It was love at first sight. When I walked down Alacati’s main street towards the maze of narrow cobblestone streets with colourful doors and windows I knew that this little town was my happy place.
Alacati’s relaxed and romantic vibe means that you can happily lose track of time and get lost in labyrinth of narrow streets. Alacati’s tiny streets with beautiful stone buildings overhung by colourful bougainvillea are packed with trendy eateries and cafes, boutique hotels, upscale shops and small art galleries.
This charming Aegean seaside town of Alacati lies on the western coast of Turkey, on Cesme Peninsula. Alacati is a Turkish town with a Greek history that today blurs the boundaries of both. Walking around the town really feels like as if you are in Greece. Alacati’s residents have done a great job keeping its authenticity and unique atmosphere.
I would dare to say that Alacati is one of Turkey’s best-kept seaside secrets. Windsurfers have been flocking to the area for years thanks to constant breezes all year round. Luckily Alacati is not flooded with international mass tourists, although little by little foreign visitors are starting to discover this hidden gem. The town still remains primarily a weekend and summer destination for well established Turkish people.
What to see and do in Alacati?
Alacati is famed for its authentic architecture, windmills, winemaking tradition and crystal clear waters. Spending some time exploring the town is a must before heading to the beach for some fun in the sun. To make the most of your visit to Alacati I have compiled a list of things to see and do in Alacati.
Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Alacati town
Alacati is a wonderful town to explore on foot. Its charming streets offer plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars to stop off in for a refreshing drink and an opportunity to taste some delicious Turkish cuisine. Walking around the town really feels like as if you are in Greece. The old stone houses have been beautifully restored and converted to design hotels, trendy boutiques and cute antique shops. Colurfully painted shutters and doors are covered in blossoming bougainvillea. The narrow streets that are quiet during the day come to live at night when the sun goes down.
Traditional Alacati architecture
Perhaps the main attraction of Alacati is its beautiful and colourful architecture. Alacati’s cobbled streets are lined by well-preserved original Greek Ottoman houses that have a unique architecture with an additional enclosed balcony or an alcove window, which is typically painted in lilac or blue. Windows, shutters and doors are painted in all colours of the rainbow.
Wander up to see 19th century windmills
Ancient stone windmills that sit on top of the hill overlooking the village are Alacati’s symbol. These cute windmills that date to the 1850s are among the oldest structures in the area.
Enjoy Alacati’s foodie scene
Alacati is a foodie Mecca with a rich variety of restaurants boasting talented chefs cooking both traditional and modern Turkish cuisine. After dinner you may want to try one of the coffee shops for some homemade desserts and a good selection of coffees. There are also late night bars for those who you wish to extend their evening.
There is a wealth of shops, boutiques and antique stores in Alacati full of accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs, fashion items, clothing etc. Next to the mosque in the centre of Alacati there are stalls where you can buy cute handmade jewellery.
Alacati Saturday Market
Every Saturday a large market takes over several streets in Alacati centre. Fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, handmade biscuits, textiles, clothing, kitchen ware etc. attract both locals and visitors.
Relax at the beach
Located in the centre of Cesme Peninsula, Alacati is surrounded by the water and its beaches are all within easy reach. To the north is Ilica Beach, which is a long stretch of white sand. Cark Beach on the southern shore is another nice beach with shallow warm waters and provides a perfect spot to relax and admire gorgeous seaviews.
Alacati Beach Clubs
Alacati’s famous beach clubs are found along the southern shores where crystal clear waters and beautiful sandy beaches encourage to lounge all day on comfy shaded waterfront beds. Alacati has several beach clubs to choose from where you can party either day or night. I spent a day chilling in Alacati Beach Resort at Cark Beach. Other popular beach clubs are Babylon Beach Club and Klum Beach Club.
Alacati Yacht Marina
Alacati Yacht Marina is ideal for mooring. It also houses numerous nice restaurants and bars open till late.
Thanks to 330 windy days a year, Alacati is Turkey’s hotspot for windsurfing. Despite constants winds, waters are calm, crystal clear, warm and shallow, which attracts water sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
Getting around in Alacati
Alacati is located on Cesme Peninsula around 85 km from Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city. Getting around in the area is easy as dolmuses (minibuses) circulate regularly between Ilica, Cesme and Alacati linking these beach towns to one another. Alacati Beach on the windsurfing cove, which lies about 2 km south of Alacati, is also connected to Alacati town centre by dolmus.