A Beach Day

The next morning we woke to the dramatic sound of rain and thunder, but it passed quickly enough, leaving the air feeling fresh. For breakfast we were presented with an array of delicious Turkish dishes by the ever-smiling Fatima; a lady who comes down to work at the hotel after tending to her sheep near the village. Afterwards, the lovely owner, Ann, gave us a tour of the nearby beaches. There’s a choice of sandy and rocky beaches, all within walking distance of the hotel. We started by swimming off the rocks beside a small harbour – a great place to have a proper swim as there are steps down into the wonderfully calm and clear water.

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Next, we moved onto the sandy beach at Sude Motel. Here we enjoyed delicious chips cooked in olive oil and a simple, tasty salad for lunch.

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From the beach, you can see the iconic hill of Assos, once home to Aristotle, and the current home of the Temple of Athena.

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After a refreshing post-lunch swim, we returned to the hotel and sat in the garden. We watched the sun set over the sea and the island of Lesbos, whilst listening to the jingle of bells around the necks of the passing flock of sheep. For dinner we enjoyed a delicious selection of starters, our favourite being grated carrot in yoghurt, and then fresh fish. We made sure we got an early night, as we knew we had more adventures in the morning!

Ayvacik Market and Assos

This morning we headed to the big Friday market in Ayvacik, the closest city, passing an Ottoman bridge along the way.

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All of the nearby villagers come to sell their products. There’s a huge variety of things available, from fresh pistachios, to organic eggs.

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Everywhere you look there are smiling ladies and piles of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere and people don’t hassle you at all.

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On the outskirts of the market you can find stalls selling trinkets such as authentic sheep bells and horse blankets, as well as the less authentic clothes stalls..

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It’s a lovely place to wander around, stopping now and then to try local sweets and nuts. After the market, we took the old, windy road from Ayvacik to Assos, and headed down to the port. It has a very Greek feel, with lots of little waterside fish restaurants.

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The port itself has a Blue Flag of approval from the EU, confirming the cleanliness of the water. Not that you need any proof, as the water is so clear you can see all of the fish swimming around the boats! We were disappointed not to have brought our swimming costumes, as there are a few platforms beside the port from which you can swim.

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On the road up from the port we passed the old Greek amphitheatre. It has been partially restored and is now used as a venue for plays. It’s a very understated amphitheatre, and its view out to sea is fantastic.

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After a light lunch, we headed down to the beach for a refreshing afternoon swim, before returning to Assos to explore the upper part of the town in the evening. Assos itself is a protected town so all of the buildings are built in the traditional style, and its lovely to wander around the cobbled streets.

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We went to a fantastic little shop selling very reasonably priced silver jewellery. Although it was coming to the end of the season, the helpful owner still had a very good selection of things, and neither of us left empty handed! It’s the perfect place to buy presents. Having worked up an appetite exploring the little streets, we went to Panorama for supper. This is a good local restaurant with homemade food and, as the name suggests, an excellent view!