Alacati is rapidly becoming the latest must visit destination in Turkey. This fascinating little down is located on the far-west Cesme Peninsula where thermal springs rise from the ground and Ottoman towns and villages look down from the hill-tops.
Walk through cobbled streets with flower-laden whitewashed buildings and enjoy shady peaceful courtyards. A really good variety of stylish boutiques offers just about everything you could want from embroidered goods to beautifully coloured dried flowers. You'll certainly find some wonderful gifts here.
Where to Shop
You could try Be-Dest. This is one of the most unusual bookshops I've ever seen. It's a cross between a hotel, a book store and an antique parlour. It also has its own café.
On Saturday Sehitlik Street is transformed into a bustling market with local produce including fruits and jams as well as colourful hand-painted crockery.
Surfing, Bathing and Beaching
The town doesn't actually have its own beach, but there are plenty nearby to choose from. One of the best is Wyndy beach where the shallow waters make a great bathing spot for families. The Wyndy Beach Club is a somewhat sophisticated venue with white leather sun loungers and a large infinity pool. Surfers might enjoy the nearby Alcati Surf Garden with its beach cafe. Another good beach is Ilica with fine soft white sand and at Yildizburnu beach you should look for the small thermal spring.
Open-air Theatre at Ephesus
What to Do When You're Not on the Beach
You might not always want to be on the beach, surfing or sunbathing. Attractions in the region include the ruins of ancient Ephesus, one of the best conserved classical cities in the world. It's about a 90-minute drive away. Highlights of your visit will include the Library of Ephesus and the open-air theatre which dates from the 10th-century BC. If you're lucky you might see a rehearsal, or even a performance, as the site is still used for theatrical productions today.
The House of the Virgin Mary
Not too far from Ephesus is the House of the Virgin Mary where many people believe Mary spent her last days. This is a popular pilgrimage site for both Muslims and Christians who light candles in the tiny stone chapel which dates back to the 1st century AD.
Where to Eat, Sleep, and Dance the Night Away
Eating Out in Alacati
Alacati has plenty of cafes and restaurants where local specialities include cuttlefish with Aegean herbs, or sea bass with a delicious red pepper mayonnaise. Also on the menu is salty crusted baked fish and the most wonderful baklava usually served with pistachio cream.
The Night Life Awakens
Alacati and neighbouring towns offer a selection of nightclubs where you can dance the night away. At some of the beach clubs, such as the Marrakech Beach Club in Cesme, you can spend the day relaxing by the pool and the night dancing until the early hours. You could also try Foryu, an open-air bar and restaurant located at the new Alavya resort.
Where to Stay
The best way to go is to book via a travel agent who will help you choose your hotel or guest house, book your flight, and everything else you need. Or why not be adventurous and surf the net where you can book hotels and flights separately, and possible save a lot of money. A good place to find out about hotels, flights, etc., is Turkey Tourism.
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