The province of Canakkale does not benefit from the high volume of tourists found in other regions of Turkey. This is the real turkey –hospitable, unexplored and untainted for the most part by mass tourism.
A part of me wants to keep this quiet and not tell anyone how beautiful and natural this region is. The stifling hot July and August temperatures of the south coast are instead the breezy and temperate summer winds of the Aegean.
The olive groves and orchards provide a distinctly green countryside even in the height of the summer season. Water is generally in no short supply here with underground springs and a good natural supply from the nearby mountain ranges.
For me this is the place to get away from it all. Forget your troubles, the stresses of every day life and the hustle and bustle of city life. Lose yourself in the sparkling clear waters of the Aegean sea. Relax under the sun and take in the magnificent views this province has to offer.
The city of Çanakkale is located on the south side of the Dardenelles. Steeped in legend and myth this region of Turkey has seen the Greeks and the Romans come and go. The strategic importance of the straights of the Dardenelles have seen Sultans and Royalty, battles and bloodshed, settlers and traders all passing through its waters. This famous region of Turkey is best known for the Trojan War and the city of Troy and the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I.
Today, Çanakkale, with it’s windy climate, plays host to a number of foreign tourists interested in wind surfing and visiting the war graves and battlefields. Tourism in the area is heavily bolstered by locals from Istanbul and Izmir.
Troy, or Truva in Turkish, was the centre of civilization in its prime. It used to be a sea port but the land has silted over and it now lies inland near Hisarlik. What should be a fine example of an ancient historical site will be of great disappointment to visitors because sadly what is left is the result of the destruction of the site by Heinrich Schliemann, a famous German archaeologist who basically plundered the site between 1870 – 1890 and took away its treasures.
Pretty much all there is to see in Troy is a replica wooden horse and some stones scattered around. Of all the fine historical treasures that Turkey has to offer, it has to said that Troy is not very prominent in the league tables.
Leaving Troy and travelling south you will see signs to Bozcaada or the island of Bozca. Not far from here is the ancient city of Alexandreia Troas. Most of the traffic leaving Çanakkale goes directly through Ezine and on to Ayvacik on route to Izmir but they are missing out on one of the most forgotten and unspoiled areas of Turkish coastline.
Those who branch off from Ezine to Geyikli now have the chance to explore the pretty island of Bozcaada or take the coast road south passing through small villages and spectacular coastline with its varied countryside and natural rock formations, against a backdrop of mountains and hills.
Between Geyikli and Assos you are within easy reach of Ezine and the numerous inexpensive restaurants and guest houses of the beautiful coastline. Get off the beaten track and turn inland once in a while and visit some of the little villages like Pinarbasi, Kemalli or Tavakli. Here you will experience the hospitality of the local people and it is here that you will find tranquillity and a slow pace of life that is enviable to many city dwellers.
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