Ayvacık: Hidden paradise of Aegean Sea

ARDA SAYINER @ardasayiner
ISTANBUL
Published 29.09.2017 21:58
Updated 29.09.2017 21:59
Ayvacık: Hidden paradise of Aegean Sea

Located in Turkey's Çanakkale, Ayvacık is a perfect holiday spot for those seeking a calm coastal town, which has not been flooded by foreign tourists yet. In addition to its satisfying restaurants, Ayvacık is also a paradise for photographers thanks to its unique scenery of Assos

Each corner of Turkey is another tourism paradise. Although widely unknown among locals, many areas around Turkey that have been undiscovered by foreign tourists. Among these, the town of Ayvacık in Çanakkale province is famous with its turquoise coves, olive trees and sunset. The area between Edremit Bay and Asos is full of hillside villages that wait to be discovered. Named after the legendary phoenix, the area's most famous address for accommodations in the region is the Simurg Inn.

Located in Ayvalık's Ahmetçe Village, Simurg Inn is like a warm, four-room home rather than a hotel. Hotel owner Dilara Karabay is a true Istanbul lady and an experienced ambassador in tourism. Working as a jewelry designer, Karabay came to this village and fell in love with the 100-year-old stone houses. Last year, she transformed a splendid mansion into a hotel with the help of architect Bülent Güngör who redesigned her home for her, making it a hotel. The utter unification of luxury and nature with its high ceilings, vintage doors, exclusively designed hardwood floors and antique furniture gives the hotel a nostalgic feel, especially with its Aegean-style stone and wooden decorations in the main hall where you enter the hotel. The open kitchen section and the long table in front of it, on the other hand, is the meeting spot for enjoyable meals. Dilara Karabay, who is a real gourmet chef, offers unique flavors with her team. Everything is organic and from the village. A variety of herbs, fresh vegetables and fruits and milk and cheese the villagers bring are the kind you cannot find in the city. Also, there are spices, sauces and coffees available here brought by Dilara Karabay, who is an avid traveler, from different regions around the world. In short, Simurg Inn promises you a gastronomic experience.

Each room has its own unique details with unified style. Prepared with antique furniture in a way that is not tiring for the eyes, beds covered in mosquito netting, antique-type mirrors, candleholders and antique closets will truly mesmerize you. The books in foreign languages will add pleasure to the time you spend in your room. The most enjoyable aspect of the rooms are the balconies. There are also binoculars available on each balcony where you can rest in flower-printed armchairs. These tiny balconies are perfect for enjoying the scenic view. The cosmetics in the rooms, on the other hand, are organic products that contain aloe vera. Children are not allowed to accommodate in the hotel and also there is no TV service in the rooms.

Once an old stone house, the building was transformed into Simurg Inn by architect Bülent Güngör.

The most impressive spot at Simurg Inn is the terrace and the pool area. Here, Assos and the Edremit Bay are under your feet. The evening sunset here will allow you to enjoy a night of watching the stars. On the other hand, antique sofas, objects and plants on the terrace makes you feel like you are in a boutique hotel. The view from the pool area, on the other hand, is as enjoyable as the one at the terrace area. There is also a bar that has valances on top of it, a barbecue and a hammock in the same area. Right next to this section, on the other hand, are chicken coops, doghouses and even a section where there is a peacock. Inside the hotel, on the other hand, two cute dogs and a cat continuously wander around. You can even hear a rooster crow in the morning when you wake up. Welcome to natural living!

During the winter months, on the other hand, the hotel's sauna is covered in giant glass. You can enjoy the scenery of Assos from inside the sauna. As much as in the summer, the Simurg Inn is a pleasurable option in the winter months, as well. The joy of evening dinners prepared in front of the big antique fireplace in the hall is really a pleasure. As in summer, you can also go on a bike tour around the hotel, visit Ahmetçe and chat with the locals, or go shopping, during winter. The village is a paradise for photography lovers.

The activities available for your enjoyment during your stay at Simurg Inn are seemingly endless. You can travel down to Assos by car in 25 minutes, visit the historical, old fishermen's village of Babakale and see the border where the continent of Asia ends. When you visit this unique village, a certificate proving you were there is given to you by the local government office, like the certificate that is given to travelers in Capo da Roca in Portugal on the border where the European continent ends. Babakale is also famous for its handmade knives featuring a horn handle. Knife carving is a tradition that dates back 300 years in this village, where there used to be 18 knife stores compared to only two remaining stores today. There is also a fortress in the village that was made by the Sultan Ahmed III when he took shelter in Babakale during a storm. The fortress, built in 1723, was constructed to protect the villagers from pirates. The village has truly amazing history.

If you go down to the center of Ayvacık, a flavor spot you must experience is the Yengeç Restaurant. I especially loved the appetizers. You should definitely try the fava and calamari here at this typical family restaurant that sits along a cobblestoned street. Make sure to buy some of their homemade olive oil and oregano soap while you are here. In addition, there are many cafes and ice cream vendors situated along the shore. Stop by the Ballım ice cream shop, which has been operating since 1953, and try their pumpkin ice cream. There are many joyful and tasteful experiences waiting for you in Ayvacık. Visit the first chance you get.

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