Bozcaada is a beautiful island in the Aegean not far from Canakkale. Interestingly, the island is roughly shaped like a triangle with one edge facing parallel to the mainland coast. You will notice that most of the island is covered by vineyards and pine forests. This island is soaked in charm that even mainland Turks have a few housing estates they use as a vacation home. Family-friendly and casual atmosphere make this destination a great city break or weekend holiday.
Things to do in Bozcaada
No island visit is complete without checking the local beaches. On the southern part of the island, Ayazma and Habbele have a few beach cafes with rental sun chairs and umbrellas. One of the few places one can relax by the beach right by an ancient castle. There are also a few deserted swimming holes if you bike or drive around the island. The Bozcaada Castle hugged on by side by the sea and the other by the marshy moat. No real evidence can clear the mystery of who built the castle but it ha served for Byzantines, Venetians and Genoans. The most recent record is that Mehmet II rebuilt the castle in the 14th century. This is also one of the best-preserved castles in Turkey and open to the public. From the castle walls, you can catch a sweeping view of the marina and town centre. Visit as well the Ayama Monastery and the windmills on the west side of the island. The town though relatively small has an elegant charm with its cobbled streets and traditional architecture. A mix of Greek and Turkish architecture.
The people of this island not only make their living from tourism but also from viticulture and fishing. Be sure to go savour some of the local wine at a few of the local wineries and their natural red poppy syrup. Bozcaada is also the only place in turkey to make delicious tomato jam. It can be found at the local supermarket. But just by the harbour, there is an artisans’ market stalls selling spices, jewellery, thyme-scented honey, rose petal jams and other unique jams. The island streets are bewitching to wander through and stop off at the taverns or restaurants that line the harbour. Another popular activity is to watch the sunset either at the Polente Feneri lighthouse on the western side of the island. Walk up to the top of Bozcaada as people say it is one of the best sunsets one can see. When it is full one, one can watch the sunset and the moon rise simultaneously.
How to get to Bozcaada
Only 5km away from the Turkish mainland, this island is only accessible by ferry transfer. There are daily ferries that depart from Geyikli and Canakkale. Ferry transfers from Istanbul take about 8 hours. Within the area of Canakkale, other points of interest are the sacred Gelibolu peninsula, a glory of the Bronze Age at Troy, and the wool carpets made at Ayvacik.