Alaçati (pronounced “Ala-cha-ti”) is a tiny town on the west coast of Turkey, not far from Izmir. The charming town is a hidden gem that most people haven’t heard of, and most first-time visitors skip Alaçati from their Turkey itinerary. But not us. We knew this town would be on our list of places to visit as soon as we decided to take a trip to Turkey this summer. My wife convinced me that we must go to Alaçati. Why?! …only she knows, after performing a proper internet search of things and places worth exploring in Turkey. We have been disappointed by reality previously when we went to a destination full of enthusiasm and our wish to witness enchanting things, but not this time.
Alaçati: A Stylish Seaside Town You’ve Most Likely Never Heard Of
In Alaçati, we drove to a parking lot set up in front of a hotel built in the shape of a traditional Greek windmill and began exploring the narrow streets full of charm in a leisurely style.
Alaçati has a long and illustrious history, owing largely to its Greek heritage dating back to the 17th century. Alaçati was forced to evacuate its Greek population in 1914, but the remaining Orthodox Greeks in Turkey were removed in a formal population swap with Greece in 1923. Traditionnal Greek stone houses are still well preserved on bougainvillea-lined cobblestone streets in the town, which was declared a historic site in 2005.
Walking around Alaçati gives the impression of being on a small, idyllic Greek island. Unlike other coastal regions, the stone houses have been beautifully restored with more bougainvillea than you’ve ever seen. Numerous restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars can be found along the main street of the city center. In order to find hidden gems and charming little coffee shops, make your way down all of the quiet side streets.
Color, serenity, joyful people, wonderful food, fresh and aromatic ice cream, and handcrafted souvenirs all exceeded expectations in Alaçati. The scents and colors of fragrant and beautiful flowers fill the small and stylish streets, giving you the sense of being in heaven on earth…
Alaçati is not one of those places where you must strictly adhere to a to-do list. There aren’t many landmarks, archaeological sites, or museums to visit in Alacati; instead, wandering through the cobblestone streets and admiring the colorful buildings is one of the best things to do. Relax by sipping Turkish coffee during the day and cocktails at night.