that it brings the social living spaces of the period to the present.
Demirli Magaza is another one of the early Ottoman buildings of Birgi. Although its appearance differs due to the restoration works it has undergone, it stands out as one of the examples of the vaulted structure and masonry application specific to the period of the Ottoman Empire.
Birgi Square is undoubtedly one of the most touristic spots. It is the central point to buy the products of local producers firsthand or to have a coffee that will help you process the beautiful buildings and urbanism you see.
What to Purchase in Birgi?
It is possible to buy silk woven loincloths and shawls as gifts in Birgi, which dates back to the 14th century in silkworm breeding.
Supported by the Sabanci Foundation and contributing to social development, the project “Weaving Their Future with Silk” is a part of the Difference Makers program. You can support women's participation in social life and the local economy by purchasing the products they produce by coming together. Again in the region, you can buy butter, cheese, jam, or sourdough bread from small businesses selling natural products.