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10 Tem 2013

ALAÇATI: MORE THAN SURFERS' PARADISE




We have been watching surfers for hours sitting here at one of the best beaches in Aegean coast of Turkey. I like watching them, that's all. Having tried once years ago, I've decided that it's not my thing. My husband is the real " all sports guy" in the family, especially he likes water sports. Here in Alaçatı (also named as Agrilia  or Alatsata), the weather is always windy making it ideal for surfing.
Today it is widely known as  "windsurfers' paradise". Some excellent surfing schools are located in the area. Both kids and grown ups take courses on daily and weekly basis.

Although there is a growing interest from European travel agencies, Alaçatı is mainly filled with Turkish vacationers and surfers from Istanbul and İzmir. In fact, this beautiful place has a lot to offer for everyone including sports, fun and food.



Back to my experience in Alaçatı, the key word for my summer vacation is "the beach". I love beaches because I love swimming. My summer vacations  often include local gourmet tours, visits to ancient cities and museums but I'd like to swim at least two times a day. Alaçatı has beaches that are open to public even though some of them are located in front of the hotels and private clubs. The beaches are either sandy (Solto beach ) or partly rocky & coarse sand (Alkoçlar). Yes, there are not long, expansive patches of sand found here like Antalya and Alanya but the water is perfectly clean, comforting winds usually make the summer heat quite bearable and beach facilities are good except not having lifeguards.

In general, the Aegean coast  has many natural bays and peninsulas. İzmir province contains some
stunning blue flag beaches. Aside from " sea and sun", historic sites like "Ephesus", "House of Virgin Mary", "Teos" and many others make the region a must destination for travelers.

During our vacation in June, we stayed at Hotel Alkoçlar and Hotel Solto, both having good facilities and beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters.


Hotel Alkoçlar 

Hotel Solto



Hotel Alkoçlar

The beach - Hotel Solto 

Hotel Solto


Alaçatı Town 

The old town Alaçatı, a picturesque lively town where colorful shops, hotels and restaurants are lined in the typical streets, is worth to discover. It is only 2 kms away from the surfing and holiday resort. Transportation is made by the small local buses (mini bus) that depart frequently in high season.

typical fish restaurant 
Old stone houses of Alacatı...


Many of the proprietors have converted town's rustic houses into chic boutique hotels. The authentic 
village atmosphere is beautiful; I hope it will not lose the charm of its tranquil cobblestone streets as the town grows bigger. 
  

Tuval - one of the signature places in Alaçatı
beautiful shady seating area outside... 
Becoming increasingly the choice destination of natural food enthusiasts, the town is a heaven for foodies. Restaurants, cafes, Turkish pudding shops, bakeries and patisseries are lined in the narrow streets. Most restaurants are mainly located in the renovated old town houses with small flowery gardens. Authentic dishes in the region are flavored with mastic (sakız), thyme (kekik), mint (nane) and other Aegean herbs and spices. Aegean garden herbs like blessed thistle (şevket-i bostan), rock samphire (kayakoruğu), sorrel (kuzukulağı), stinging nettle (ısırgan) and mallow (ebegümeci) are some of ingredients in the simple yet flavorful Turkish Aegean cuisine.

"Spring  festival" in Alaçatı, dedicated to the promotion of the Aegean herbs, is a colorful event that takes place in April. Articles on preserving the authenticity of the Aegean cuisine are always found in local and national papers.



delicious ice cream with mastic...
İmren Patisserie
- Kemalpaşa Caddesi No:72

open markets are filled with all kinds of vegetables and garden herbs.

 Fashion boutiques and shops selling local textile products are also worth visiting...

L'orange de Candan  -  A boutique with unique designs and
reasonable prices...
Yeni Mecidiye Mah. Kemalpaşa Cad. No:91    

L'orange de Candan 
handcrafts, textiles, arts and bijouterie... shopping is fun here!

"Begendik Abi"  branch of famous Urla Restaurant:
dishes with Aegean herbs are recommended...
Cardamom (kakule) flavored delicious butter cookies

one of local bakery stores famous for butter cookies...
"Alaçatı Köy Kurabiyecisi"

 "El Beso" restaurant - sofa with pretty cushions...

You should take a late afternoon stroll into the town's heart filled with stone houses, gardens and secret paths. Various shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and local gourmet products like jams and preserves, olive oil, molasses, dried herbs, pottery and handcrafts are found in the town. 

If you do not fancy shopping, you can take a seat at one of the shady street cafes and have some lemonade infused with fresh mint leaves. Then you can return to your hotel for a quick dip into the fresh waters of Aegean sea... 


so nice! 
I loved it!  on the restaurant table in Alaçatı...

SOME NOTES:
  1. Transfer from İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport to Alacatı is less than 2 hours.
  2. Surfing classes are held during the summer months with qualified instructors. I happened to meet a crowded kids group at the hotel  from the age of eight. I was told that English speaking kids are welcomed. 
  3. If you want to get an idea with the whole region including the lovely neighbour town of Çeşme car rental is a must.
  4. Do not miss "Saturday bazaar" :  market stalls full of everything local and natural...

2 yorum:

  1. Its really great post you have shared, which is informative and knowledgeable. I appreciate your great work. Keep me more updates. gold coast car rentals

    YanıtlaSil
  2. Thanks a lot Daniel, glad you liked it! Yes, I need to update this post as hotels I mentioned changed names, etc etc... I will publish a revised and expanded blog post probably in April.

    Best wishes, DenizMontreal

    YanıtlaSil