Alaçati, Turkey is a holiday destination for the Turkish elite. It’s a small village on the western coast of Turkey, not far from the popular town of Izmir and part of the Çesme province. Alaçati is best known for its stone houses, colorful balconies, cobblestone streets, and outdoor cafes.
Go during the off-season as we did, and you’d almost have the whole village to yourself.
Alaçati tends to be a lot more expensive compared to its neibouring cities. Prices are as high as Istanbul, there’s an abundance of luxury accommodation and plenty of designer boutiques. If you’re thinking of Alaçati for a relaxing holiday, make sure you avoid high season as the streets will be filled with tourists.
How to get to Alaçati from Izmir?
Alaçati is best accessible from the town of Izmir which has an international airport with airlines flying in from all around the world. If you’re reaching Izmir by place, you can easily catch a bus from the airport to Alaçati. Buses are available right outside the arrivals terminal and cost 27 TL.
If you’re arriving in Izmir by bus as we did, you’ll find a direct bus to Çesme from the Uçkuyular Bus Station (Otogar) that also makes a stop in Alaçati. The ride costs 20 TL and takes about 1:30 hours.
If you’ve been staying for a few days in Izmir, there’s a quicker way to get to Alaçati as the central bus station is a little far away from the city center. Just take the yellow line of Izmir’s train toward KAYMAKAMLIK and get off at the last station. Now the bus stop for Alaçati/Çesme is not right outside the metro station. You’d actually have to do a bit of walking toward a gas station nearby and you’ll find the bus stop. It’s not really obvious so you might have to ask a couple of times.
Alaçati hotels and accommodation: where should I stay?
Alacati is full of boutique hotels. You’ll find more hotels than normal houses. We stayed at Maison d’Azur which is widely promoted by bloggers. It’s run by a lovely couple who’ve spent a big part of their lives in Paris. Hence why you’ll find a lot of French nostalgia covering the walls of the hotel. The hotel is located in a quiet street and they serve a great breakfast. Rooms are extremely small and wifi doesn’t work in more of the rooms outside the main building. Apart from the owners, the staff almost spoke zero English which was a little tough.
On the bright side, they are reasonably priced specially in low-season. However, if you’re willing to splurge a bit more cash here are some of our top recommended Alaçati hotels:
Things to do in Alaçati
Visit the Windmills
The famous windmills of Alaçati are probably the only attraction in the village. They aren’t anything crazy but you’ll get a great 360 angle view of the town from here.
Visit the Deliki Koy beach
Alaçati is not a coastal town but the closest beach is only 15km away. If you’re up for a dip in the sea or sunbathing, just grab a taxi to Deliki Koy beach.
Port of Alaçati for windsurfing
Alaçati’s port is famous for its great number of windsurfing schools. If you’d like to give windsurfing a try, here’s a great place to go.
Get lost in the narrow streets
There’s really nothing better than taking a stroll in the streets of Alaçati which in my opinion are its most beautiful attraction. You’d be surprised by all the gorgeous buildings, cafes, and shops that get extra lively after dark. We had to make numerous stops to photograph beautiful doors and windows.
Hunt for antiques and jewelry
Alaçati is a shopper’s paradise. There are a designer clothing boutiques, antique and jewelry shops in every corner. Even if you’re not into buying, window shopping in Alaçati is a pleasure of its own. There’s also a big souvenirs market right under the windmills if you’re looking for some pieces for back home.
Check out the Saturday market
Now I always love a good local market where the locals flock in the streets to sell everything from fruits, vegetable and all kinds of jam to clothing, jewelry, and textile. Alaçati’s Saturday market has it all. It’s a great place to hunt for some local goodies and mingle with the locals.
Visit the herbs festival in April
Every year in April there’s a Herbs festival held in Alaçati. The herbs festival is dedicated purely on herbs and vegetables of the Aegean region, where you can find lots of different kinds of local herbs on sale, dishes prepared with local ingredients, and lots of entertainment.
Best Restaurants and cafe
Food and coffee are both expensive in Alaçati. You could easily spend over 50-60 TL for a meal. Regardless, coffee culture is strong in town and there’s some pretty decent coffee to be found Kose Kahve is the most famous cafe in Alaçati. Almost all restaurants and cafes have an outdoor sitting area which can easily get filled up in the evening.
Here are some of our top recommendations for great cafes and restaurants to check out while you’re there:
- Morah restaurant
- Agnilia restaurant
- Balikçi Niyazi restaurant (near the port of Alaçati)
- Noni’s house restaurant
- Bumba breakfast club
- Sailors maidan restaurant and cafe
- Mudavim pide Salonu
- Hoshaff restaurant