AYVALIK
TOURISM
HISTORY

Ayvalik - the western Anatolian city that

hugs the sparkling Aegean Sea with its

huge beach. The islands are spilled all

over it, a natural wonder with its unique

coral reefs and bays integrated with

greenery.

 

Ayvalık is a charming town on the

Aegean coast, in the Balıkesir province.

Ayvalık is a privileged city that stands

out for its beaches, history, nature,

culture, architectural structure, food

culture, water sports and the richness

of the seafloor structure. Magical sea

and beauty in the eye of the beholder, some would say.

 

Ayvalık is a tourist paradise waiting to be discovered with its unique bays and religious architecture, which is like an open-air museum. Civil and religious architecture dates back to 1850, where pine forests hug the sea.

 

Ayvalık beaches are known around the world as one of the largest, with crystal clear sea, sand and bathed in sunshine. Boat trips are available daily to explore the unique coves of Ayvalık. You spend your days enjoying the sea and the sun at Sarimsakli and Altinova beaches, and experience the sunset in a unique setting and gourmet delight at Devil Sofras. Ayvalık also offers the perfect vacation for water sports enthusiasts, so diving enthusiasts can dive all year long to see red coral under the sea. Ayvalık is an indispensable place for sailing and surfing for all visitors. The rich flora and fauna that make it the largest nature park in Turkey will give everyone a glimpse of paradise on earth.

 

 

 

 

Ayvalık, which has great potential in the field of

tourism, is a destination that is very different in

terms of tourism activities.

 

The first thing that comes to mind in this popular

tourist town is the attraction for those looking for

sandy beaches, perfect sea and sun at

Sarimsakli's largest beach. With its volcanic,

non-sticky, special sand structure, which formed

in geological periods in the long and wide

Sarimsakli Beach, it is the point where clear

Aegean waters merge and provide a spacious

coastal holiday. Golden-yellow sand that reaches deep points of the sea, beaches on Alibey Island, Duba Beach, Altinova Beach, Sarimsakli Beach, Badavut Shores and untouched, hidden corners make it a pleasure for visitors from all cultures, all ages, every lifestyle.

 

Walking, biking and recreation areas aren't the only benefits. Those looking for more will be captivated by the culture, the streets with nostalgia for their architectural buildings, the windows

of buildings that smell of history and preserve their story, the attractiveness of different colors and textures when you turn into every corner of Ayvalık.

 

Ayvalık, which has more than 35 kilometers of Aegean coastline, has dozens of natural coves for yacht and boat lovers as well as port businesses such as Ayvalık Setur Marina, Sadan Yacht Slipway. Ayvalık, which has had important cruising potential in recent years, offers the same opportunities for tens of thousands of tourists, especially on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

 

 

KITCHEN

 

Due to its geographical and natural conditions,

the Northern Aegean region is one of the few

places where the culture of Mediterranean cuisine

is maintained. Especially herbal appetizers, olive

oil dishes, seafood and delicious Cretan original

dishes are well known in the country and abroad.

Upcoming guests will enjoy the flavors of these

dishes.

 

Turkey is an important indicator of Mediterranean cuisine found in the North Aegean region, and this came to light in terms of gastronomic tourism and Ayvalik cuisine. Combining its unique and diverse food culture, Ayvalık cuisine has a rich potential in the field of gastronomic tourism.

 

 

AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY

 

The region's economy is heavily dependent on olive trees and tourism. Ayvalık has industrial facilities for the production of soap and olive oil, where 70% of the land is olive grove. Turkey is one of the world's leading manufacturer of olive oil. Even in Spain, which is one of the countries producing the highest quality olive oils, Ayvalık's olive oil is on the top shelves.

 

In addition to olives, products such as cotton, pine nuts and tangerines are also grown in Ayvalık. Grapes grown in a village in the Bağyüzü region are a well-known product around the world. In addition, in terms of soil fertility, the Altınova region has agricultural land suitable for growing all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Fish and fish restaurants are also an important source of incomes for the region.

 

 

HOLY PLACES

 

Ayvalık has hosted various civilizations in its

deep-rooted past. Every house has its own story,

every now and then you will come across churches,

monasteries and mosques. While some of these

buildings are still standing, some have only a few

fragments of the wall left, which have survived to

this day.

 

Some of the historic buildings are the Çınarlı

Mosque, the Ayazma Church, the Ayışığı Monastery,

the Profita Iliyas Church, Ayos Dimitriyos, the

Taksiyarhis Church, the Ayos Yannis Mosque, or as

it is called the Saatli Mosque "Meryeman Church,

Ayos Yorgis Mosque, Çınarlı Mosque, Kato Panaya

Church, Hayrettinpaşa Mosque, Ane faneyaya

Mosque, Faneya Mosque,

Panaya Church, Ayiu Nikolau Monastery , Aya

Paraskevi Monastery, Lamlı Monastery, Leka Panaya

Monastery, Guardian of the Virgin Mary Monastery,

Apostolos Monastery, Pigeon Islands Monastery,

Profita Iliya Monastery, Kizlar Monastery and many,

many others.

 

 

ISLANDS

 

The Ayvalık region has about 22 small islands.

