Ayvalık, on Turkey's north Aegean coast opposite the Greek island of Lesvos (Mytileni), 151 km (94 miles) north of İzmir and 163 km (101 miles) south of Çanakkale (map), is a popular North Aegean seaside
resort for Turks in need of sun, sand, sea and seafood.
Surrounded by groves of olive trees which
produce much of Turkey's best olive
oil, Ayvalık (AHY-vah-luhk, "Quince Orchard",
pop. 30,000) has an interesting
After the collapse of
Empire, the Ottoman Greeks of
Ayvalık moved to Greece, and Turkish
citizens of Greece moved to Ayvalik.
Thus, even after the Greeks left, you
could still hear Greek spoken in
the streets of Ayvalık,
although the speakers were Turkish
Muslims (who had grown up in Greece).
The harbor at Ayvalık...
Ayvalık has several Orthodox churches
now converted to mosques, and some graceful old mansions made into boutique hotels.
For example, the 9-room Macaron Konağı is a historic stone mansion only 100 meters inland from the harbor, convenient to everything. More...
tourists throng the many waterside
open-air restaurants in summer,
or take the ferry across the bay
to Alibey Island (Cunda) where
there are even more good waterside
restaurants and tavernas.
relaxing, swimming and boating are
the things to do here in summer. Sarımsaklı Beach, on a quiet cove southwest of the town center, is the most popular place to spend the day.
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Peaceful times on Ayvalık harbor...
became mosques as Ottoman Greeks
moved out and Greek Turks moved
into Ayvalık after
World War I.