The ancient Phocaea, Foca, once formed part of the Ionian Federation. Today it is a modem lively holiday resort on two deep bays. The pleasant accommodations, clean beaches and inviting restaurants make it an attractive vacation spot. Those seeking the perfect tan can find it on the natural rock terraces of the Siren Islands.

Bergama (Pergamum or Pergamon)once a great center of culture, survives as one of Turkey’s finest archaeological sites. In the Acropolis, above the modern town, are the remains of the celebrated library, impressive theatre, the temples of Trajan and Dionysus, the monumental altar of Zeus, the sanctuary of Demeter, a three terraced gymnasium and the Agora. The Asclepion, located to the southwest of the lower city, was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health, Asclepics. In town is the Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum and nearby is the site of a temple dedicated to Serapis, the god of the lower world who was also worshiped in Egypt as Osiris. The temple was subsequently converted by the Byzantines into a basilica.

Dikili, frequented by cruise ships bringing visitors to Pergamon, is Bergama’s harbor town set in a relaxing atmosphere with many pleasant restaurants lining the Kordon Promenade. Stop at the little port of Candarli, the ancient Pitane, to see the Genoese fortress there, one of the best preserved in Turkey.

Fish Restaurant in Ayvalik
Fish Restaurant in Ayvalik

Ayvalik is a charming port, situated amid beautiful pine woods. Nearby, the Seytan Sofrasi (Devil’s Table) offers a splendid panorama of the archipelago along the Gulf of Ayvalik and the little island of Alibey (Cunda), where there are pleasant seafood restaurants. Sarimsakli Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

The Gulf of Edremit, also known as the Olive Riveria, has a number of charming seaside resorts: Kucukkuyu, Altinoluk, Akcay (a thermal center with numerous springs), Edremit and Oren. All boast beautiful beaches, ringing the Gulf of Edremit and presenting visitors a wide choice of hotels and guest houses with views of the sea. Here, too, is situated the beautiful Kaz Dagi National Park, with magnificent landscapes, restful green areas and several hot springs. According to mythology it was in this area that the world’s first beauty contest was held. Under the shadow of Kaz Dagi (Mt. Ida, 1774 meters) in Pinarbasi, west of Akcay, Paris gave the golden apple to Aphrodite in the famous “Judgement of Paris.”

One Response to “THE NORTH AEGEAN”

  1. Assos | Turkey Travel Guide and Touristic Regions information Says:

    […] The Northen Aegean is largely spared the torrents of tourism that wash upon the southern shores. The swimming season is shorter,the resorts are mainly geared to the needs of Turkish families on school holidays. Go in the second half of September,and you are likely to have glorious beaches of heavenly azure all by yourself. A recently emerged destination is the half dozen pretty hill villages dotting the southern slopes of Kazdağı,or Goose Mountain,looking from afar on the stores of the Gulf of Edremit. The small country hotels of Kazdağı,all built and run by urbanites,set the trend for a new Turkish country “look” Assos is another memorable locality that brings together striking topography with ancient ruins and a primitive village. A series of more or less virgin coves and fishing harbours lie along the step coast west of Assos. […]

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