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Alacati

The astonishing retreat

Best Time to Visit
May-September

Population
10.523

Airports
Izmir (ADB) Airport

Best Places to Stay
Town center or Cesme

When you think of Turkey’s Aegean coast, you think of turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and ancient seaside ruins. You also think of Bodrum, the go-to resort town for tourists visiting Turkey’s turquoise coast for decades. But within Izmir’s Cesme district in western Turkey lies Bodrum’s secret competitor, Alacati (pronounced ‘Ala-cha-ti’).

Alacati is often overlooked, lost in the scramble tourists engage in to see the Aegean’s most popular and well-documented attractions. So, you’ve probably never heard of the town before. But that’s not because it’s not a destination as good as the others. Instead, it’s because Alacati sits off the beaten track of most tour itineraries, a travel secret that is best experienced and less advertised.

All year-round, Alacati plays host to thousands of local and international tourists who come here to experience a quaint atmosphere in the town’s idyllic setting.

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Planning a trip to Alacati soon? Answer this trip planner and get your FREE quotation within 24 hours.

When you think of Turkey’s Aegean coast, you think of turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and ancient seaside ruins. You also think of Bodrum, the go-to resort town for tourists visiting Turkey’s turquoise coast for decades. But within Izmir’s Cesme district in western Turkey lies Bodrum’s secret competitor, Alacati (pronounced ‘Ala-cha-ti’).

Alacati is often overlooked, lost in the scramble tourists engage in to see the Aegean’s most popular and well-documented attractions. So, you’ve probably never heard of the town before. But that’s not because it’s not a destination as good as the others. Instead, it’s because Alacati sits off the beaten track of most tour itineraries, a travel secret that is best experienced and less advertised.

All year-round, Alacati plays host to thousands of local and international tourists who come here to experience a quaint atmosphere in the town’s idyllic setting.

Concierge Pin

Planning a trip to Alacati soon? Answer this trip planner and get your FREE quotation within 24 hours.

The History

Before Arrival

When to Go

What to Eat

Tips & Etiquette

Unlike most towns in the region, Alacati doesn’t have a history spanning millennia. There are neither kings and palaces nor emperors and conquests. The region’s popular association with magnificent ancient structures is absent here. Instead, you have a town whose past is as quiet and subdued as the atmosphere it so gladly offers.

Alacati’s history begins in the early 19th century. The nearby island of Chios has suffered earthquakes that have devastated the homes and livelihood of the occupying Greek families. At the same time, a well-known Turkish family is looking for people to till its vineyard and olive farm. So, they reach out to the Greek families, who drain the local swamp to build a settlement.

The worker’s settlement, a traditional Greek village of stone houses and cobblestone streets, became known as Alacati. While the surrounding vineyards produced excellent wine, the town grew into an important trading center, a town that continued to grow until after the Balkan war in 1914.

After that, its Greek inhabitants started to leave, and those who remained eventually left in the population exchange of 1923.

The town of Alacati is located in the Cesme district in Izmir, next to the Turkish Aegean coast. Getting there is relatively easy since Izmir is well connected to Turkey and the rest. There is an international airport there, Izmir Adnan Menderes, so you can always fly directly from Greece on proper days and take a 45-minute drive to the town.

Alternatively, you can fly from your home country to Istanbul and connect via a domestic flight. This is pretty easy since there are several flights between Istanbul and Izmir every day, and each barely lasts more than an hour.

Don’t go to Alacati without your swimming costume, as several beautiful beaches are waiting to give you a taste of the Aegean charm. You should also arrange your accommodation if you plan on staying there for a couple of days.

May to September is the best time to visit Alacati offering the perfect weather with warm temperatures, little rain, and little humidity.

Although people always talk of the quiet atmosphere, food is a big part of every idyllic setting. No charming town is complete without charming restaurants serving delicious local cuisines. And that’s exactly what you get in Alacati. So in between your strolls or after exploration, step into one of the town’s several restaurants.

There is much to taste here, from popular Turkish dishes like mezes and zucchinis to hidden local recipes known only to the inhabitants of Alacati. Some of the more popular restaurants in the town include Asma Yapragi, Arven, Kose Kahve, Agrilia, Eflatun, Kapari, and Orta Kahve. Each has something different to offer, but wherever you go, you are assured of delicious food and a staff that is eager to serve.

Restaurants in Alacati are quite the experience. So, they enjoy a huge demand but can only do so much to meet that demand. This is why it’s essential to make reservations before you grace a restaurant.

Often, you have to book a table a couple of days in advance due to the sheer number of people looking for the same experience. You should also know that Alacati’s restaurants are relatively lavish compared to the rest of Turkey.

Discover the best of Alacati

In Alacati, you get to do things you would do in an ordinary town; go shopping, hop between restaurants, and visit the beach. The only difference is that this particular town looks like something straight out of a painting. Its narrow streets are clean and cobbled with century-old stone. The houses on either side feature the ever so charming Greek style, with colorful shutters and doors clad in blooming bougainvillea flowers.

Explore

If you want to make the most of such a setting, you need to explore. So leave your hotel room, carry your camera, and aimlessly wander around town. Follow KemalPasa Street (the main street of the town) and branch into the side streets that run off it. Pull a chair in one of the restaurants you find along the way and enjoy the delicious taste of foods you can buy and the sweet aroma of those that you can’t. Only then will you truly appreciate the charm of this little town.

Relax on a beach

When it comes to beaches in Alacati, you are spoilt for choice. There are numerous beaches and cool beach clubs to the north, west, and south of the town where you can lie down and enjoy the best that the sun has to offer.

Have some wine

Alacati’s growth in the 19th century can be attributed to the peninsula’s fertile soils. These allowed for the growth of vineyards that have driven the town’s economy for the better part of the last two centuries.

Today, the town is surrounded by some of the best vineyards and wineries in the region. An excellent example is the Urla Sarapcilik Winery, whose vineyards are well over a millennium old. Do you want some wine tasting? Head over there once your travels within the town are finished.

You can windsurf

Windsurfers discovered Alacati long before the tourists did. Today, it’s one of the most essential windsurfing centers in the region, thanks to its mild weather and strong winds. Its waters are also shallow enough for beginners to take a shot at the sail.

The markets

If you want to delve deeper into the local culture, wait till Saturday for the farmers market. On this day, vendors come from all over the area to sell locally grown fruits and vegetables. Of course, there are also textiles for sale, but these don’t take center stage.

A more intriguing experience is at the fish market; it’s one of the few places where people bid for fish at an auction.

Alacati Tours

Where to Go Next

If you somehow manage to pull yourself from the charm of Alacati, there is a whole world of treasures waiting for you in the Cesme peninsula and greater Izmir area. Start with Cesme town, a vibrant port village neighboring Alacati. It presents a picturesque maritime setting with a rich history and romantic atmosphere. Here, you have numerous restaurants and cafes, beach clubs, stunning beaches, and a marina you’ll want to spend some time exploring.

If you still want more, the whole of Izmir awaits. You can visit ancient locations like Pergamon, Smyrna, Serdis, and Pergamon Asceplion. More popular attractions like Ephesus are also within a couple of hours’ drive from Alacati. Other worthy destinations include Izmir City, Izmir Archeology Museum, Kadifekale, Adaland Aquapark, etc.

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