Looking for an idyllic Aegean island getaway? Then look no further! Bozcaada (pronounced Boze-jada) is one of only two inhabited Turkish islands in the Aegean amidst a sea of Greek Isles. It is a beautiful Aegean island that has retained its natural charm over the years and is the perfect Summer getaway when you want to escape life. Known as Tenedos in ancient times, the island is an eclectic mixture of old rustic houses, cobblestoned alleys, colourful cafes, sandy beaches and picturesque vineyards.
Bozcaada is really easy to get to which makes it a very popular weekend or day trip destination for turks. We jumped on a dolmuş and headed for the village of Geyikli where you board a ferry to the island of Bozcaada. Half an hour later and you’ll catch your first glimpse of Bozcaada Castle as you pull into the harbour. Within minutes, we had docked and began disembarking whilst hordes of people were waiting to swap with us and get on the ferry to sail back to the mainland.
Our hotel for the next two nights was Taş Ada Hotel which is located right in the center, just a 5 minute walk from the main square. Our room was lovely and bright with a cute balcony overlooking the town and castle below. One of the things I loved most about the hotel was their delicious breakfast all made with local ingredients. (the cheese was so delicious that we went and bought some from the local shop to take home with us)
The charming cobblestone town is adorable filled with colourful cafes and taverns with wooden tables and chairs where fresh seafood, meze, rakı or wine are served. A street passes through the center of the town dividing it into the Greek Quarter and the Turkish quarter. The Greek quarter has an old orthodox church with a prominent bell tower and the Turkish quarter has an old mosque.
5 things to do in Bozacaada
1. Go wine tasting. Bozcaada is known for it’s wine production. With the perfect climate for growing Kuntra, the island’s local grape, Bozcaada has attracted six wine producers to pitch up on the island. We visited Corvus Wines to pick up a bottle or two and it was lovely.
2. Explore the beaches. The island’s beaches are really beautiful and if you visit before the high season you can have them all to yourself. They all had crystal clear water but you definately need to rent a car or bike to drive around the island and explore. The dolmus’ are a bit hit and miss we found.
3. Stroll around the cobblestone streets. The island’s town center is divided into Greek and Turkish sections. You’ll see a mosque and Ottoman architecture on one side and an old church with a tall clock tower and white-washed houses like you find in Greece on the other side. Both have really nice bars, cafes and restaurants with a lively and vibrant atmosphere.
4. Visit the Bozcaada Castle. In 1455, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror rebuilt the castle on ruins that had been used by the Genovese and Venetians. In the following years, the castle, considered the best preserved castle in Turkey, was restored several times due to wars.
5. Shop at the market. Near the harbour, you will find locals selling many things such as spices, jewellery, jams, flowers, wicker baskets, ceramics, handmade textiles and olive oil to name a few.
6. Watch the sunset. A popular activity to do is pack a bag full of wine and snacks and head out to the Polente Feneri (Lighthouse) on the western side of the island. You’ll notice the giant electricity windmills as you approach. Grab a picnic blanket, some wine and snacks and a spot by the rocky ledge and watch one of the best sunsets you’ve ever seen in Turkey.