Alacati – A Hideaway on Turkey’s Aegean Coast

artistic alacati


The 90’s hits mix the cab driver played transported us to memories of our childhood. We danced in our seats to ‘My heart goes shala la la la’ and my heart was literally going sha la la at the gorgeous sunset. It felt like we were heading towards a bright peach sunset at the road’s end. The canyons on either side of the road played hide and seek, opening up to jaw-dropping views of the Aegean Sea. 

The windmills were in full swing as I opened the window to let in some fresh air. I watched the small towns and villages pass by while my mind entered a half-dreamlike state with images of JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Gilbert, all the women who are an inspiration to me. They have struggled terribly in life, they have had to fight personal and social battles before they actually knew what they wanted to do with their lives.  Is this what ‘no pain, no gain’ means?? But wait, I also struggle to keep up with my everyday life, family expectations and office deadlines!! Does that count?? Will I be able to live up to my dreams without falling into a pit of despair? My mind didn’t stop its chatter till the wind blew them away, as if taking away all the doubts, hopelessness and a baggage of thoughts I’ve carried for a long time. 

On that road, miles away from what I call home, on my way to a tiny village in a corner of Turkey, my soul felt assuaged.

By the time we reached Alacati it was already dark, all the restaurants and stores were closing and cabs aren’t allowed inside the main village. We scrambled along in the cobblestoned streets of Alacati, looking for our host’s home.

Alacati is an offbeat and unexplored/less explored place in Turkey

The next day, I woke up to a bright morning, heavy breeze and the smells of the baked goods. Alacati is one of the unexplored places in Turkey and is the prettiest town I’ve ever been to. The streets are narrow and windy; the stone houses are painted white with doors in colourful pastels. Alacati is very close to Greece. All the traditions, food and architecture are a fusion of Turkey and Greece. The locals are relaxed, laid-back and very friendly. The town wakes up a little later than we might be used to. By early afternoon all the galleries, souvenir stores and boutiques are opened. The stalls on pavements come to life offering antiques and locally made handlooms. You can spend hours at street cafes; this is a place where you can’t rush while eating. 

streets of Alacati
Streets of Alacati
A cafe on the main street of Alacati village
cafes in Alacati
cafes and street in Alacati

As I strolled into the more offbeat streets away from the Main Street, I fell in love with the artistic town. Most of the locals are artists and they display their work in front of their houses. Most of them got excited when I asked them about their work and were happy to share their stories. I even got invited by a young lady to her studio upstairs when I enquired about the speciality of the gorgeous ceramic tableware she was selling. Her studio was a testament to her passion; so many marvellous pieces (few of them not for sale). She hand paints indigenous flowers of that region, traditional windmills, dance postures and many other elements of Alacati’s and Turkey’s culture on the ceramics. She has stories to tell about every piece she sells. I acquired small dessert bowls which features Sufis whirling. 

The evenings in Alacati are very lively, with music in the air. The town is a lot prettier post sunset. Be it jamming with a band, going to a local flea market or sitting back and relaxing in a cafe feasting on mouth-watering Turkish and Mediteranian cuisine, it can never go wrong. 

Beaches in Alacati: 

Ilica beach sunset
Sunset on the Aegean Sea

Ilica beach is my favourite; the water is warm, the waves are slow, and the sand is silky.

Delikli Koyu is a great beach. It’s little away from the town and hence untouched. The water is clear and the waves are rough most of the times. 

Beach clubs in Alacati are famous for its summer events. Windsurfing at one of these clubs is the local’s favourite water sport. Babylon Beach has great beach front clubs which serves delicious food and organise music events. Check out their website before you plan to go – http://www.babylon.com.tr

Also Read : Best beaches around the world featuring Turkey

Things to do in Alacati: 

  • Try the sand-roasted coffee.
  • Cuddle with street dogs- they are everywhere!
  • Walk to the ancient windmills.
  • Explore the streets by foot and admire the art and architecture.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have gelato.
  • Taste the local wine.

“As simple as that”

Sandroast coffee
Sandroast coffee
Windmills in Alacati
Windmills in Alacati

Essentials

Getting there:

The nearest airport is Izmir. From Izmir to Alacati it takes a couple of hours by road and there are Shuttle buses from the airport.

We did Istanbul to Alaçatı and then Alaçatı to Pamukalle. This route worked well for us. If you are planning to stay in Izmir for a couple of days then you wouldn’t regret a day trip from Izmir to Ephesus.

Getting around:

Inside the main town, cars are not allowed. Walking is the best way to explore the town. You can also borrow/hire a bike. To get around the beaches and other places around Alacati, there are mini shuttle buses frequently. You can also grab a taxi easily. If you don’t find one around, you can ask a local to call it for you (we met very kind people who went all the way to help).

Alacati Hotels and Stay:

Though Alacati is not very popular in other countries, for locals from Izmir and near by cities its a great weekend destination. So there are so many boutique hotels and homestay options to choose from.

For Visa, currency and General essentials of turkey, head to : Turkey Istanbul Essentials and Tips

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23 thoughts on “Alacati – A Hideaway on Turkey’s Aegean Coast

  1. U words make me travel to these places Bhavya . Very well articulated as always . also your clicks are beautiful..

    1. Turkey is a very diverse country……the change of landscapes and culture is beyond imagination. You should definitely visit.

    1. The local economy is based on local produce, ceramics, art and tourism.
      Most of them study art, the setup their studios here while they export throughout the world. Other residents procure artefacts from local artists and resell them to the tourists.

      Yes, I was there in a shoulder season!!

  2. I’m loving Alacati. First time I’ve been there … through your words. Thank you for the heart you put into writing this piece. I enjoyed traveling there with you.

  3. Loved this! I have been to Turkey couple of times and recent years, I have been wanting to go again. I have never heard of Alacati though, but what I am reading, I think I would love it. It looks like a very idyllic village in the photos.

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