Getting to Bozcaada is pretty straight forward if you have your own transport. You just head for Geyikli and from Geyikli to Geyikli Iskelesi which is the dock for ferryboats to Bozcaada. This video was filmed in October when we took the car. The short ferry crossing lasting 20 minutes or so whisks you across to this small islands measuring around 40 square km in size.
Bozcaada gets very busy in peak season. So busy in fact that taking your car is a real hassle. Far better then to park your vehicle and travel on foot. The ferryboat takes you straight over to the island’s main town, also called Bozcaada. If you do want to explore the rest of the island then you can rent a motorbike or a car or just take the local minibuses which are cheap enough.
A quick tour by car around the island will take you through some spectacular landscape and coastal views. The little coves and beaches along the way are idyllic places to pull up and take a break and just soak up the summer sun. The largest and most popular beach is Ayazma beach with its restaurants and cafes but still not too commercialised as to spoil the atmosphere of this beautiful natural sandy beach.
All around the island you will see olive groves and vineyards. The local Bozcaada wine is sold in most of the restaurants. Although agriculture and some fishing is still important on Bozcaada the main source of income these days is from Tourism. There are many boutique hotels and beautiful guest houses on the island. This is a very popular destination with tourists from Istanbul.
The island used to be known as Tenedos by its Greek name. It became Turkish in 1923 although there are a number of Greek families still living on the islands. The island was used as a safe haven for the fleets preparing to invade nearby Troy, their ships hiding behind the island and out of view from the Trojans. During the first world war Gallipoli Campaign it was also used by the Allies.
Bozcaada looks very Greek. Meandre along the beautiful back streets of the town and the small houses and hotels are very picturesque. This is a place to relax and enjoy. There is no loud music and club culture here on Bozcaada but it does have many café’s, bars and some extremely good restaurants.
Whilst you wander around the town you will probably notice the Blue Eyed Crows of Bozcaada. Blue Eyed crows of Bozcaada are very tame. You will have to be careful they do not steal food from your plate. They are quite at home here. Although a small island Bozcaada is the third largest of the Turkish islands with an abundance of wildlife and fauna. The Aegean climate changes here and makes it unique from the rest of the surrounding area and the mainland. The island is a protected zone and as such any large development projects such as large sprawling hotel complexes have been prohibited.
The castle at Bozcaada is pretty impressive and having been restored it is in pristine condition. There has been a castle here since before the 14th century but details and documentation is lacking with regard to the construction and architects. The Phoenicians and the Roman Empire would have been established here and the Republic of Venice might have actually built the original castle.
What you see here today is an entirely different fortification. After the Venicians and Genoese left the Island fell into the hands of Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire in 1455 which is when the castle was rebuilt. In 1656 the Venecians captured the castle but 11 years later it was taken back by Mehmet Pasha. A restoration and renewal of the castle was carried out as late as 1815 by the Sultan Mahmut II.
The commanding position of the castle gives you some spectacular views of the island and the town and harbour. It is definitely worth a visit.