city of Canakkale lends its name to
the straits that connect the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean and whose shores
touch both Europe and Asia. Passenger and car ferries run daily between Canakkale, on the Asian side, and Eceabat and Kilitbahir, on the European
side. Colourful yachts on their way to and from the Marmara and Aegean seas
make stopovers at the well-equipped Canakkale Marina allowing tourists
more time in this area. Hotels, restaurants and cafes along the promenade
offer a place to enjoy the comings and goings of the harbour and views of
Kilitbahir Fortress in the distance, which is illuminated at night.
In 1451, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who later
conquered Istanbul, built a fortress on the European side at Kilitbahir
and one at Cimenlik on the Asian side to control the passage of ships
through the narrow (1200 meters) straits. The Cimenlik fortress today is
used as a military museum in memory of the Canakkale Battle of World War
I. To honour the soldiers, who gave their
lives at Gelibolu, in Canakkale province, this peninsula is now a national
park of remembrance. There are memorial monuments in surroundings of
Homer, in the Illiada, immortalized
Truva with the stories of King Priam, Hector, Paris and the
beautiful Helen who were from this city. Archaeological digs have revealed
nine separate periods of settlement, and various ruins of city walls,
typical house foundations, a temple and a theatre. There is also a
symbolic wooden Trojan horse.
The village of Behramkale is situated on
the site of the ancient city of Assos. On the acropolis lie the ruins of the famous Temple of Athena, built
during the 6th century BC and from the top of the acropolis a magnificent
panorama of the Gulf of Edremit can be seen. The remains surrounding the
acropolis have been well preserved. Below Assos is a small fishing village
with guesthouses and restaurants.
The Gulf of Edremit - The Olive Riviera
The Gulf of Edremit is fringed by
beautiful beaches and seaside resorts offering visitors a wide choice of
hotels and guest houses overlooking the sea. Nearby are the resorts of Kucukkuyu, Altinoluk, Akcay (a thermal center with numerous springs),
Edremit, and Oren. It is in this region, according to mythology, that the
world's first beauty contest was held. Under the shadow of Kaz Dagi (Mt.
Ida, 1774 meters) in Pinarbasi, west of Akcay, Paris gave the "Golden
Apple" to Aphrodite in the famous "Judgment of Paris".
However, an understanding of mythology is not necessary to enjoy this
green and pleasant place.
After passing extensive groves of olive
trees, one comes to Ayvalik, a small, charming port with a picturesque
harbor surrounded by islands and encircled by beautiful pinewoods. Nearby
is the Seytan Sofrası (Devil's Table) which offers a splendid panorama of
the archipelago along the peninsula of Sarmisakli and the little island of
Alibey (Cunda), Here too, there are pleasant fish restaurants.
The site of Bergama is one of the
finest in Turkey; the city was a great centre of culture. The Asclepion,
located to the southwest of the lower city, was a sanctuary dedicated to
the god of health, Asclepios. On the Acropolis there are numerous remains
including the celebrated library, an impressive theatre, the temples of
Trajan and Dionysos, the monumental altar of Zeus, the sanctuary of
Demeter, the gymnasium situated on three terraces, and the lower agora. In
the town of Bergama visit the Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum,
which originally seems to have been the site of a temple dedicated to
Serapis and then converted by the Byzantines into a basilica.
Close to Bergama is the
harbour town of
Dikili, a holiday town much frequented by cruise liners bringing visitors
to Bergama. It has the ideal atmosphere for relaxing, and many
pleasant restaurants line the Kordon Promenade. On route to Izmir a stop
at the little port of Candarli, the ancient Pitane, is recommended to see
the Genoese fortress, one of the best preserved in Turkey.
On the road from Bergama turn off for Foca at the road nearest Aliaga and pass through some particularly lovely
scenery. Foca, the ancient Phocaea, was a city of the Ionian Federation,
and is today a modern, lively holiday village on two deeply indented bays.
The plentiful accommodations, clean beaches and inviting restaurants make
it an attractive vacation spot. Sunbathers will find the natural terraces
of Siren Rock Island perfect for sunbathing.