on some things to do when in Assos
(FESTIVALS - WALKS - TOURS + TIP! - MORE INFO)
See also: Tours & Trips
Assos Festival : Every year in autumn, and for some years now, there is the meanwhile famous
open air Assos festival, a hurricane of culture from all over the world sweeping furiously
over the village and its surrounding fields, rocks and sea with modern theatre,
dancing, interpretations of world famous sujets, plays , stories and acts,
combining the antique and natural favours of Assos to a unique harmony, that nobody,
inhabitant, tourist or actor could have dreamed of before.
Created and directed by Hüseyin Katircioglu, groups from all over the world, from the USA, Austria, Turkey, Australia and other countries contribute to the international flair of the performances. (Also in late August 1999)
OUR YOUNG AND
DYNAMIC FRIEND HÜSEYIN DIED BY A TRAGIC ACCIDENT IN ISTANBUL
All of us at Assos and his friends all over the world own so much to him and his great talents
For me and my friends it was, and always will be, a great and wonderful experience!
Visit the pages of the festival site, see some pictures, info on the actors (Turkish!), and the 'reportaj' (Turkish!), the sponsors.
I hope the festival pages will be presented in English soon. But even, if you don't read Turkish, you will get the gist of the atmosphere by watching the pictures provided.
If you happen to be there in autumn, ask at your pension or hotel about the exact dates!
In 1999 the 1st part of the
restoration of the theatre was finished (thanks to EFES PILSEN), about 2000 people visited
the festival, highlighted by the performances of the Turkish State
Opera and the Turkish State Ballet.
Walks: (see map)
1. Through the many narrow and steep alleys of the village
(I haven't seen all of them, I think).
2. From the old mosque (nearby the Timur pension and restaurant, rest there for a moment, have a drink on one of its roofs(!) and enjoy the panoramic view over the country, the coastline and the strait) to the Athena temple on top of the hill through the ruins (antique cemetery, huge city walls and gates, towers, agora, theatre, which has been partly rebuilt by now...) down to the harbour or vice versa. Hueseyin is the 60 year old 'bekçi' (guardian) of the antique site. He leads tourists around, promises he could do his tours not only in German, but also in English. It should be true, as he has been mentioned very favourably in The New York Times - so try him out!
3. Both sides of the river Tuzla (antique Satnioeis) from the old Ottoman bridge to the East and West, up from the river valley through the antique and still used quarries to the Kadirga road.
4. From the far side of the river valley to the east, to the ruins of the deserted village of Mentese: a beautiful and quiet place from where most inhabitants moved to Assos some decades ago, with a breathtaking view over Assos to the island of Lesbos.
5. From the harbour along the campgrounds to Kadirga beach (surfing paradise!) with some new hotels, and along the coast to the west.
6. From the beginning of the road to the harbour to the hill of Ayazma, through beautiful old paved narrow alleys, shaded from the sun by overhanging trees and bushes, there to find the remaining ruins of at least one byzantine basilica (church), a romantic, by now caved in cattle shed, the front of which is decorated and upheld by row of antique columns and lintels.
7. Walk down the cobbled road to the harbour (iskele) and admire the mosaics of a partly excavated byzantine church, as well as the marvellous view on the Greek island of Lesbos (just some 12 kms away!) and the gulf of Edremit.
8. Or leave the harbour road to take the old narrowly downhill winding paved path, to follow the camel caravans till 50 years ago, transporting huge sacks of 'palamut', (special acorns of the Troad, which were stored in the nowadays hotels at the harbour, to be shipped to Izmir and from there to North Africa and Spain for the benefit of their prospering leather factories).
By car: (see map)
1. The road west to Gülpinar (Apollo Smintheion
temple), on to
Babakale to an old fortress and to the two knife 'factories', as they were called:
everything handmade, interesting watching how they are made . I think one of them is
Hueseyin, one of the 'bicakci's, working alone and producing 1 knife a day, whereas nearby
3 of them together make 'only' 2 knives a day (as I was told). Buy a knife as a souvenir.
2. To the North: the market in Ayvacik, ruins of Troy, Alexandria Troy, archaeological museum in Çanakkale...
3. To the west: to Bueyuekhusun, on to Sazli and then through a plane-tree valley through to Ayvacik.
4. Or Kuecuekkuyu on the western coastal road (market) with the old Ottoman bath in the old Ida mountains and on to Edremit (Adramyttion).
5. Nice picnic sites near Bayramic and on the way to Edremit, a museum 30 kms before Edremit (Etnografia).
TIP: If you haven't got a car of your own and if you are a group of 5-12 people: Ask at the YildizSaray hotels, the Behram hotel or the OldBridgeHouse, or the 'Dolmus' drivers, e.g. Sinasi or the guardian of the antique site, Hüseyin Elibol ('bekci')
Try the restaurants and the cafes in the village and also at the harbour. I think the ones in the village are less expensive.
Enjoy the small cobbled beach next to the harbour, swim over the huge remnants of ancient harbour ruins, lying just under the surface of the gentle sea.
Let a fisherman take you to the more comfortable 'sand' beach of Kadirga, where you can also take a luncheon break at one ot the 4 or 5 motels and hotels, e.g. at the Yildiz Saray hotel.
Have a look at some rugs Recep or Ibrahim or young Yusuf offer at the Çarsi (village centre), or just let them show you their 'depot'. (Although they would like you to buy one or two, they are never pushing
Change money into Liras in Ayvacik at the jeweller's at the town centre (banks are so slow), but not too much at a time (inflation!). Hotels also accept foreign cash and cheques.
Inflation in Turkey is high. . . What's my MONEY worth?
If you can provide me with more information, please send me a mail!
İ Information: The
pictures I used are only partly those I took myself. A lot of them I found in the 'Net',
and there arises a problem: I remember Serif Yenenİ, Explore Turkeyİ, Perseus
of Tufts Universityİ, Focusİ, Atlasİ, MAPQUESTİ,
Discover Turkeyİ, Argosİ, Turkish
Odysseyİ, many thanks to all of them, but I am sure I overlooked some
addresses. So, if anybody can help me there, send me a mail.
Thanks also to Prof. Dr. Uemit Serdaroglu, whose book on Assos
greatly helped, and to G.
Hafner and the Leuckefelds for their
İ Webmaster ASSOS