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Where else can you find vineyards, olive groves, windmills, long stretches of gorgeous coastline and world-class windsurfing, all within easy reach of some of Turkey’s best boutique hotels and restaurants?
Early in 2000, Alaçatı re-invented itself and became sought out by travelers seeking beauty, tranquility, quality and respect for the natural environment. One by one the 19th century stone houses have been restored and a plethora of small hotels, each more charming than the last, have opened for business.
Alaçatı has a relatively short history given its location on the Aegean Sea. It was founded in the 1850s by Greek workmen brought in to clear local marshland that served as a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Other villages and towns near Alaçatı were founded much earlier, as much as 4,000-5,000 years earlier. This was an area with beautiful harbors and in some cases healing hot springs. Even officials from Egypt were drawn to nearby Ilıca.
Alaçatı was so attractive that afterwards the Greeks decided to stay and set about planting grapevines. During the exchange of populations following World War I, Turks from the Balkan area settled at Alaçatı while the resident Greeks moved to the Greek mainland. The result has been the preservation of the 19th century houses built by the Greeks.
Some of Turkey’s loveliest small hotels are now in Alaçatı. Most of them restored stone houses over 150 years old, these hotels spellbind visitors with the way they harmonize old and new. U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times put Taş Otel, the first “hotel de charme” in Alaçatı, on their list of top 20 continental hotels, and British daily The Guardian ran an article on Alaçatı and İncirliev, one of the most charming boutique hotels in the town.
The area’s coastlines are protected, windsurfing and kite surfing clubs were opened, and world championships have been held. Alaçatı has become one of the best sites in the world for the sport of windsurfing, with its protected bay, always windy but not rough. The Professional Windsurfers Association Slalom World Cup took place in Alaçatı this summer and the event was covered by The New York Times. Source: Hurriyet Daily News
Two of the motives that brought Alaçatı to the status of Turkeys favorite holiday resort in recent years is its world famous windsurfing spot and its beaches.