From Assos we move further along the coast. This area is popular with local tourists during the summer months and all along this coastline there is a good mix of accommodation from basic camping to luxury and boutique hotels. We are still in the province of Canakkale as we move along this stretch of the coastline to reach our destination of Akcay in the province of Balikesir near the city of Edremit.
In the distance you can see the Island of Lesvos or Lesbos. We saw it from Assos and it will stay with us for some time yet. It is the third largest island of the Greek Islands.
Much as we have seen from Geyikli and Tavakli, this region is known for its olive oil. You will see plenty of olive groves along this part of the coast. The quality of the olive oil here is particularly good.
Our first stop is Küçükkuyu which is still in Canakkale. After this we move into the province of Balikesir where we will pass through Altinoluk, Zeytinli and on to Akcay. Much of this suburban holiday housing and tourist accommodation will now be with us as we move down this long and busy stretch of coast.
At Kucukkuyu there is the Adatepe Olive Museum. This interesting olive oil factory, now a museum, also tells the story of Refika, a legendary woman of considerable beauty who lived in the village of Adatepe which we will visit later. Greeks and Turks used to live side by side here until the troubles of the 20th century. Refika is reputed to be a much loved singer adored by Greeks and Turks alike. She would sing at weddings and during the olive picking season in the fields of olives where she would work and sing and enchant the locals. Sadly as a result of the population exchange agreement between Greece and Turkey she had to leave. The memory of her still lives on in Adatepe village.
The museum is full of the tools and equipment of the olive oil trade along with soap making. There is also a shop which sells local olive oil, soaps and souvenirs from this region. You can find out more about the olive museum by visiting www.adatepe.com which also tells you about the village of Adatepe.
Küçükkuyu town blends into Altinoluk which itself blends pretty seamlessly into Akcay. The Ida mountains lie behind us and legend has it that Zeus watched the battle of Troy from an altar near here whilst the Goddess Aphrodite found healing water at Kucukkuyu. Our next stop is Zeus Altar high up on the hills overlooking the coastline. Kucukkuyu was settled by the Yörüks or nomadic Turkmens and later refugees from the Balkans. Today the economy is based on olive groves and fishing as well as a significant contribution from tourism.
At Kucukkuyu there is a new ferryboat terminal which offers a service for those wanting to visit the Greek island of Lesvos. It doesn’t run every day but take a look at their website for the most up to date service times. http://www.denturege.com