Visitors come for the charming old stone houses on narrow streets lined with sidewalk cafes, restaurants andboutiques. Over 80 small inns and boutique hotelsprovide hospitality. (My favorite is the Taş Otel.)
Among the most eager visitors are windsurfers, who come for the predictable brisk winds over a safe, wave-less, sand-bottom bay.
A windfarm (ranks of wind-propelled electricity generators) on a neighboring hilltop testifies to the strength and reliability of the winds.
Alaçatı (AH-lah-chah-tuh) was founded around 1850, when Ottoman Greek workers from the Aegean islands were brought to the mainland to drain malaria-breeding marshes.
The Greek workers and their families liked what they found (when the malaria was gone), and stayed. They named their village Agrilia. Soon their vineyards were producing winefor export.
The League of Nations-mandated exchange of populationsfollowing WWI changed the face of Agrilia, bringing Turkish Muslims from the Balkan countries to the village. The Greek inhabitants were moved to new homes in Greece.
For years, Agrilia/Alaçatı slept, a small farming village forgotten by time. This was lucky, as the village kept much of its character, allowing it to be preserved and beautified.
It’s now in the midst of a construction boom. Right next to a beautifully-restored old stone house, you’ll see a derelict ruin, or a construction site. Some streets are paved with old stones in the traditional way, some are asphalt, some are dirt.
A sidewalk bistrot awaits dinner guests.