Explore The central and southern Aegean
ALAÇATİ, 9km southeast of Çeşme, is one of the region’s most upmarket resorts, favoured with İstanbul’s cosmopolitan elite. Formerly a somewhat isolated Greek village, its resurgence began when one of the town’s charming old stone houses was turned into a swish designer hotel, the Tas Otel. This proved so popular that, within a few years, it had spawned over a dozen equally stylish and tasteful imitators, not to mention a similar number of gourmet restaurants. Strict building regulations have meant that, in the centre of town at least, this rapid growth has had little effect on the character of the place, and it’s still architecturally stunning. Its old lanes and cobbled streets, particularly on the main thoroughfare, Kemalpaşa Caddesi, are dotted with antique shops, art galleries and snazzy boutiques selling designer goods.
The town’s 300-metre-long sandy beach is 4km south. Most visitors head here to take advantage of the unique windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions; the strong, reliable “Meltemi” wind, combined with shallow water and lack of waves makes the bay ideal for learners.