Mark Read

Ayvalık

On first glance, Ayvalık may seem unremarkable, a port town similar to many others in this region. But wander a few streets back from the waterfront and you'll discover an old Greek village in spirited abandon. Colourful shuttered doors conceal boutique hotels in restored stone houses, mosques converted from Greek Orthodox churches welcome the faithful to prayer and historic cafes full of locals line hidden squares. Put simply, it's got Aegean ambience in spades.

The region's olive-oil production is centred on Ayvalık, and there are plenty of shops selling the end product. The broken chimneys in the town centre belonged to now-abandoned olive-oil factories; these days local production occurs on the edge of town.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ayvalık.

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