A while ago, I’ve been exploring the new destination Alaçati. I will admit that I had my prejudices about Turkish holiday resorts. You won’t see me, ever, going to Alanya but the name Alaçati gives me this warm, fuzzy feeling. After finding a little bit of information, I feel more than curious. Would it really be like they say? Azure sea full of cool surfers, beautiful nature, amazing bays, great markets and picturesque towns? And that after just a three-hour flight from the Netherlands? You could say this is a new destination for us Dutchies. I haven’t seen many of them there. Most of the tourists are prosperous, well-heeled Turkish people, and surfers from all over the world. It is a small jetset paradise for the bon vivants. Life lovers. And that’s just fine, that makes it more authentic than I had dared dreaming of. It turns out to be a hidden gem, a rising star on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
With Corendon we fly to Izmir, and three hours later I find myself driving along Turkish landscapes. Most tourists go the other way, we are in a van driving in the direction of Alaçati. I’m staring out of the window. Olive and fig trees are everywhere, I see a shepherd with sheep in the hills, the sun is shining as never before. The driver is missing a tooth and speaks only Turkish. A tingling sensation takes the upper hand, and I decide that this first impression does me well. Unknown smells, new impressions and discovering hidden gems is traveling for me, so beautiful and wonderful and pure and yes, I feel blessed. When we arrive at the beautiful Premier Solto hotel, I feel totally calm. Relaxed. Something that I don’t know that well, being calm. Here it is accounted. Here I am allowed to simply lie on a sun deck, all day, reading a good book. Here I am allowed to use a massage at the hotel’s spa. Here I am allowed to enjoy the delicious Turkish food. Because oh my, the food here is truly divine. Wine is poured at the table. I see a smoke plume, and a cook prepares salmon on the barbecue. I walk slowly through the resort. There are not a lot of people. The pool is glimmering in the sun and a few feet away I hear waves gently roll. A pier stretches over the azure blue sea. It is stylish. The hotel is located on one of the beautiful bays that the area of Çesme has to offer. The first thing that strikes me are the colors. Everything here is clear. White wood, sparkling blue, bright pink flowers. Piles of flowers. Little did I know: Alaçati itself appears to be a floral heaven. Walking along the bay and gazing across the sea I feel calm, after a long time of being restless. The second thing I notice is the cooling breeze. I take one step into the sea, with its beautiful shades of blue, and the weather feels pleasant – despite the fact that it is extremely hot. Wind is blowing for about 300 days a year in this area, and that is why this place is a paradise for water sports lovers and sun seekers.
I wouldn’t be Laura if I, after a day doing nothing at all, won’t go on the road again. I want to experience the reason why people come to this environment from afar. Windsurfing. After a brief introduction on land, at windsurfing school ASPC, we step into the sea with own boards. And….suddenly the wind is gone. What the…I wouldn’t be Laura when I’m about to experience windsurfing on one of the 65 days without wind. Nice to meet you. I am still trying and, although I go very slow (actually almost backwards), I AM WINDSURFING! The next few says I see that windsurfers can go very, very fast. What a fantastic feeling of freedom would that be. Depending on where the wind blows you, gliding on the sparkling water, feeling free like a bird.
I am impressed by the beautiful bays, the azure sea, the natural environment, Turkish food, the lovely Mediterranean feel, the brightly colored flowers, the sweet and hospitable people. All that even before I have seen the town of Alaçati itself. Because that town really stole my heart. It has all I did not expect, and nothing of what I expected. Artistic, picturesque, pure. Part II will all be about Alaçati. There a travel film coming up as well, where I’m trying to let you experience and catch the feeling I am describing here.