Alaçatı Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Türkiye’s Most Charming Town 

Ahhh, Alaçatı. Sweet, charming, idyllic Alaçatı. It’s no wonder why we called it Türkiye’s Most Charming Town (although it has fierce competition!)

If you’re planning to travel to Alaçatı, it’s likely because of one of three reasons: its proximity to İzmir, Pamukkale, and Ephesus; the breathtaking photos that have captured your attention; or the promise of a relaxing getaway.

Whatever the reason, we practically guarantee you’ll be absolutely charmed after your Alaçatı trip! 

Alaçatı reminds us of other charming towns like Old Datça, Ayvalık, and Amasya, where the experiences come from the atmosphere rather than the attractions.

While the town may not be overflowing with typical lists that include “the best things to do in Alaçatı” (unlike, say Istanbul or İzmir), it offers something even better — a chance to relax and wander the cute cobblestone streets, admire the colorful bougainvillea-framed buildings, ​​and soak up the laid-back atmosphere.

This is a place where you can while away the hours people-watching from a cozy cafe, trying fresh seafood and local delicacies in cute tavernas, or chilling in a boutique hotel (or beach!) and losing yourself in a good book. Alaçatı is definitely *that* destination that encourages you to be present, savor the simple pleasures, and let go of your worries.

If you’re ready to relax and be charmed, our Alaçatı travel guide will help you do just that! This blog post has absolutely everything you need to know, including how to get here, what to do (well, more like inspiration rather than a to-do 🙂), where to eat, where to stay in Alaçatı, and much more! 

ALAÇATİ: The Basics

Why visit Alaçatı? Is Alaçatı worth a visit?

Yes! Alaçatı is a must-visit destination in the Aegean Region as much as Izmir, Ephesus, and Bodrum. People typically visit Alaçatı for its relaxing atmosphere, beautiful streets, and delicious food.  

What is Alaçatı known for? 

🏰 Cute stone houses — Alaçatı’s iconic stone houses, with their whitewashed walls, blue accents, and blooming bougainvillea, create a picture-perfect setting that’s instantly recognizable — in fact, you’ve probably already seen these famous photos if you’ve googled Alaçatı before! 

🪞 Boutique hotels & stylish shops — Many of Alaçatı’s stone houses have been meticulously restored and turned into cute boutique hotels, stylish concept stores, and colorful cafes. To get the full Alaçatı experience, we highly recommend staying inside one of these boutique hotels (check out our ‘Where to Stay in Alaçatı’ section for our top picks!) 

🥥 The culinary scene — Despite Alaçatı’s small size, the food here is diverse! You’ll find everything from cozy Turkish breakfast places to third wave cafes, traditional tavernas, international restaurants, trendy lounges and bars, and more. 

🏄‍♂️ Windsurfing! — Fun fact: The Çeşme Peninsula — and especially Alaçatı — is one of the windiest areas in Türkiye, with an average of more than 300 windy days per year! If you prefer a bit of adventure, there are special windsurfing clubs just a short drive away. 

How many days do you need in Alaçatı?

One day is enough to wander through the streets, take photos, enjoy dining in the local cafes and restaurants, and seeing the sunset from the Alaçatı Windmills. Of course, some people spend an entire week (or two!) just relaxing and soaking up Alaçatı’s atmosphere. 

If you want to combine Alaçatı with other locations, we recommend Izmir, Çeşme, Ephesus, Kuşadası, and Bodrum. 

Don’t leave Alaçatı without…

🧿 Strolling along Kemalpaşa Caddesi
🧿 Seeing the sunset from Alaçatı Windmills
🧿 Staying in a traditional stone house 
🧿 Taking at least a few photos! 

How to Get to Alaçatı

By Airplane — Alaçatı doesn’t have its own airport. The closest airport is in Izmir, which is İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (symbol ADB). 

Izmir is a major hub for international and domestic flights, so it’ll be quite easy to fly here — in fact, Pegasus and Turkish Airlines are continually adding direct flights from countries in Europe and the Middle East! 

There are regular shuttles that go between Izmir Airport and Alaçatı — you can click here, scroll to the bottom, select ‘Izmir – Alaçatı’ and the date, and you’ll be shown the timetables, route, and price. The last time we took this route, it was 310 TL (May 2024). 

If you don’t want to wait for the bus (there are limited departures), you can also book a private transfer from Izmir Airport to your hotel in Alaçatı — we recommend this transfer


By Bus — Türkiye has an excellent bus network, and Alaçatı is no different. There are dozens of bus connections to nearby cities like Urla, Izmir, Selçuk (Ephesus), Kuşadası, Milas, Bodrum, and so on. If you’re traveling to Çeșme from further afield, there are also direct routes from Istanbul, Bursa, Denizli (Pamukkale), Antalya, Ankara, and so on. 

