One of Turkey's mystical places is Assos. Whether you choose to camp under the stars the traditional way with your tent and sleeping bag, or opt to stay at a villa with all the bells and whistles, you can rest assured the beauty of this place will rejuvenate you
The recent thunderstorms in Istanbul have reminded people of a sad reality: Summer is ending. While many have had their fill of sand and sea, others have still yet to find the time for an escape from the intense workload they bear. Well, the holiday you seek may not necessarily be a thousand kilometers away. There is a hidden heaven not far from the busy metropolis: Assos. Do not let the name fool you this place is not in Greece rather in the south of Çanakkale.
First of all, let's look at the road ahead seeing as most travel junkies thinks it is more about the journey, not the destination. Unless you wish to take a detour around the Marmara Sea going towards Kocaeli, you have to take the Tekirdağ road and from there go south to Gallipoli. If you have time, you should visit this historic peninsula and pay your respects for those that fell in World War I, on both sides. After that, you can look forward to a lovely ferry ride across the Dardanelles.
Since you are going down the outskirts of Çanakkale, you might as well visit the Troy, right? After that bear with the road another hour or so and voila, you are in Assos.
There are two different tourists in Assos mainly. The first group are those who maintain a residence there for summer escapades. Seeing as you are a newcomer, that doesn't include you. Next are the campers. You might stay in a small motel that runs down the coast line but if you want the full Assos experience, you should really bring your tent. Well even if you didn't most of the campsites have tents that are already built and they will rent them to you for a fee. Of course some of the campsites also have several bungalows, if you are the type that cannot sleep without a wall around you. Most of the campsites are next to the beach so a morning swim before breakfast is always an alluring option. Not to mention the fact that exercise and good weather will bring up your appetite. The water by Assos is one of the best and cleanest in the Aegean Sea with only one downside, most of the beaches are rocky rather than sandy. But don't fret, thanks to the small piers you can get to the sandy part of the sea directly, which is only a couple of meters away from the beach. The water isn't very deep but, still, caution is always appreciated. This is a swimmers paradise with no moss around and small fishes dancing in the water making you feel like an observer studying underwater life. If you are lucky, you might even see a dolphin on the horizon.
Comparing to the other popular tourist destinations across the Aegean like Bodrum or Çeşme, Assos remains rather calm and unpopulated. This also effects the prices, of course. You can find much cheaper accommodation and dining here compared to the aforementioned places. That being said, thanks to the increasing number of people visiting every year some of the frequent visitors claim that the prices were even lower a couple of years back. So grab your chance for a good and cheap holiday while you still can.
As for dining options, usually every camp site has also a small restaurant but there are breakfast houses for local villagers that give you a good alternative. Also most camping sites allow you to bring your own food and drinks yourself so if you want to decrease, the cost that option is available as well. After all that, a barbecue, soundtracked by the sounds of the waves and with the backdrop of the sparkling sea doesn't sound bad at all, does it? Just be careful not to disturb other campers with the smoke. If you manage to get bored with the sea and prefer to explore your surroundings, be careful.
The surrounding area is quite steep and the roads aren't that good. But there is a place you can visit while you are there. It is the Altar of Zeus. According to the mythology it is where Zeus stood while watching the Trojan War and fell in love with Hera. Also according to the legend told by locals, it was a place where humans provided sacrifices until the sea below turned red. As gruesome as that sounds, it certainly doesn't dim the magnificence of the sight you can gaze upon on top of the hill where the altar is located. It has got some of the best scenery that Assos can offer to you.
In the end Assos is indeed a viable choice for quick weekend holidays or even a longer one if you like the calm. But vary though. Always check people's experience's with the campsite management to find the one that suits you best. Be quick about it too, after all, summer is coming to a close.
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