The Back Streets Of Ayvalık/Quincy

I don’t know about you, but I love back streets – back streets have hearts and characters; hidden gems and dark places. They also have people! Real people!

When J and I are on our travels, if we can’t have villages or forests or mountains or rivers or canyons, then we’ll settle for back streets.

On our wander around the NW of Turkey we stayed for a few days in the rather nice town of Ayvalık (Quincy, as in Jones, or like a quince), which turned out to be one of the few towns that I wouldn’t mind living in. It has a lot going for it – it’s not too big, there are lots of old buildings and narrow streets and alleyways; beautiful surrounding countryside and great seascapes. The pace of life is a bit less frantic than your average town – the place has style and grace and I whole-heartedly recommend it to you.

sunset over Lesvos

Anyway, enough of the reklam (advert), let’s take a gentle wander around the back streets and see what we shall see!

Much of the town’s Greek character is intact with old buildings being restored and put to new uses. The boutique hotel we stayed in, right by the water, has had a really tasteful restoration and transformation from an olive oil factory – pity about their breakfasts, though (we’d been spoilt by the Çiçekli Bahçe Motel). So, as you wander there are always twists and turns and surprises around some of the corners. There are gentle smiles and greetings from this or that doorstep; knockers to be photographed (a minor obsession – and relatively harmless); church-mosques to visit and carts to admire; coffees to be taken in cool cafés and lunches in atmospheric restaurants. It is also the home to the fabulous Çöp (M)adam project, and much else. Let’s get on . . .

firewood delivery

is it a church or a mosque? Ayos Yorgis Church/Çınarlı Cami

Valentino Rossi’s lilac period

horse-drawn carts like this are in everyday use in Ayvalik

At Parking Place – it’s an ‘in’ joke

waiting a loving restoration




Ayvalık from Şeytan Sofrası – Satan’s Table

OK Corral Ayvalık

There are lots more photos, but I don’t want to bore you too much; just one final thought . .

. . the Police Moral Education Centre . . . now there’s an outcome to be desired

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

20 thoughts on “The Back Streets Of Ayvalık/Quincy

  1. Ayvalık is one of the places we looked at and considered living in. It really is a lovely town and there is a great market every Thursday.

    1. . . agreed – we were amazed by the patience and extremely good road manners of the drivers – I’ve seldom come across such anywhere else.

  2. Merhaba;
    Your Ayvalik post brought lots of happy childhood memories back – my many summer holidays passed in Ayvalik and Sarimsakli beach, just love it. And back streets are the way to go, great post, wonderful pictures!

    1. Merhaba Özlem, Thank you! It really is a nice place – like I said, it’s one of the few towns I could enjoy living in. Glad you enjoyed the post and the memories.

  3. Hi Alan

    Love this post, my husband is from Dikili and we visit Ayvalik often and these pictures a so lovely. I especially like the horse and the Oto Park sign! Ayvalik still has it’s charm, we took a lots of pictures of Dikili this year as they are doing so much building all the old greek houses are starting disappear which is such a shame. Lovely article thank you. Kerry

    1. Hi Kerry, I enjoyed writing the post and wandering through the memories by way of the (loads of) photos. Thank you!

  4. Fascinating. The architecture and cobblestone streets suggest what Antalya’s Kaleici must have looked like before it was transformed into a tourist center.

    1. . . seems to me that, with just a few exceptions, tourism spoils places and removes the intimacy. Parts of Antalya’s old town have been enhanced, but there is often a ‘plastic’ feel about these improvements.

  5. Another to bookmark – I only passed along the coast road there on a Pammukale bus coming from Cannakle 2005 and remember thinking what a great place for a holiday break. I believe they are famous for their olive oil? Also I’ve always wanted to visit Lesbos so maybe it’s time to explore in 2013. Loved your photos, Knockers are no problem, I went through a period of “doors”

  6. Alan, We are so happy to see another fan of Ayvalık as ardent as we are. We love the place for all of the reasons you mentioned. And it’s funny but we’ve taken pictures of the same knockers you have – we also love taking pictures of doors and their knockers.

    1. 🙂 and there was me thinking I was alone in my obsession! Nice when one realises that, to quote a recently-bereft-of-life comrade, ‘There are more of us than you think’.

  7. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos! I also love exploring the backstreets of course. 🙂 We’ve been to Cunda Adasi twice now and it has a similar Greek charm with the old restored houses like Ayvalik. It’s a great area to explore.

  8. Aww, just love all these pics. Ayavalık is yet another place that has been on our ‘must go there’ list for such a long time. We get round to these things all in good time…

    1. . . I think you’ll like it a lot, being the wandering kind – and always with camera at the ready. Look forward to your post/views.

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