Alaçatı Bus Station (Alaçatı Terminali) is small and a quick 12-minute walk to the city center.


By Car — Alaçatı is an excellent stop on an Aegean Road Trip — you could do something like Izmir – Urla – Alaçatı – and continue onto Çeşme, or go big and extend that trip to Ephesus, Ayvalık, Bodrum, and beyond. 🙂 

Click here to see availability and book your rental car →


By Ferry — Finally, you can reach Alaçatı from Greece! Take the Chios – Çeşme ferry and then it’s a short 10-minute taxi or a 35-minute dolmuş ride from Çeşme. If you’re planning this route, we also have a Two Day Chios Itinerary

Click here to see ferry timetables buy your ticket →

What to Do in Alaçatı

Wander Around Alaçatı’s Charming Old Town

The first thing you should do once you arrive in Alaçatı? Get lost!

… and we mean that in the best way possible. 🙂 

The best way to see Alaçatı is to just lose yourself in the maze-like cobblestone streets, where each turn and corner has a surprise waiting — a cute cafe? An interesting house? A friendly local cat? You’ll have to explore to find out!

We’ll give you a hint: The most famous street, Kemalpaşa Caddesi, cuts through Alaçatı’s center and is lined with beautifully restored stone houses, cafes adorned with colorful bougainvillea, and charming boutiques selling local handmade goods. 

Take photos!

While you’re out and about, don’t forget to take photos — Alaçatı is a paradise for photographers, Instagrammers, and anyone who loves aesthetics! 

We’re sure that you’ll be pulling out your phone every couple of steps (travel tip: just keep your phone in your hands 😄), as you’ll undoubtedly find yourself taking photos of pastel Vespa scooters perfectly parked in front of cute doorways (*points to photo above*), charming cafes, and vibrant storefronts.

Speaking of which… It feels like stores and restaurants compete with each other to see who has the most beautiful storefront! 

If you want to get professional photos taken by a local photographer, this tour is fantastic — you’ll visit Alaçatı, Çeşme, and have fantastic photos! 

Visit the Historic Alaçatı Windmills at Sunset

Windmills can be found all around the Aegean Coast (for example, Datça and Bodrum) — and Alaçatı is no different! 

Located on a small hill right in the middle of Alaçatı’s Old Town are four traditional Greek-style windmills with cone-shaped straw roofs. These windmills were built sometime in the 19th century to grind wheat into flour, and were restored to the beauties that they are today. 🙂

Travel tip: The windmills can be visited at any time of the day, but they’re especially beautiful during sunset. Be sure to get here early, as it can get crowded in the summer! 

Shop at Cute Local Boutiques 

Like any self-respecting resort town, Alaçatı has plenty of unique shops and boutiques along its cobblestone streets, where you’ll easily find original pieces, designer clothing, handmade goods, and vintage trinkets. It’s not limited to clothing, either — there are stores selling jewelry, home goods, ceramics and pottery, and so much more. 

Visiting during the weekend? You’re in luck! Every Saturday, Alaçatı hosts a local bazaar with stalls selling fresh produce, herbs, clothing, home goods, and more. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s an interesting place to visit. 

Visit Çeşme, Alaçatı’s Next-Door Neighbor

Why not visit two iconic places in one trip? Just a short 15-minute drive away, Çeşme is a great half-day trip from Alaçatı. You can explore the historic Çeşme Castle, wander through the marina, stop by the amazing City Memory Museum, and enjoy the seaside promenade. 

Sounds interesting? We’ve written an entire guide on traveling to Çeşme – click here to check it out!

Relax on Sandy Beaches

While Alaçatı itself doesn’t have a beach within the town center, there are tons of amazing beaches just a short drive away. Here are some of our favorites:

🩵 Boyalık Bay — One of the beaches closest to Çeşme, Boyalık Beach is 4 km (2.5 mi) long and features beautiful blue waters and soft sand. 

🩵 Ilıca Beach — Ah, Ilıca Beach.. The best way to describe this area is ‘the Santa Barbara of Izmir. This glorious stretch of beach has warm waters, long stretches of beach, and a pleasant atmosphere. That’s not the only similarity with Santa Barbara — this area is one of the most luxurious in the region, and villas start at a million USD and up. 🙂 

🩵 Delikli Bay — One of the most otherworldly and unique places near Çeşme is this beach, which looks like a mix of Pamukkale’s white travertine rocks and Datça’s crystal clear waters.

Embrace the Wind and Waves — Go Windsurfing! 

We never thought we’d write about windsurfing on this blog, but here we are. 😉 

Did you know that Alaçatı is renowned for its world-class windsurfing? The conditions are so fantastic that they attract windsurfing enthusiasts from all around the world! Even if you’ve never tried it before, there are plenty of schools and instructors ready to help you catch your first wave. 

