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Aracati: Discovery of "Heaven on Earth" in Western Turkey

(CNN) — The brass band fills the air with lively Turkish music as it marches down the cobblestone streets. Both tourists and locals fill the main square with applause and dance.

Musicians wear turquoise uniforms with gold shoulders in a color that matches the azure blue of the Aegean Sea of ​​Alaçatı on the Cesme Peninsula in western Turkey (or Türkiye). I am wearing. ..

Typical for Alasati, with its rustic stone houses with brightly painted wooden doors, fine restaurants, modern art galleries, and winding streets full of boutique shops. It has all the characteristics of a Mediterranean town. Easy Turkish charm.

Turkish vacationers have been to this picturesque destination, about an hour's drive southwest of Izmir since the resurrection in the early 2000s. Flocking. However, visitors from overseas are catching up.

Wherever you look, people drink Turkish tea at the town's outdoor cafes, taking in fresh air and sunshine.

Colorful town

Alacati's cobbled alleyways are filled with brightly colored houses.

Aracati's cobblestone alleys are vibrant It's full of colored houses.

Murat TopayAdobe Stock

And it's not just vacationers who have won. Windsurfers are also popular here because of the strong winds all year round. In the nearby bay, Alaçatı is the capital of Turkey's self-proclaimed windsurfing.

“The air you breathe here is precious,” says Perihan Akbrut, who runs the Clavier Hotel, a few minutes' walk from the stunning Clavier Stone House.

"Even if it's very hot during the summer, there's always a breeze that makes you feel good."

CNN's Richard Quest Travel western Turkey to discover why Izmir is called the "Penelope of the Aegean Sea".

The Kurabiye Hotel can easily be confused with a boutique guesthouse in the Aegean Sea, thanks to its whitewashed walls and blue doors.

Akbulut moved here from Istanbul in 2009 and the following year opened a hotel with a central courtyard decorated with lemon gardens.

She and her husband currently live between two destinations. Enjoy big city life during the winter and return to the beautiful city during the summer.

"It's very easy to organize your life here in Alasati-or simply-" she adds.

"But that's a fascinating reason for me. It's a place where you don't have to think too much about what to do or where to go."

Hidden in Izmir's Chemeralti Bazaar is Synagogue Street, which has been refurbished

Premier Produce

The Alacati Herb Festival, which aims showcases herbs of the region, is held in the town each spring.

The Arakati Herb Festival aims to introduce the herbs of the region. , Held every spring in town.

Berkcan Zengin / GocherImagery / MediaPunch / IPX / AP

Alaçatı has reinvented the wheel over the years. Until the mid-19th century, most were swamps to get rid of the swamps that bred malaria-causing mosquitoes.

Greek workers from nearby islands settled here and cultivated vineyards and olive groves. The region continues to be Turkey's premier wine and olive oil producing region.

Like other towns in the region, Alaçatı was almost abandoned in the 1920s after Turkey and Greece exchanged religious populations. Many of the stone houses have been abandoned and devastated for decades.

However, over the last 20 years, we have experienced some sort of sea change. Eagle-eyed visitors from all over the country found the opportunity to buy a villa here and breathed new life into the town.

Locals often boast of local produce and artisan food. On Saturdays, market stalls with fruits and vegetables, fresh bread and seafood line the town's main artery, Kemalpasha Street. Go up many side roads.

Every spring, the Alacati Herb Festival, an annual event that introduces the natural herbs that grow in Alacati and the nearby coastal town of Cesme, makes many visits to the region. Fascinate people.

"Everything is very reachable," Akbulut adds. "Delicious food, fresh vegetables and fruits, natural herbs and seafood.

" A good combination of locals and new settlers. Never feel lonely here. "

'Heaven on Earth'

Alacati is just a short drive from the beaches along the Cesme peninsula, including the stunning Ilica beach.

Herbs are just short Drive from the beaches along the Chessime Peninsula, including the stunning Irica Beach.

Emin Menguarslan / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

This region of the eastern Mediterranean has history. The ancient ruins of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are just an hour's drive south of Arakatu.

Hadrian, one of the most respected places in Christianity, near the Aegean Sea and modern-day Serchuk, built in honor of Roman emperor Hadrian There are some of Turkey's finest archaeological wonders, such as the temple.

On the other hand, there are only a few Pamukkales by car that literally mean "cotton castle" and can be mistaken for a collection of angelic clouds when viewed from the right angle. It's at a distance of time.

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The ancient city of Ephesus is arguably one of Turkey's wonderful wonders. However, there is a charming little village just a short drive away.

For centuries, tourists have visited this popular place in ancient travertine, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The well-preserved ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, once the center of healing, along with the Pamukkale antique pool, also known as the Cleopatra pool with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, are high. It is one of the lights. It is believed that he once swam.

And for those who want to stay near the town, a trip to the hot springs of Irika Beach, which is about 100 meters shallow from the coast, will not be disappointing.

"We call this place" heaven on earth, "" Eclam Oran, Mayor of Cesme, praising herbs at the Saturday market in Alasati, CNN. Talk to.

Judging by the faces of those around you, it can be difficult to find someone who opposes this emotion.