Alaçatı, Çeşme & Urla
Constant wind makes Alaçatı the perfect location for windsurfers and kitesurfers. It’s also perfect for those searching for a quaint village lifestyle.
When approaching Alaçatı, the windmills that embrace the sky with their white sails are the first thing to catch one’s eye. The windmills - some of which have been here for more than a hundred years - point out the good relation between Alaçatı and the wind. When a clear view of the sea is before you, you’ll be greeted by many colorful surfing boards dancing on the water. If your visit coincides with the Kite Festival, a visual feast of kites dominates the sky.
One of the seven most popular windsurfing centers in the world, Alaçatı and the wind have a joint history. The wind is what distinguishes Alaçatı from the other coves on the Aegean coast. For windsurfing fans, another winning factor is that the sea never gets wavy. As the well-known Turkish captain and navigator Piri Reis tells us, the sea in Alaçatı is like a phyllo pastry sheet. In addition, the sea depth is not more than 1.5 meters even far from the shore.
Alaçatı welcomes windsurfers from all over the world mostly between May and September. In this period, Alaçatı hosts national and international races and tournaments. There are also windsurfing schools here for those who want to give windsurfing a try – the calm sea and shallow water make Alaçatı the perfect place to learn!
The Sea and Wind
The omnipresent wind blowing over the blue waters makes Alaçatı an ideal spot for water sports and windsurfing. With winds around 15-25 knots, Alaçatı is the choice of many amateur and professional windsurfers from around the world. So much so that Alaçatı is on the road to becoming the global heartland of windsurfing. You will find a large windsurfing center here as well as many windsurfing schools along the shore.
Should you wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of Alaçatı, head to Delikli Cove with Delila its imposing rock formations and pristine waters. The hidden cove offers protection against the wind, providing nothing short of a paradise for those who wish to enjoy the blue sea and a sense of serenity.
Alaçatı’s status as a favored windsurfing destination is reflected in the fact that the PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association) World Windsurfing Cup is held here every August.
Just 10 km from Çeşme, the town is a stopover point for adrenaline enthusiasts. The suitable length of the waves despite the strong winds makes Alaçatı an ideal spot for many water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing.
Alaçatı has been the home of windsurfing since the nineties and the strong winds that prevail here have brought windsurfers of all abilities to its shores. Don’t worry about bringing your board since there’re plenty available for hire here. There’re also numerous windsurfing schools that offer lessons.
Kitesurfing, sea kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are also popular.
Alaçatı has a number of unspoiled, white-sand beaches, lovely bays, and a selection of luxury beach clubs you can choose from.
There are many thermal springs and facilities with healing mud baths in the Çeşme Peninsula around Alaçatı that offer anything from modest services in natural settings to world-class spa treatments.
Another popular activity in a town that is identified with its wind is flying kites. Especially during the Alaçatı Kite Festival, the sky of Alaçatı becomes colored by hundreds of magnificent kites.
Shopping in the attractive, narrow streets of Alaçatı is an amazing experience for anyone who enjoys local artifacts and delicacies. It is impossible not to be impressed by the unique taste and diversity of the products sold in the lovely local stores. You can find artwork such as paintings and sculptures by noted artists, but also jewelry, ceramics, home textile collections, original fashion collections, regional olives and olive oils, soaps, and natural products that are specific to the region. Buying an original painting or a tea towel decorated with the town’s unique symbols, a bouquet of bougainvillea or a bundle of lavender or sage, or even tasting an incredibly delicious mastic gum pudding are enough to create life-long memories.
There is a wealth of shops, boutiques, and antique stores in Alaçatı full of accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs, fashion items, clothing, etc. Next to the Alaçatı Marketplace Mosque in the center of town of Alaçatı there are stalls where you can buy handmade jewelry.
At the bazaar by the Church of the Virgin Mary and the mosque’s garden, mother-of-pearl inlaid artifacts from boxes to antique jewelry attract great attention. On your way to Hacımemiş, one of the town’s charming neighborhoods, along the narrow streets of Alaçatı, you’ll feel drawn into the quaint antique shops and local boutiques.
Alaçatı Nightlife: From traditional Turkish courtyard drinking and a slick cocktail bar under the stars to an exclusive late opening nightclub and a cocktail by the sea - the Aegean coast has it all when it comes to nightlife.
Alaçatı Arts & Activities
Alaçatı is home to many galleries, creative artists and artisans, and offers a colorful experience with its antique shops, designer boutiques, and local traditional products.
Urla is a very special location on the Aegean coast with never-ending gardens, cobblestone streets that take you back in time, friendly and welcoming locals, and delicious local cuisine. Urla casts its charming spell over visitors during the sunny months of spring – and in all other seasons too!
There is one very important thing you should know before traveling to Urla: it is very tranquil and serene, and has its own cultural values and tradition. Urla is so much more than a simple resort, and unlike what some might think or how it is seen from the outside, it is not an extension of Çeşme or Alaçatı which are known for their lively and leisure lifestyles.
Make sure to visit Bademler village, the first village to have a theater in Anatolia, where many plays have been staged since the 1930s. It is also famous for its library, a museum of children’s toys, and flower greenhouses. Don’t forget to taste gözleme (Turkish savory crepes), ayran (yogurt drink), and kalburabastı (nut-filled cookies that are drenched in syrup).
One last reminder: Susuz Yaz (Dry Summer), the first Turkish movie to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, which was directed by Metin Erksan, was filmed in Bademler.