Where to Stay in Alaçatı

Now for the fun part — staying in a cute Alaçatı boutique hotel! 

GAIA ALAÇATİ — A simple, beautiful, bohemian boutique hotel in Alaçatı that features tasteful details, fantastic staff, and just an amazing atmosphere. It’s an absolute dream staying here! 

GAIA Alaçatı Bazaar — Another Gaia property, but this one is located right in the heart of Alaçatı’s bazaar (it’s amazing on Saturdays!). The decor is also GAIA’s signature bohemian style, including natural accents, warm tones, and absolute coziness. 

Alavya — If you prefer living in absolute luxury and being pampered, look no further than Alavya (pronounce the name and you’ll get a cute surprise ;)). The hotel consists of 25 rooms across 6 stone houses, along with a swimming pool, a charming garden, a spa and fitness center, and on-site restaurant. The rooms are stylishly decorated with immaculate details, and you also get a cute gift when you check out. As a bonus, there are yoga, pilates, and other holistic wellness classes available. 

Beyevi Alaçatı — A super charming and cozy hotel that perfectly reflects Alaçatı’s laid back atmosphere. Guests especially love the spacious rooms, huge pool, and delicious Turkish breakfast spread. 

Kurabiye Otel — Housed in a beautifully restored stone building, Kurabiye Otel exudes a cute rustic yet elegant ambiance. The hotel’s interior is a blend of traditional Aegean aesthetics like whitewashed walls, light fabrics, and blue accents. 

D’Azur — This next hotel on our list is interesting, because it’s actually a collection of five hotels under the same name! The five hotels include Jardin, Maison, Rue, Oberj, and Mahzen by D’Azur — don’t worry about picking the best, because they’re all amazing in their own way. We previously stayed in Maison d’Azur and only have good things to say about the comfortable rooms and lovely atmosphere. 

Hotel Pop — Looking for something a little more unique? Hotel Pop goes against the typical Alaçatı trend with its colorful art pop design, vibrant decor, and fun touches (a retro suitcase as a nightstand? How cute!). The rooms with in-suite spa baths are especially awesome. 

Alaçatı Taş Hotel — This beautifully-restored 130 year old Greek mansion practically set the standard for Alaçatı hotels, as it was one of the first who started the trend of restoring stone houses and turning them into hotels. It’s a fabulous choice if you’re looking for something comfortable, clean, and in a perfect location. 

Alaçati Kapari Otel — Prefer something unique? Kapari Otel is located near the Alaçatı marina and features rustic accents, comfortable rooms, and amazing views. As a cute bonus, the hotel offers complimentary tea and cookies every afternoon! 


Some helpful travel tips when booking your hotel:

🧿 Book in advance, especially if it’s a boutique hotel! Many hotels only have a few rooms and go very quickly (especially in the summer!) 

🧿 Visiting Alaçatı mainly to relax? We recommend visiting either during spring or autumn, as bars are allowed to play music until 1 am from June through mid-September. 

🧿If you can only visiting during summer and want a peaceful atmosphere, it’s best to book a hotel that’s further away from the center. 

Where to Eat in Alaçatı

Fava Alaçati — Looking to experience authentic meze (appetizers) in Alaçatı? Head over to Fava! Besides the amazing dishes, this beautiful spot has an intimate atmosphere thanks to the inner courtyard (no need to sit on the street!). Location →

Bumba Breakfast Club — A super cute cafe serving — you guessed it! — breakfast. The cafe especially specializes in huge Turkish breakfast spreads with delicious local ingredients. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cute turtles wandering around the cafe. 😊 Location →

Sailors Alaçatı — An absolute delight of a bistro, Sailors features a quintessential Aegean atmosphere and a full menu, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and cocktails. Location → 

Pizzeria da Roberto — For the best Italian-style pizza, check out this spot — it’s run by an actual Italian chef called Roberto! Location → 

Da Franco Gelato — … And don’t forget the dessert after. Right across the pizzeria is this cute ice cream spot that’s owned by Roberto’s brother! 🙂 Location →

Dutlu Kahve — Practically an Alaçatı institution at this point, Dutlu Kahve is a charming café known for its traditional Turkish food and beautiful mulberry tree (hence the name). It’s one of the most popular photo spots in Alaçatı as well! Location →

Köşe Kahve — Another famed Alaçatı spot, Köşe is known for its coffee and other delicious drinks. Location → 

Bodrum Mantı & Cafe Alaçatı — Ah, our favorite chain restaurant 🙂 The staff are so nice, the dishes delicious, and the atmosphere is adorable — you’re right on the main street! Location →


Photo credits: colorful door (shopping) by erolbest | Da Franco Gelato and Bumba Breakfast via respective restaurants

 


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