The largest of these islands is

Alibey Island/Cunda Island, which is connected

to the Lale Island by bridge in 1964 and then to

the rest of county. One of these bridges is the

first such bridge in Turkey. All the islands of the

Ayvalık region, except Alibey/Cunda Island, were

declared National Parks in 1995 and life on them

is forbidden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ayvalık region is also known as "Kidonia", which

in ancient times had the meaning of wild quince. Is

a common beliefthat that the first residents of the

region could have come from the Kidon village of

Lesbos or the Kydonies region of Crete. The name

"Kydonie", today “Ayvalık”, has been used since 330 BC.

 

The Ayvalık region is one of the regions with high

tourist potential, with its natural beauty, beaches,

historical and cultural sites, climate and islands. In

addition to the natural beauty of the region, the

urban structure is characterized by neo-classical

examples of ancient architecture in the heart of the

Ayvalık region and on the island of Alibey/Cunda,

and also enriches the tourist offer. As we sad it

above, the region looks like an open-air museum.

In addition, ancient cities in the surrounding

provinces and districts are also of great importance

in terms of tourism of the state of Turkey.

 

For this reason, it has always been at the top of

tourist and cultural destinations, and continues to

maintain this superiority.

 

 

AYVALIK IN ANCIENT TIMES

 

In ancient times, the islands of the Ayvalık region were called Hekatonis. This name came from the largest island, Nesos (Moshonisi/Cunda/Alibey Island), from Apollo, also known as the capital of the ancient city of Nesos. In addition to the Nesos, there were ancient settlements of Kalkia, Pordoselena and Kydonia in the Apollo Islands. Although ancient Chalkis sources spoke of Pordoselene's Nasos, Plinius, who wrote about Kydonia, reported having a known hot water source that only flows in summer. The Halkids and the Pordoselene disappeared from these four ancient cities, but Kydonia and Nesos survived, as Ayvalık and Alibey/Cunda Island survived too.

 

 

AYVALIK IN THE TIME OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

 

Urban architecture took shape in the Ottoman Empire. The establishment of today's Ayvalıka region coincides with the years 1430-1440. The region was at that time established on a hill

above the harbor. The Ottoman Empire established a naval base on Alibey/Cunda Island. Later, the Greeks began to settle in the city and soon outnumbered the Turkish population. For the first time the Ayvalık region is mentioned in Ottoman sources is in an edict published in 1772. This edict is believed to have been brought by Cezayirli Hasan-pasha, who came to Ayvalık when returning from the battle with the Russian Navy in 1770. After that he became his grand vizier.

 

The Ayvalıka region was an area where non-Muslims had lived since 1789 and this population structure continued until the Greek uprising of 1821. As a result of this uprising, the population of Ayvalık was evacuated and in 1840 the Karesi Sancağı district was built. Although the Greeks were allowed to return at the end of the war, they did not do that and the region was unable to regain its former vitality.

 

In the French yearbook from 1900-1914. there is information about the socio-economic structure of Ayvalık, which states: "It has a population of 30,000. The region exports olive oil, wax, silk, wine, soap, and imports sugar, coffee, wool, cotton cloth and raw leather. United Kingdom France, The UK and Ireland, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy have their own consulates in this region. At the same time, there is an academy, a general hospital with pharmacies and two hotels in the region."

 

 

AYVALIK DURING THE WAR FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE STATE OF TURKEY

 

The region came under Greek rule on May 29, 1919, with the occupation of Izmir after World War I. The first bullet in Anatolia after the invasion was fired by Commander Ali Çetinkaya, commander of the 172nd Regiment. This condition lasted until September 15, 1922. The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on July 24, 1923, states that, in accordance with the exchange of population between Greece and Turkey, the islands of Crete and Lesbos will belong to Turkey and belong to this region. Ayvalık became a region of the state on May 19, 1928. Ayvalık, who exemplifies devotion and reverence for his WWI heroes, remembers those who lived in him, not only with the names of streets and squares, but with great honor and pride.

 

 

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

 

The Mediterranean climate prevails in the region.

Due to its location in the Aegean region, winters

are warm and rainy and summers are hot and

dry. There are days of "constant winds". In

summer, the average temperature is 24-34° C.

In summer, when the environment "dissolves"

from the heat, the Ayvalık region is cooled by

the winds and gives "power" to the olive trees

growing in the region, thus aromatizing the oil.

 

Located in the north of the Aegean region,

Ayvalık belongs to the Balıkesir district. An area rich in pine trees and olive groves. As we have already pointed out, it is on the Aegean coast. The Ayvalık region borders Gömeç in the northeast, Dikili and Bergama districts in the south, Izmir and the Aegean in the west. Across the Ayvalık is the island of Lesbos, which is the center of the geographical region of the North Aegean Islands, and is visible to the naked eye from the center of Ayvalık.

 

Ayvalık, a city built on rocks geologically belonging to volcanic periods, has been the source of building materials as "Sarımsak Taşı" used by residents of the region since the first days of settlement. Maden Island, located at the end points of Alibey/Cunda Island, overlooking the Aegean Sea, has been used as lead ore for years.

 

The Ayvalık region is established on an area of 265 km² and is geographically included in the Aegean region and is administratively within the boundaries of the Marble Region. As the mountains lie vertically to the sea, in the Ayvalık region, the coasts are separated and deposits and bays are formed on them. The coast of the Aegean region is 34 km long.

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