For all its provincial feel, İzmir and its surroundings warm my heart. I finally made another of those: Old (Eski) Foça, located 70 km north of İzmir. It is not only those stone houses left from the Greeks or the abundance of fish that made it worth the trip. I felt the lost “Aegean touch” in Foça that no longer exists in Bodrum. Its very localism is Foça's very charm. Indeed, almost everybody was from İzmir. Not only that, it was frequented by families who have owned those houses for generations. No wonder they put a chair on the sidewalk and chatted with neighbors or put a pillow on the pier and drank raki towards the sunset while children take their x-teenth bath in the sea. The same people stroll with kids and grandfathers and mothers after dinner on the board walk. This literally gave the place a homey feeling.
|A view from Foça's harbour.|
|Neighbours on the pier in Foça. Coffee anyone?|
Another flavor is that there are many English and Norwegians retirees living in Foça. That should not make it sound dull since the underwater commandoes in Turkey also get trained in Foça, making it a strongly Kemalist coastal town. So take your liberal views and disappear….! Do not expect much night life but you can always walk along the sea and get into one of the bars where the surf board is turned upside down to make it a convenient summer bar ….yes you guessed it, I do not remember it’s name.
|Rakı and meze restaurants in the market of Foça.|
|Typical Old Foça stone houses.|
All fish restaurants on the sea side appear good, I picked Sahil and choose local fish, yummy…. Or you can pick a meyhane like the one in the picture in the market. Taking a daily boat tour to go around the bays around Foça is highly recommended. One of the stops is the first Club Med in Turkey, now abandoned.
We stayed in Mimoza Hotel at 232-812-3721 or 536-371-9888 and were happy especially when watching boats returning from daily trips. This 6 room boutique hotel also looked nice http://www.lola38hotel.com/. Be careful to pick the “white room” if you do not want the classic furniture of the place to haunt you in your dreams…
|A room with a view in Foça while boats return from daily excursion.|