Ayvalik is undervisited by tourists, given its Aegean character, the world's best olive oil, magnificent Aegean architecture and cobblestone streets.
Ayvalik is a beautiful town on the northern Aegean, which is seldom mentioned in the same breath as more visited sites. There are not the wild bars and discos, which have made Marmaris and Bodrum famous.
Its narrow streets have changed little since they were first set. Ayvalik is much like Amasra, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Both towns attracted manys tourists prior to the tourism boom of the early 90s, but were soon overtaken by the more popular spots of Bodrum and Marmaris.
However, what Ayvalik does offer is a unique combination of natural beauty and history. Although it is not a hot tourism spot, it preserves its unspoiled Aegean beauty. Ayvalik has thankfully been spared the over-development that has been visited upon other areas in Turkey.
Ayvalik first conjures images of olive oil and fresh fish. As is the case all along the Aegean coast, all of the region’s mouth watering delicacies are prepared with olive oil.
The seafood restaurants along its shores are visited almost every month of the year by those seeking seafood delights, who come from Izmir and even Istanbul just to spend the weekend.
Fondest memory: ISLAND OF CUNDA
When one goes to Ayvalik, one must never ask residents if they have been to Cunda. Because going to Cunda is compulsory, as it has not changed at all. Cunda Island is famous for its ground coffee house, which is full of the many elderly residents of Ayvalık, who talk about days gone by, switching from Greek to Turkish, and back again.
Ayvalik's most reliable visitors are Greeks, who once lived in the town. There are Greeks from Lesbos, Midilli in Turkish, who come to Ayvalik for their weekly shopping every Thursday. The island of Cunda, it is famous also for Taksiyarhis Church. It has withstood the many years without a congregation, but the grafitti on its walls is evidence of the many years of neglect.
Ayvalik and its stone houses are the living remanants of inhabits who have been in the area since 330 B.C. There are 24 islands around Ayvalik. Ayvalik's original name was Hekatonnesoi, which came from the god Hekatos of Cunda Island.
The hills surrounding the city, known as Şeytan Sofrası, overlook both Ayvalik and Cunda Island and are a must for visitors, in particular because of the striking sunset that this vantage point — the highest in Ayvalik — offers.
Troy, also Ilium (ancient Ilion), famous city of Greek legend, on the northwestern corner of Asia Minor. The legendary founder of the city was Ilus, the son of Tros, from whom the name Troy was derived. The son and successor of Ilus was Laomedon, who was slain by the hero Hercules, when Hercules captured the city. During the reign of Laomedon's son Priam occurred the celebrated Trojan War, which resulted in the capture and destruction of the city.
During this war many people came to the aid of Troy from various places of Anatolia, but because of the trick of the 'Wooden Horse', the city fell and Troy was burnt and destroyed. The Trojans who could save themselves from this massacre, built their city over again and kept on living there. Troy VIII. which followed Troy VII, acquired the properties of the Hellenistic period, and Troy IX became the Troy of the Roman period.Schliemann conducted excavations in Troy in 1870; following him, Dörpfeld and later in the year 1935, Blegen from America, continued the excavations there
Favorite thing: Troy, situated at a distance of 30 km from the Dardanelles. Troy, which had been founded in the year 3000 B.C., and was demolished and reconstructed nine times until the year 500 A.D. was inhabited incessantly for 3500 years.Troy I. which had been founded in the year 3000 B.C. was demolished in the year 2500 B.C and Troy II. that was founded in its place, was brought to its end by a fire in the 2300's B.C. Troy III, IV.and V. were founded successively. After these strata which were not indicative of a great deal of activity, Troy VI. was founded between the years 1800-1275 B.C. This Troy which is worthy of attention today with its city walls in good condition, was succeeded by Troy VII which is the stratum where the famous war was made. This stratum is divided into strata VIIa and VIIb respectively, and the Trojan war, which was the first war in the world between the east and the west, took place in Troy VIIa in the years of 1200 B.C.