Hidden paradise welcomes visitors in northern Aegean
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu AgencyWith its unspoiled nature and old stone houses, the Yeşilyurt village on the skirts of the Kaz Mountains has become a favorite getaway for those seeking to escape the stress of city life.
“This place is a hidden heaven,” said Çanakkale Culture and Tourism Director Kemal Dokuz.
“Yeşilyurt is one of the most important tourist destinations in the region. I am sure its brand value will increase in the future. Ecotourism has become popular in recent years. The houses of villagers here have become small and boutique hotels. Both the north and south of the Kaz Mountains have different beauties. The region is home to the world’s most important endemic plants,” Dokuz said, adding that the region’s silent environment offered a paradise for those who want to rid themselves of the stress of big cities.
Situated in the Küçükkuyu area in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district, the village especially attracts visitors from Istanbul and İzmir.
Located on the westernmost part of the Kaz Mountains, the village is on the slope of a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea.
According to mythology, the world’s first beauty contest was held on this mountain. The region, which has been settled for millennia and which has been home to the Lycians, Persians and Romans, was also one of the most important transition points in Ionia.
Yeşilyurt village was established in 1355 by one of the Oğuz tribes, the Çepni.
Both Greeks and Turks had lived together in Yeşilyurt, which was formally known as Büyük Çetmi, until the population exchange in 1924 when the Greeks left the village to be sent to Greece.
The foundations of a Greek church still exist in a lower neighborhood of the village. It is also known that Greeks worked on the construction of a mosque in the village as well.
The 200-house village, which was given the name Yeşilyurt in 1970, has drawn attention from the people of big cities due to its old stone houses and nature.
Significant tourist destination
Yeşilyurt’s village headman, Suat Can, said they mostly received visitors from Istanbul and İzmir. As interest increased in the village, Can said, the old stone structures had been restored and turned into hotels, guest houses and restaurants.
“Those who come to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula and the ancient cities of Troy and Assos also visit Yeşilyurt,” he said.
Can said that as well as locals, there were people coming from big cities to spend their holidays in spring and summer.
“Our village draws great interest from local and foreign tourists. We have nearly 10 small and big accommodation facilities. They are very beautiful; everyone leaves the village pleased. The stone structures in the village increase the interest, too. We have old history with Greeks in the past; I think this makes the village more popular. Also, thanks to nature and clean weather, Yeşilyurt has been popular over the last 10 years. The villagers make their life in the olive business. We also have small cafes and restaurants,” Can said, adding that some scenes in TV series, films and commercials had been shot in the village in recent years as well.