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Bozcaada – Heaven or Hell

Written By THA on Friday, 6 July 2012 | 23:45

Photo by Ferhan Talib

Only a year ago, I stepped on this island for the first time and it made believe in “love at first sight.” Even on the ferry going from Geyikli Yukyeri Port to Bozcaada I had a huge smile on my face, like I already knew that I was going to fell in love with this island.

It was early June, when my friends and I arrived on the island, and the season had not yet started. I believe that the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the island was one of the main reasons why I fell in love with Bozcaada.

I’ve visited Bozcaada many times since my first visit during the crowded (by “crowded,” I mean packed) seasons, which were not as delightful as off-season days, but still there is always a secluded beach or café to find even during the most crowded times of the year.

Bozcaada was one of Turkey’s best kept secrets until the 2010s, but today it is one the most popular destinations for romantic couples and families looking for a quite place away from daily city life.

How couldn’t it be? Bozcaada produces its own wine and gets the most delicious seafood from its bays. It could be one of the best destinations for those who like to wine & dine…

Bozcaada is also great for swimming if you are interested in ice-cold water. Ayazma is the most well-known beach on the island, but that also means it is the most crowded.

If you’re looking to be a bit more isolated you can always try Tuzburnu, Poyrazland, Igdelik and Akvaryum. Even in the city centre you could have a lovely day swimming in the back sea by the historical castle.

During the season you can travel around the island by minibuses.

But, for me, walking in the city centre’s narrow streets, which are surrounded by the old houses of the island, is more intriguing than anything else.

When you spend the day walking around the lovely houses of the island, or have coffee in the hidden gardens of the island’s lovely cafes, you’ll be ready to see the wonderful sunset.

The most popular way to watch the sunset while you are on the island is to go to the Polente Lighthouse, just in front of the windmills.

But my choice would be enjoying the sunset by the sea (you can always find a captain willing to take you to enjoy that view). But whether you watch the sunset by Polente Lighthouse or on a little boat floating in the sea - do not forget to take a bottle of local wine with you.

Bozcaada is best for romantic couples and families with kids because there not many options if you are interested in a heavy night life. There are a few bars where you can enjoy a few drinks before or after dinner, but the music ends by midnight. That means you can go to bed early in order to wake up early for the best breakfast in town.

Rengigül Konukevi’s breakfast is sensational with its 45 different kinds of homemade jams. If you ever visit Bozcaada, do not go back without enjoying this experience. Reservation is a must.

For me Bozcaada is heaven, but remember, it has the potential to become a hell if you ever decide to visit the island during Bayram holidays, where thirty thousand people trying to survive on 1500-2000 people populated island.

Good to know:
- From Istanbul to Bozcaada is 6 hours by car, 10 hours by bus.
- Geyikli Yukyeri Port is 50 km away from Çanakkale, you can fly to Çanakkale from Istanbul
- Make sure you check the Geyikli-Bozcaada ferry schedule, it differs from winter to summer
- Try to avoid coming to Bozcaada on Saturdays, and leaving Bozcaada on Sundays during summer season, or be prepared to wait in a ferry queue for at least a few hours
- Make dinner and breakfast reservations even before coming to the island - better to be safe than sorry
- Special tip for romantic couples: Bozcaada is even more romantic when you visit the island on autumn and spring… (Ferhan Talib/Hurriyet Daily News)
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