48 hours in Turkey’s Aegean paradise Bozcaada
Saffet Emre TONGUÇFRIDAY
Begin your first day in Bozcaada by going to the sea on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Aquarium. After swimming, you can rejoice in the evening with the island’s famous mastic cookies and a cup of tea in Çiçek Patisserie, in the old Greek Quarter.
The Greek Quarter is a warm place, filled with Bozcaada’s delightful restaurants and taverns and bow-windowed houses. Sandal Restaurant is one of Bozcaada’s classic destinations. Try sardines in vine leaves, island ravioli, fish soup and meat sarma at the Hasan Tevfik Restaurant.
The night life is limited, but there are places that serve as bars at night. Bakkal is one of them. Try their fresh cocktails made with corn poppy and grapes. The marinated meat comes from İstanbul. They are confident about their risotto. Oda Bar is located in the one of the oldest buildings of the island. It’s one of the smallest and coziest places on the island, with high ceilings and a harmony of old and new.
Go to Rengigül Guest House for a good breakfast experience on a table full of flowers. You can visit the Bozcaada Art Gallery after the meal. Bozcaada Art Gallery, and its garden called Itırlı Bahçe, is frequented by artists and art lovers.
Visit Aki design, where you will find handmade souvenirs, colorful wall ornaments and desktop clocks. Or you may visit Veli Dede’s shop, where you will find homemade tomato jam, olive oil and acuka sauce (made from spices, tomato paste, chestnuts and pepper).
For lunch, visit Ada Cafe, which has also acted for years as a tourism office for newcomers to the island. You can also visit Asma 6 in Liman for local foods. Try island herbs, local prairie rice, eggplant with almond, lamb wrapped with vine leaves or island ravioli. Try Galakto Bureko for desert. My suggestion for a drink is fresh grape juice.
For leisure, you can visit Mitos Beach in Habbele Cove. Try their rice with eggplant and meatballs. Vahit or Koreli in Ayazma Beach also serves delicious clam stuffing.
You can watch the whole island from the Göztepe Point, viewing the red sunset with windmills in the background.
I recommend Ada’m in the Greek Quarter for dinner. The service begins at midday with a fish sandwich with special ciabatta bread and continues with octopus and artichoke, fish stew with eggplant and vine sauced clam. Another choice for dinner is Maya Bozcaada, a restaurant in a vineyard house in the Amerikan Çeşmesi Quarter.
A new habit of islanders is watching the sunset by the sea in Fuska Bar. Another option is the Polente Cafe.
Breakfast with Alishiro’s bread in Patiska Vineyard House is 30 TL. The dish that they serve, egg on top of the bread, is delightful both in looks and taste.
Take a photo safari on the streets of Bozcaada. The scent of grapes can accompany this journey if you stop at Talay Vine House, the Amadeus factory tour, Corvus Vine and Bite House, and Çamlıbağ Vine House.
If the scent of the flowers increased your appetite, head to Liman point. Asude Ada serves a mixture of Salonikan-İtalian cuisine inside its black-red restaurant covered with natural vines and ivies and surrounded with pastoral paintings. Its menu is full of surprises, from homemade Italian pastas to fruit panna cottas, rosemary lemonade and fish cooked in olive oil….
To the left of the ferry docks, a magnificent castle rises above you, a smaller version of the famous Bodrum Castle. Bozcaada’s castle was built by the Venetian and Genoese merchants. Step inside if you want to feel the weight history.
Before waving from the departing ship, experience the relaxation of doing nothing. Sip your coffee from the cafes at Mendirek Point while reading a book that you bought from Bozcaada Bookshop.
Translated by Yunus Yüzsüren