Arriving at Terra Zoe

After rather a long day filled with buses and airports, we were delighted when we finally reached Terra Zoe. We were given a taste of our week to come when we were greeted with flocks of sheep blocking the road down to the hotel!

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We were welcomed by a delicious home-cooked dinner, complete with octopus rice, local lamb, and beautifully fresh salads. The emphasis at Terra Zoe is on local produce, either grown in the hotel’s own grounds or bought from the ladies at the markets. We left dinner feeling well fed, and retreated to our beautiful room for a good night’s sleep. Our room is next to the yoga studio, and has a terrace with views across the sea to Lesbos. It’s a huge room, with a sitting room and small kitchen as well as the bedroom and bathroom. It is very light and crisp, decorated with wonderful Turkish antiques which give the place an authentic but very tasteful feel. We went to sleep eager to explore the area in the morning.

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Troy

After a light breakfast of watermelon, we set off early for Troy, arriving before the sun got too hot and the crowds descended. We teamed up with a young, adventurous French couple who were staying at Terra Zoe and were desperate to see Troy before they caught a bus back to Istanbul that evening. The ancient city of Troy is about an hour away from Terra Zoe; the route is easy and the drive is very scenic.

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Although not a huge amount of structure remains, it’s still well worth a visit.

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As you walk around the site, you can really get a sense of the vast amount of history which it has been privy to – both in reality and in legend. In one of the areas, it is still possible to see the original foundation stones of the fortification wall, built in 2500 BC.

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The views from Troy are also fantastic, and it’s interesting to see such a change in the landscape considering it’s relatively close to Terra Zoe.

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After our light breakfast we were rather peckish so we decided to stop for brunch on our way back to the hotel. We stopped off at a large roadside restaurant which didn’t look like much from the outside, but it served great, simple food which was just what we were after. One of the many brilliant things about Turkey is how easy it is to get delicious, fresh food. Once we got back to the hotel, we walked down to the sandy beach and spent the afternoon playing cards in the sun and swimming in the beautifully clear water.

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Temples, Walks, and Fish

We spent a leisurely morning at the beach, playing backgammon and cards inbetween going for a dip in the sea. Once we had decided it was time for a coffee and a change of scene, we ventured along the coast to Mavi Fener, a beautiful blue and white café.

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This serves as a place where the ladies of the area can meet and enjoy a coffee and a chat, as well as yummy home-cooked food. It also sells an array of local crafts.

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We headed back into Assos for the afternoon, this time to visit the old Greek temple, built in 530 BC. After walking along cobbled streets lined with stalls selling jewellery, amongst other things, we reached the temple at the top of the hill. There was hardly anybody else there, except for half a dozen turkeys milling around near the entrance gate, and it’s very relaxed so you can walk all over the ruin.

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The view from the temple is breathtaking; it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

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In the evening, we went on a beautiful walk from the hotel, taking the old, cobbled road up the hill, passing flocks of sheep and their shepherds.

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The views over the sea are incredible.The old road leads up to the top of the hill, and joins up with the usual road which you take down the hill to get to Terra Zoe.

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In total, the walk takes about an hour and a half, and we’d highly recommend it! For supper we went to Okan Motel, a popular family–run fish restaurant close to the hotel. We sat at the water’s edge marvelling at the reflection of the full moon over the sea, eating fresh calamari and local tuna. The staff were fantastic and the food was delicious, however, as it’s freshly caught, there is no guarantee of what will be available.

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An Aborted Walk, the Beach, and More Fish

We woke up to some rather threatening clouds, but as we’re English, we decided to risk the impending rain and set out on a walk. The walk is along a river, which is found beside the road to Assos, so unlike the walk up the old cobbled road which we had done the day before, you really do need a car to get to it.

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Soon after we started, the rain descended, and although we were wrapped up in blankets, we decided to retreat back to the comfort of Terra Zoe!

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The rest of the walk looked beautiful though, so green and unspoilt.

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We stayed in our room listening to the downpour and playing cards, venturing out for lunch once it had stopped. In the afternoon we decided to visit a different beach called Imbat Motel which was about a 15 minute drive away. We were told by the owners that it gets extremely busy during the summer months, but as we were visiting in September it was quiet. It was a beautiful setting with a panoramic view of Lesbos.

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There’s a platform to swim off and a restaurant where we treated ourselves to an afternoon ice-cream.

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The sun started to set and we began to get a bit chilly, but luckily there was a waiter at the platform serving tea – all very civilised! After our tea we headed back to the hotel and had a quick turnaround before heading to Muammer’s Place, the closest fish restaurant, in time for sunset.

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The restaurant is very casual, serving the freshest, most delicious seafood. We had octopus, calamari, and a wonderful local fish. We’d highly recommend Muammer’s Place, everything is so simple and the view out over the bay is beautiful.

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Our Last Day

We woke up early in time for one last swim before leaving Terra Zoe. We absolutely loved our stay, and although we were reluctant to go back to the real world, we left feeling so relaxed.

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Terra Zoe is wonderfully peaceful and secluded, however this does mean we’d highly recommend hiring a car in Ayvacik! Although it is possible to walk to the beach and a few restaurants, a car definitely came in handy. We’d also suggest having a couple of words of Turkish under your belt before you arrive. Having said that, by the time we’d left we’d only really mastered ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, so it is possible to get by using sign language! All in all, we’d love to come back, it really is a wonderful place to recharge your batteries and enjoy a slower pace of life.

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