My love affair for Alacati, surrounded by pristine turquoise waters and sandy beaches, started three decades ago when my Izmir friends introduced me to its charms during the summer months. I recall driving along dusty streets, devoid of streetlights, bantering with one of them about being kidnapped. Little did I know, we were headed to a hidden gem—a bay adorned with majestic stone pillars, overlooking crystal clear waters shimmering under the moonlight. A few souls were unwinding at the bar, savouring the tranquillity. It was a revelation that such a haven existed, known only to the locals. Since then, Alacati has become one of my favourite places to be, as well as my family’s cherished summer retreat for the last eighteen consecutive years.

Nestled along Turkey’s Aegean coast Alacati offers a glimpse of old Bodrum sans the tourists, though this is fast changing and it is no longer the sleepy Greek fishing village it once was. Over the past decade, it has surged in popularity as a hip holiday hotspot among those in the loop, thanks to its reliably pleasant weather, stunning surroundings and lively atmosphere. It also serves as an ideal base for embarking on day excursions to explore the area. 

Here are six compelling reasons why Alacati should be your next holiday destination (photo credits to Rita Farhi):

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Experience a Quaint Village Ambiance


Wander through the charming streets of Alacati, paved with cobblestones and adorned with historic stone houses. Admire the vibrant hues of bougainvillea spilling over colourful tables and chairs. Immerse in the leisurely pace of local life, with lazy street cats as your companions. In the mornings, savour the aroma of freshly baked bread from neighbourhood ovens. As the day unfolds, immerse yourself in its increasingly lively atmosphere, music gradually emanating from hidden bars and gardens. Don’t miss the bustling Saturday market, a kaleidoscope of street vendors and local delicacies. Explore the village’s rich history, including its main mosque, once a Greek church dating back 200 years.

Embrace Wind Sports

wind sports

Alacati’s dry climate and consistent northern winds make it a heaven for kite and windsurfing enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of national and international championships in the aptly named ‘Surfers’ Paradise’ bay. By day, ride the waves in areas separately designated for wind and kite surfers. As the evening approaches, join the beachside festivities, with tables appearing on the sand and music filling the air. Enjoy drinks, bites, and dancing under the starlit sky, accompanied by the glow of bonfires in the sea.

Relax on Sandy Beaches

Chhatra sagar

Escape to pristine sandy beaches just a short drive from the village. Be enchanted by the white sands and turquoise waters, reminiscent of exotic locales like Ibiza and Mykonos. Experience unforgettable sunsets at popular beach clubs like Momo and Before Sunset, where international DJs set the mood for evening revelry. Indulge in the vibrant atmosphere or seek serenity at quieter spots like Fun Beach Club and Zaya Beach Club. Whether you prefer private beach clubs or public shores like Ilica Plaji and Delikli Koy, Alacati offers idyllic coastal escapes.

Savour Culinary Delights


Embark on a gastronomic journey through Alacati’s diverse culinary scene. Start your day with a traditional Turkish breakfast at Imren or sample local specialties like menemem and Kumru. Treat yourself to artisanal ice cream from Veli Usta, featuring the famous mastic flavour from neighboring Chios. For dinner, immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Asma Yapragi, a hidden gem illuminated by hanging lights and vintage decor. Alternatively, enjoy street-side dining at Kose Kahvesi or savor creative dishes at Agrillia Roka. Don’t miss the authentic seafood experience at Cevat’s in nearby Dalyan village or at Horasan by the Cesme marina.

Explore Nearby Attractions

Use Alacati as your base for day trips to world-renowned destinations. 

Journey to Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins. Explore the House of the Virgin Mary and the charming Selcuk village. 

Take a boat ride (half an hour) to the Greek island of Chios, known for its medieval villages and volcanic beaches. The moment you step foot on the island, you will feel like you are in a scene out of a Mamma Mia movie. Discover cultural treasures, including the monastery of Nea Moni, before returning to Alacati for the evening. 

Wine enthusiasts can venture to Urla for a tasting tour of award-winning biodynamic wines amid picturesque vineyards or dine at the newly Michelin starred restaurant Od Urla. 

Where to stay

where to stay

Alacati offers a range of accommodations to suit every preference. Stay within the village for convenience, where boutique hotels offer luxurious amenities amidst historic surroundings. 

Alavya in Alacati is a hidden gem nestled within the heart of the village. This boutique hotel offers a delightful fusion of historical charm and modern luxury. Stepping into Alavya feels like entering a world of tranquillity and elegance, with its meticulously restored stonehouses and tastefully decorated interiors. One of the highlights of Alavya is its serene courtyard, where guests can unwind amidst lush greenery and the gentle sound of trickling water from the fountain. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or a glass of wine in the evening.

Near Surfers’ Paradise Bay, the newly inaugurated Biblos Hotel awaits. Offering elegantly designed suites with unparalleled views over the bay, it promises a truly exceptional experience. Discover pools concealed among lush palm and olive trees, adding to the allure of this luxurious retreat. Indulge in the epitome of fine dining at its high-end restaurants, rejuvenate your senses at its lavish spas, and bask in the impeccable service that defines Biblos as a world-class luxury hotel. 

In addition to the existing options, travellers now have another enticing choice for accommodation in Alacati—the newly opened Swiss Hotel and Residences by the Ilica beachfront. This luxurious establishment offers guests breath-taking views of the sun setting over the Aegean Sea, creating an unforgettable backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Boasting elegant design and world-class amenities, the Swiss Hotel and Residences provide guests with a refined and comfortable retreat.

Whether you seek urban charm or coastal serenity, Alacati promises an enchanting experience regardless of your tastes and preferences. Plan to spend a minimum of three days. Explore the local bazaar, indulge in delectable Aegean cuisine, unwind on pristine beaches, and perhaps even test your skills at windsurfing. Conveniently situated on the Cesme peninsula, just a 45-minute drive from Izmir on the Turkish Aegean coast, Alacati beckons to be discovered. It’s an ideal destination to visit between April and October for optimal weather and unforgettable experiences on Turkey’s Aegean coast.

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Rita has also shared with us, her highlights of Istanbul; the must see attractions, culinary delights and hidden gems: