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Boats

Come market day the town teems with Greeks, who come across on the short ferry ride from neighbouring island Lesbos. Even closer is the Anatolian isle of Cunda, where some of Turkey’s rich and famous own houses. Aside from the beautifully decrepit Greek orthodox churches, a windmill perches atop the island’s crest; once a chapel, the building has been converted into a library and bar.

 

It’s the perfect spot for sundowners before heading quayside, where wooden fishing boats bob on the water, streetside stalls peddle chilled almonds and the pavements are thronged with local musicians. Fresh fish is the order of the day at the restaurants lining the waterfront, but we also make space for courgette flowers stuffed with rice, plates of samphire and cheese stuffed peppers.

 

Back in Ayvalik at the Taksiyarhis guesthouse there’s plenty of space to wallow in before bed, from the warren of lounges to foliage-draped terraces. Spread over three floors the 200-year-old Greek stone house was initially intended as a family home. “We bought the house but it was too big so we wanted to share it,” Yasemin says of the property she bought with her tour leader husband some 25 years ago. I drift off in my room just as the call to prayer echoes through the streets, a cool sea breeze sweeping in through the windows. If I had a house in Ayvalik I’m not sure I’d be so keen to share it.

Book it

Intrepid Travel offers a 13-day Real Food Adventure of Turkey, which includes two nights at the Taksiyarhis guesthouse (subject to availability) in Ayvalik. Prices start from £1,305pp based on a September 6 departure. The price includes accommodation, all breakfasts and selected other meals, activities, transport and a local guide.

 

Cox & Kings offers three nights at the Yundantik Cunda Konaklari hotel, Ayvalik priced from £595pp including easyJet flights, private transfers and daily breakfast.

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TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
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