Ayvalik Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Ayvalik, the name of the city comes from the old name Kidonia, quich means quince in Greek. In Turkish quince means "ayva". So today it´s called - Ayvalik - . The town is a popular North Aegean seaside resort and one of best in the Edremit Bay area. There are about 30 small islands near by in the Turkish and Greek waters. However, Lesbos is the 3rd largest island in the Aegan sea, belongs to Greek's. Sarmisakli Beach is the best area to swim in Ayvalık, 10km south, where the sandy beach welcomes you. If you are there, make sure you go the Seytan Sofrasi (Devil's Table), at the highest peak in Ayvalik and watch to sun sets overlooking the Agean sea and the islands where you enjoy the most. There is a restaurant at the top, the best way to sit there from sun set to midnigth and enjoy the lights of the islands and other nearby towns and watch small boats and yachts in the harbor of Ayvalik.
Ayvalık is the olive oil capital of the country. There are about 20 local olive oil factories and make sure you visit at least one of it. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Greeks of Ayvalik moved to Greece, and Turkish citizens of Greece islands moved to Ayvalik. Thus, even after the Greeks left, you could still hear Greek spoken in the streets of Ayvalik, although the speakers were Turkish Muslims (who had grown up in Greece).
Ayvalik has many old Ottoman and Greek houses, and orthodox churches now converted to mosques. Turkish tourists throng the many waterside open-air restaurants in summer, or take the ferry across/ take new open road to the bay to Alibey Island where there are even more good waterside restaurants and tavernas. Dining, relaxing, swimming and boating are the things to do in summer.
Ferries run daily in summer between Ayvalik and the Greek island of Lesbos (Mytileni), less frequently at other times of year. The fare is 15 euro return. There are other Greek-Turkish ferries, such as from Çesme to Chios, Kusadasi to Samos, Bodrum to Kos, or Marmaris to Rhodes.
Ayvalik has an airport near by town, 50km North at Edremit where in the summer time daily planes serves from Istanbul.