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Turkey is packed with beautiful destinations, but some of the lesser-known spots are often the ones you should be looking more towards. When you head slightly off the beaten track, you get a far more authentic experience, and you get to enjoy the Turkish hospitality that’s so famous around the world.
We all know that Izmir is a cosmopolitan city on the country’s west coast, and it’s a great place to spend a few days. However, you might want to chill out somewhere a little less frenetic and a bit more laid-back. In that case, you have to head to Alacati.
What Should Know About Alacati
Alacati is a beach town on the coast, a very short distance away from Izmir. That means it’s easy to get to because you can fly straight into Izmir airport. Located on the Cesme Peninsula, you can also head over to Cesme, a slightly larger beach town just up the coast.
Alacati has grown in popularity over the last few years, but it’s still considered a hidden gem. You’ll find many of the rich and famous now head to the town for its fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches – you might spot someone famous!
The town is upmarket, sophisticated, yet it still has that calm feel to it. There is a considerable amount of Greek history along the cobbled streets, and you’ll probably wonder whether you’re in Turkey or Greece at times! The blend is truly remarkable, and it’s something you’ll enjoy. It’s also the ideal destination for anyone who wants lazy days and vibrant evenings.
Lazily Explore The Town
It’s really all about lazy days chilling out in Alacati, but there are some great spots in and around the town too. The cobbled streets are more than worth exploration, and again, you’ll notice the Greek influence. You’ll also be able to see an evident pavement cafe vibe, with trees and bright pink flowers providing the shade as you sit outside the cafe, with the world passing you by. Many of the cafes and restaurants are also family-run so that you can be sure of a delicious experience!
The main street is called Kemal Pasa Street, and that’s where you’ll find the main action, but if you venture off that street, you’ll find even more to explore, including windmills up the hill and brightly painted buildings.
If you’re in Alacati on a Saturday, head to the market and enjoy some of the most delicious fresh fruits and vegetables around. There is also a fish market you can check out – whether you want to cook or not! Locally grown produce from the local villages can be found at these markets, and if you’re a fruit lover, you’ll never taste fruit like this. There are also stalls selling clothes and handmade souvenirs too.
Head To The Beach
Of course, summer fun wouldn’t be complete without a lazy day or two on the beach, and the great news is that there are some stunning spots to head to. You can walk to the local beaches and chill out to your heart’s content, or head a little further to Cesme itself and enjoy the crystal clear waters with a more crowded vibe. Several beach clubs along the peninsula if you prefer a more upmarket vibe to your day.
Wherever you choose to lay your beach towel, the water along this part of the coastline is crystal clear, to the point where you won’t quite believe it’s true. The beaches are also fine sand, although make sure you wear beach shoes as the sand gets super-hot during the day!
History & Wine Tasting
If you’ve had enough of wandering around and lying on the beach, what else can you do? Well, how about some history?
Ephesus is very close to Alacati, and this is one of the most stunning examples of the ancient world you’ll probably ever see. A living, breathing museum, Ephesus dates back to the 10th century BC, and at one point, was the most important Greek city for trading the Mediterranean. It’s one of those places that you’ll kick yourself if you don’t see, so make sure that you head there during your time in Alacati. The good news is that it’s only 1.5 hours away by road.
If you want to check out some of the most delicious wines in the region, head to Urla, around half an hour away. This entire part of Turkey is now famous for wine production, and again, this comes down to the Greek influence left on the area throughout history. There are several wineries in the region, and you’ll get to learn how wine is made, and of course, taste a little of it too. Some wineries even have on-site hotels within the rolling hills, so if you end up having a glass too many, you can always stay over!
Vibrant Evenings In Alacati
At first glance, you might think that Alacati is simply a chilled-out and beautiful place to spend a few days, but when night falls, you see the town come alive!
Head to the main street to any one of the restaurants, and you’ll notice crowds. Bars, restaurants, live music, you name it. It’s an upmarket type of nightlife that draws the rich and famous, but it has that accessible for all feel. Of course, you won’t find all-night partying in nightclubs here; it’s a far more sophisticated affair! If you want to head to a club, you’ll find more than enough in Izmir.
So, if you’re keen to try something a little off the beaten track but with a tourism safety net, Alacati should be your next destination.