Alacati is located on the Cesme Peninsula, the westernmost point of Turkey in the Aegean Sea. It is 12 kilometers away from Cesme, a well-known holiday town that is famous for its thermal waters, clean white beaches and its vast holiday options. [More Info]
How to get to Alacati
The exact coordinates of the windsurf schools (as shown in Google Earth) are : 38°14'55.27"N and 26°23'7.15"E. Whether you are driving, flying in, or just travelling by a ferry, it is very easy to get to Alacati. Here are your options:
|Flying:||By far, the most effective travel solution - the closest airport to Alacati is Adnan Menderes Airport (Airport Code: ADN) in Izmir. It is about 90 kilometers away from Alacati. Check with your hotel to see if they offer shuttle services to Cesme. Try asking beforehand, as some of them will if you do ask for it. If not, once you get to the airport; you can either take a cab, which will cost you around $150, or you can try to get a bus. If you prefer the latter option, get a taxi to Uckuyular Bus Station (this should cost about $40, then take the bus to Cesme (which costs $7 per person and departs almost every hour). The airport is connected to Alacati through a 6-lane highway and you should be in Alacati in less than an hour.|
|Driving:||First of all, get a map. Most roads in the country are clearly marked and if you know where you need to go, and what road you need to take, getting there is not a problem. No matter where you start driving, try to get to Izmir. Once there, follow the green highway signs to Cesme. Izmir is 579 kilometers away from Ankara (the capital cit) and 561 kilometers away from Istanbul. From Izmir, Alacati is 83 kilometers away and it takes about an hour to get to. If you do ever get lost, ask any gas station/local for directions and you should be fine.|
|By Ferry||If you start your journey in Greece or on any of the Greek Islands, you can use a ferry to get to the Greek Island of Chios. From Chios, ferries depart twice a day (summer months only) to Cesme. Round-trip tickets cost about 40€ and the 6 mile trip takes about 45 minutes each way. Once in Cesme, you can either take a taxi or use one of the "dolmus"es. Dolmus is a Turkish word for the 15-passenger vans. Dolmus ride costs $2 per person and the taxi costs about 20$. Check online for the exact ferry schedule as their schedule changes every month.|
|Train:||Although it is not an effective way of travelling in Turkey, if you happen to be in Ankara and want to take a train; there are daily trains from Ankara to Izmir. When you arrive, take a cab to "Uckuyular Bus Station" and take the bus to Cesme.|
From Alacati to Alacati Bay (aka "the Surf Zone")
The town Alacati is 4 kilometers away from the sea. So, if you want to surf (if you visiting this page, I assume you do), you need to get to the Alacati Bay (the local name is "Yumru Koyu"), where the action is.
The fastest option (next to driving) would be taking a cab if they did exist. For the most common option: you need to get to the local bus station and wait for one of the "Dolmus"es. They normally depart every hour, on the hour but in the high season (June-August), they usually fill up quickly and depart more often. It costs about $2 per person and the surf center is at the last stop.
If you do not have the patience to wait, you can start walking down the road and try to get a hike. Hitchhiking anywhere else could be dangerous, but in Alacati it is a common way of getting to the Bay area. If you are out of luck, walking the 4 kilometer road under the sun will not be much fun. In this case, just wave at the "dolmus"es that pass by. (No, you do not get a discount for all that walking!)
Alacati, overshadowed by Cesme until recent years, is quickly becoming one of the most popular holiday places not only among the Turkish créme de la créme, but also for the surfers. Every summer TV stars, models, freelancers flock the streets of Alacati to enjoy the calm climate, great beaches, dance clubs, and cool evenings that cater to all tastes and ages while windsurfers and kitesurfers visit Alacati Bay to enjoy its constant wind, nice waves and surf schools that compete with each other to offer the best services to surfers.
Weather in Alacati
Alacati offers a calm, relaxing climate all year long. Average temperature never drops below freezing point, even during the winter months. For summer, the weather is even more habitable: Late spring marks the end of the rainy weather and you get bright sunlight all day during the day. All summer long; the dry, nice breeze cools down the effects of the bright sun during the day and for some evenings you might even need a light coat.
The table below lists the average monthly temperatures. As there is no public data available for Alacati, the data belongs to city of Izmir (which is 70 kilometers away). Still it should give you an idea of daily temperatures for Alacati. The table lists the average values for the period between 1975 and 2006
|Mean Highs (°C)||20.4||23.5||30.5||31.8||37.5||41.3||42.6||43.0||40.1||36.0||28.6||25.2|
|Mean Lows (°C)||-4.0||-5.0||-3.1||0.6||7.0||10.0||16.1||15.6||12.6||5.7||0.0||-2.7|
|Daylight Duration (hrs)||4.3||5.0||6.6||7.5||9.5||11.8||12.2||11.6||10.0||7.5||5.3||3.8|
|Number of Rainy Days||11.4||10.3||8.3||8.4||5.0||2.2||1.7||1.3||3.7||5.4||8.9||12.3|
Data taken from Turkish State Meteorological Service's web site @ http://www.meteor.gov.tr/veridegerlendirme/il-ve-ilceler-istatistik.aspx?m=IZMIR
The Bay Area
Alacati Bay is about 4 kilometers away from the central Alacati area, only a cab ride or a hike away. If you don't mind the sun boiling your brains in your head, you can even walk to the bay area. No matter how you try get there, you will love the panaromic scene that will greet you when you pass the marina on the left side and reach the top of the hill. That's when you know you have only one kilometer left before you can start surfing the waves.
If you are this far apart, probably your destination was nowhere other than one of the surf schools. If you know how to windsurf and you have not brought your gear with you, you can rent your surf board, sail or kite from any of the 8 wind surf schools (plus 3 kitesurf schools). If you arrive early in the season (late May, early June), you will be delighted when the staff tears off the shrink wrap around your brand new rental board and unrolls the new sails for you.
If you do not know how to windsurf, all the schools offer crash courses to get you on the board and surfing away in no more than 3 days. Most of the instructors are VDWS certified and almost of all them are very friendly. Be warned that you might have to book couple days in advance, especially in high-season (July/August), to schedule your classes to suit your needs. Click here for some pictures of the Bay Area.
The Surf Zone
The best part of Alacati Bay, that is definitely not advertised enough, is its learner-friendly nature. The bay is enclosed on all three sides by land, the depths in the learner area don't exceed 150 centimeters and there are lifeguards at watch for the desperate ones that just sit on their boards, waiting for rescue. So, even if you do not know how to swim, do not be afraid to take couple classes. You could be surprised at your skills at surfing. (or at worst, you could just end up sitting on your board and waiting to be rescued)
Once you are done with surfing for the day, head back to your hotel for a quick shower and dressing up. One weak side of Alacati town is its lack of lodging options. Despite numerous boutique hotels and very few big hotels, they cannot accommodate many people and laws of supply-and-demand come in effect here. Just make sure to make your reservations weeks in advance. Click on the lodging tab for more information on londging options in Alacati.
As the sun sets and the cool evening breeze replaces the warm sunny weather, people crowd the cobblestoned streets of Alacati Town for dinner. People grow the best olives in the western part of Turkey and nature gifts those people with local herbs. Whether you like freshly caught seafood, or local vegetables cooked in extra virgin oil, or if you want to feed your carnal desire; Alacati offers very fine examples of culinary tastes.
Just because the day ends past dinner time does not mean fun has to end too. Alacati and its surroundings offer the most famous dance clubs and discos that host many concerts and other events. Alacati usually hosts three or four concerts/events every week all along the summer.