After three days in Istanbul, we headed over to the West coast of Turkey, to a charming little town called Alaçatı, located in Çeşme. It neighbours Greece and has a beautiful Mediterranean vibe with its stone houses, cobbled streets and blue wooden shutters and doors.
We stayed at the Alacati Yamac Evi Butik Otel.
We booked their top floor room:
I mean, a hot tub and this view, overlooking the terracotta roofs:
Every morning, we’d wake up to this incredible breakfast spread – everything from clotted cream served with honey to fresh, hot scrambled eggs.
It was just amazing.
I managed to get this shot our final day, when we left bright and early – at sunrise. 🌄
We hired a little scooter to get us around as public transport is pretty non-existent / taxis are rare and walking can only get you so far.
Driving past the marina:
The town centre is gorgeous –
I could happily walk around it for weeks on end, exploring every little corner, cafe and shop.
Wherever you look, it’s perfectly Instagram-able.
When can I move in??
I’m not fussy – this one will also do:
I’m forever collecting photos of beautiful doors:
Cute little secret cafes:
Perfect for a mid-afternoon break.
During the day, whilst everyone is at the beach, the town has a chilled, almost sleepy vibe then the evenings, it really comes alive.
The night markets.
There’s a whole host of idyllic beaches on the Aegean coastline with soft white sand, glimmering turquoise water…
And, endless deckchairs and people.
Personally – I like a bit of peace and quiet so opted for more rugged spots, away from the throngs of people.
Like this little cove in Tatlicak Mevkii.
Granted – it’s not the prettiest. But we had the whole place to ourselves.
And the water was perfect – crystal clear, warm and peaceful.
^ I mean, come on!
On another occasion, we ended up here:
A word of warning: if you do end up hunting out a quieter space, be extra careful as it’s often the rocks are slippery and the water gets deep very quickly. If you’re not a confident swimmer (🙋🏻 guilty!) make sure you are mindful!
Ugh – I could watch these live photos of the water gently lapping the shore all day long.
All the blue:
We found this place by chance, it’s located near Ilıca Beach. We drove around looking for a quieter spot, and ended up zigzagging our way through residential houses to find it.
And I’m so glad we did!
Alacati market is open on Saturdays and sells everything you could possibly want!
^ From traditional Turkish towels…
…through to spices, herbs and teas galore.
No prizes for guessing where I ended up!
The most flavoursome, sweet, sun dried tomatoes. You could honestly eat these like sweets!
And the colour!!
^ Endless varieties of olives
^ honeys and oils (definitely recommend grabbing some olive oil, this region is famous for it!)
Beautiful, colourful soaps for a variety of skin conditions.
Definitely bought loads of fruit too! 🍒🍓🍑🍉🍇
Cute bags, scarves and more.
Just some of the culinary goodies we brought back with us:
If I’m honest, we had a variety of hit / misses when it came to food.
We stumbled upon this little gem on our first day, it’s run the sweetest older couple. Admittedly, we struggled to communicate due to the language barrier but they were very welcoming and friendly. It was such a personal experience and we just felt looked after.
All the food is homemade and you pick from a variety of dishes which are heated up / plated up accordingly. From left to right, top to bottom, we ordered baba ganoush, lamb meatballs cooked in tomato sauce, a chicken dip, bread and olive oil, courgettes cooked in tomato with onions and topped with yoghurt, lamb in a crispy and flaky pastry and cacik.
The food is served up with homemade bread and olive oil which, from what I gathered, the owner was very proud to have freshly baked, earlier that same morning.
Honestly, it was such a homely, coming home to visit your grandparents type experience. By the end of it, I was pretty much ready for them to adopt me!
A little friend who shared our lunch. 😸
Dost Pide & Pizza
This place was heaving at lunchtime so we were sure we’d be in for a treat – sadly the food was pretty unremarkable and average.
^ grilled chicken wings.
^ chicken and egg pide.
This place is one of the most famous (and delicious) places around! Whilst the service is pretty lacklustre, the food is incredible! Make sure you reserve a table in advance or you’ll risk missing out.
Honestly, it’s such an experience. Dining in the atmospheric, stone garden in the shade of the trees above you, on white linen-clad tables with candles and potted plants. It’s stunning.
You’re invited into the kitchen to pick from a selection of incredible mezze / starters and a choice of mains (in our case, slow cooked lamb / meatballs). The thinly sliced pumpkin roasted with caramelised onions is absolute perfection and honestly I need some more in my life!
These are then brought out to you to enjoy at your table.
We were seated in their over-spill, second garden. This meant that whilst we had pretty poor service as not many serves were not around, we were largely left to ourselves for much of the evening, not rushed in anyway and were able to really take our time.
^ Homemade baklava and Turkish tea to end the night.
We were seated outside on the street as we hadn’t booked ahead but actually, that worked out quite nicely as it was a lot quieter and the perfect spot to people watch.
Whilst the food was delicious (mushroom pasta / steak), service left a lot to be desired. I was pretty relieved when we managed to escape!
We ended up having lunch at this little cafe after the owner charmed us in.
Ordinarily, that’s enough to make us run but on this occasion we were starved so fell for it!
Pretty underwhelming mezze in all honesty:
Imren Helva Ve Tatlı Evi
A perfect little place to stop for some dessert:
We ordered their traditional helva dessert, filled with vanilla icecream. Delicious although the cardamom was far too strong for my liking!
Shaved ice, rose syrup, jelly cubes and an overly generous dusting of icing sugar – sounds weird but was a pretty refreshing afternoon treat!
Al Haram Club
This quirky shisha cafe is a great place to chill and wile away an hour or two:
The decoration is pretty unique with all the mismatching yet complimentary pieces and looks like it’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
Pretty decent shisha and iced coffee.