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Located close to Izmir, Alaçatı is a perfect little Aegean town with Greek roots that are apparent in its stone houses with colorful shutters. From its amazing food to its pristine beaches and excellent windsurfing spots, a weekend in Alaçatı is like a little vacation.
Famous for its architecture, vineyards, and windmills, Alaçatı didn’t become a major international destination until it earned a name for its great windsurfing and kitesurfing spots and conditions. With crystal clear waters and the steady and consistent winds that permeate the small town for around 300 days a year, Alaçatı is a dream for athletes. However, for those who are not into surfing the waves and the winds, the small town is also a great destination in its own right. Its traditional stone houses, narrow cobblestone streets, many lovely boutique hotels within renovated historic homes, and restaurants that all set their tables outside under the vines all make up a pretty amazing visual. Just take a stroll down Kemalpaşa Caddesi, the town’s main street, to take in all the amazing boutique hotels, excellent Aegean cuisine restaurants, modern cafés, and high-end boutiques.
While in Alaçatı, make sure to eat dinner at one of the town’s most famous restaurants, Asma Yaprağı. An essential experience for fans of gastronomy, the restaurant’s courtyard is a heavenly place during the summer, and you’ll have to venture inside at some point to choose from the collection of freshly made meze. It also must be noted that making a reservation is quite essential. If you’re not too much into crowds, it might be a good idea to avoid Alaçatı between June and August, when the town is filled with visitors. In the off-season, especially in October, Alaçatı takes on a whole different guise and is much more idyllic than chic and energetic.
Once a year during April, Alaçatı also hosts the Alaçatı Herb Festival where eco-friendly methods in gastronomy and nutrition are promoted by introducing the large spectrum of the area’s herb varieties. If you’re interested in traditional ingredients and cooking techniques, then the festival is a great place to explore everything that the Aegean has to offer. In 2017, Alaçatı also began hosting the Kaybolan Lezzetler Festivali (Festival of Disappearing Tastes) where traditional recipes from various regions that are quickly fading are celebrated and reintroduced through workshops, events, and contests.