THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES AND TOWNS FOR YOUR DREAMS

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES AND TOWNS FOR YOUR DREAMS

Our dreams pave the stones of our journeys. Wherever the destination is, it is always our wishes that are marked on the maps. On the contrary of the fast-paced holidays, we come across the places that are modest with a character lately in travel trends. Far away from the crazy crowd, the villages and towns, where nature is a refuge and where traditions are maintained and ecological life is possible, become more beautiful to us as long as they do not give up on their own peculiar lives. Although this article includes only some of the villages among the numerous villages in Turkey, we believe that you will find your dreams in many of them. 

Not to forget the traditions…
The most successful example of tourism and protectionism existing together in Turkey is the Yörük Village, a historical Turk-Turkmen village, which is a small model of Safranbolu and reminiscent of traditions at 11 km from Safranbolu. Sipahioğlu Mansion and Kasım Sipahioğlu Mansion have been transformed into information houses among 700-year-old village houses. You can browse the old launderette of the village and the mosques with wooden ceilings; you can buy the producers’ organic fruits and vegetables. There are also yörük style buttered gözleme and home-made baklava in the Yörük Sofrası managed by the Gümüş couple in the village square. Originated from Oğuz Turks, named as Efelik in the Aegean and as Seymenlik in Central Anatolia, the tradition of Seymenlik, which is unique to Anatolia, is being kept alive in special occasions such as wedding ceremonies at Yörük. Moreover, on the yörük day, which is held at the end of August or the beginning of September every year, the nomads are gathered, celebrations are held, and the female or male who pays the most money is selected as the aga. In the past, communication between the neighbors was provided by the tied knots attached to the knockers on the courtyard doors of the houses. A single knot means “we will return in a short time,” double knots mean “we will be in a while,” triple knots mean “we won’t be back for the whole day,” and more than three knots mean that they are out of the village and won’t return for a few days. Today, these knots are symbolically seen on the house doors. It is a pleasure to visit this region accompanied by the nice conversation of the researcher-writer Aytekin Kuş (0532 583 57 03).

To see what is simple after the crowd leaves…
Alaçatı, which has become more “in” than Çeşme as it used to be a small town visited by those who own a summer house in Çeşme for its marketplaces, is now a place where summer cannot be very tolerable. Despite its infested look, it is still one of the most beautiful towns of the Aegean, with its square, coffee shop, bazaar, mosque transformed from a church, and the Greek architectural remains that remained intact. Alaçatı, the existence of which was only known by the locals of İzmir, is one of Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations today. The pouring investors in Alaçatı completely changed the face of this place. The stone buildings have been restored, turned into amazingly beautiful hotels, lodging houses, cafes, and restaurants. Alaçatı became active even during the winter and on the weekends. Whether this is bad or good for Alaçatı is probably an endless debate, but in the winter you can catch the most modest and calm state of this town. Alaçatı Taş Otel, an old Greek house, is open all year.

To find shelter in nature…
Although the roads of Eastern Black Sea are challenging, its wonderful geography can make anyone forget all kinds of negativity. As you go to Şavşat, 90 km from Artvin, you will see more spectacular sceneries along the way than the Alps’. The surroundings of Şavşat are filled with beauty. Villages and highlands where wooden houses take place are worth seeing, even if it is troublesome to access due to challenging roads. Finding shelter here and surrendering to nature can make people forget all their troubles. The Karagöl-Sahara National Park is much more untouched than Uzungöl, the famous but quite touristic region of the Black Sea. The scenery on the roads is spectacular. Structuring is little if any. You pass through Meşeliköy and Veli Köy villages, where villagers live in hundred-year-old wooden houses. There are red fish and carp in the lake. There are many highlands near Karagöl. One is the Bilbilan Plateau where an animal market is set on the weekends.

To breathe in the Aegean air…
Gölcük, located on the bank of a crater lake in the middle of black pine forests at a distance of 140 km from İzmir, is visible through the pine trees on the hill. Gölcük, which is cool like a plateau in summer and covered with snow in winter, presents the most beautiful views of the lake and forest combination, which is rare to find in the Aegean. There are hotel, hostel and camping areas around the lake. In the restaurants, as well as casserole made from kid’s meat and wels catfish with garlic sauce, the Ödemiş meatballs and the sausages made in the region are also famous. Gölcük is reached through Birgi. Birgi, on the skirts of Bozdağ covered with black pine forests, on the edge of a wide plain, which is drenched by the Küçük Menderes River, is a town that has not lost its character. The most important structure is Çakırağa Mansion. Wall paintings of İstanbul and İzmir in the bedrooms of the mansion for Çakır Aga’s two wives, one from İzmir and the other from İstanbul and the doors of the pulpit built with the kündekari method in the Ulu Mosque should be seen. The streets right behind the Ulu Mosque are Birgi’s oldest streets.

For a distant and ancient ambience…
Any of the Tur Abdin villages, all of which are established on a hill in Midyat, is enough to surprise you. Despite their close proximity to Midyat, their desolateness, their secludedness in this vast geography, the low gates of their churches opening with giant keys attribute a mysterious ambiance to these villages. As you go from Midyat to İdil direction, an earth road that turns into an asphalt road after a while takes you to Gülgöze after 13 kilometers. The mystery of Mar Had Bşabo Church in Gülgöze is worth experiencing. The church is small, built in the style of a cave, and has low passages, entrance gate and its giant key, rooms with labyrinths. These details will not be easy to forget. İzbırak and Anıtlı are the villages worth a visit. The Virgin Mary Syriac Church (El Hadra) located in the village of Hah is dated from the 4th century.

For a dream like trip…
Cappadocia is like a dream. From Ürgüp, it is not only the arrival points but also the villages (Cemil, Taşkınpaşa, Ayvalı) in between are worth seeing. The 14th century Seljuk period mosque in Taşkınpaşa and an example of how Göreme and Ürgüp were before the arrival of tourism, Ayvalı are notable stops. 5 km to Ürgüp, Sinasos (Mustafapaşa), a settlement where the rich Greeks lived, used to be an important summer resort of the Greeks with the churches and the stone houses, until the years of exchange. Half-century-old magnificent stone houses, gates, ornaments are still bedazzling today. Grapes are still grown and wines are made on the low-tuff hills. Mollasses are boiled down with the leftovers. The older of the two largest churches in the center was built in the name of Aios Konstantinos and Helene. Şakir Pasha Madrasa is also in the center. The dovecotes in the steep cliffs of the Yukarı Soğanlı Village are hard to miss. There are small churches carved into the mountains. Soğanlı dolls unique to this village, which contribute to the income of the village people, are very nice. The village of Güzelyurt in the Manastır Valley, which was able to stay outside of Cappadocia’s tourism fury, is also impressive in its silence.