Ayvalik is an old sea side town situated on the North-western Aegean coast of turkey, approximately 160 km North of Izmir, and 355 km South of Istanbul; originally inhabited by the Greeks until the mid 1920's, it still has the characteristics of an old Greek town, with wonderful Ottoman Greek houses and old churches visible throughout. The town is located on a coastal bay, where you can gaze across the Aegean Sea to the Greek Island of Mytilini, or alternatively view the nearby Island of Alibey (also known as Cunda) which has the riches of empty beaches, olive and pine trees and ancient monasteries scattered on the hill tops. Ayvalik has a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that are tributaries leading down to the busy market area and harbour front, where you can spend your day perusing through the wonderful variety of shops, or just relax by the waterside watching the fishing boats come and go; alternatively take the ferry boat across to Alibey to visit the restaurants and tavernas. The surrounding hillside is laden with groves of Olive trees, which are famous for producing much of Turkey's highly appreciated quality olive oil; also the hills accommodate copious amounts of pine trees that assist in Ayvalik boasting some of the best levels of air quality within Turkey with it's high levels of oxygen. A well-known beauty spot is locally known as "Devil's Table", where the views are spectacular and it is a must to witness the stunning sunset at the end of the day. Near to the town are two fabulous sandy beaches, Altinova and Sarimsakli, which are easily accessible by the local bus service (Dolmus), taxi or car; the beaches are un-crowded and teems of fish are visible through the crystal clear water. Ayvalik has gained the reputation of being one of Turkey's best locations for scuba diving, and you can also take boat trips from the harbour that will deliver you to various bays throughout the day to take a dip to cool off during your trip. Nightlife in Ayvalik is of a relaxed atmosphere, where you can frequent the many waterside open-air restaurants, bars and tavernas or simply stroll along the harbour front absorbing the idyllic atmosphere.