Ayvalık’s secret heaven, Badavut

Ayvalık’s secret heaven, Badavut

Ayvalık’s secret heaven, Badavut

Historical garlic (sarımsak) stone quarries in the Badavut region in the northwestern province of Balıkesir’s Ayvalık district has become a major draw for tourists.

The Badavut region, also known as a “secret paradise,” has been registered as a “strictly protected sensitive area” with a presidential decree dated May 3 and was listed as a natural site.

Badavut draws attention for its natural beauty. It is home to a wetland, where various bird species such as flamingos and mallards live, and a long beach. The stone quarries, where garlic stone has been removed since ancient times, are also in this region.

Ayvalık’s secret heaven, Badavut

The area of the quarries is one of the most popular spots in the region. Local and foreign tourists coming to the region for examination and sightseeing are fascinated by the texture of the quarries.

The quarries, which were used for many years for the extraction of the garlic stone, which constitutes the main building material of the historical Ayvalık houses, have been out of use since the protection of the region.

The stone gives the aesthetic appearance to the historical Ayvalık houses and is the most distinctive feature. The house are one of the important examples of architecture reflecting Turkish and Greek social life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

These stones, which are in the color of dusty rose, were preferred in that period because of their durability and easy procession.

The main source of garlic stone is the Sarımsaklı area. The stone was formed by lava flows thousands of years ago.

[HH] Stones witness of history

The stones are called garlic because their texture resembles garlic veins and they gradually become red due to the oxidation of the iron in them. The region, where these stones are extracted, carries the traces of the volcanism developed 35 million years ago.

The garlic stone cliffs, which attract attention with their color and form, are now on the nature tour route of domestic and foreign tourists.

There are interesting rock formations shaped by sea and climatic conditions on the Aegean side of the region, which is also known as Karakol Mountain, and there is a natural cave on the other side.

The Ayvalık Tourism Development Association (AYTUGEB) Secretary General and Ayvalık Tourism Promotion Association President Ümit Özgültekin, said that the garlic stone has a special feature - it breathes.

Thanks to this feature, the houses are cold in summer and warm in winter, he said, and continued:

“Especially in the Sarımsaklı region, where we have our sea and sand, the garlic stone has been used for centuries in our homes in Ayvalık. The feature of these stones is to keep them breathing, cool in summer and warm in winter. Various activities were held to open the region to tourism and talks were made. Hopefully soon, the area of quarries is opened to tourism under protection. We are working on this subject.”

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