I’ve been putting off writing this blog because I felt like it’d end up being pretty negative. Ferda’s friend, Şebnem, does lots of these weekend bus tours. She convinced Ferda to come on this tour last spring, and Ferda, in turn, convinced me. It was a three-day tour, spending two nights at a comfortable hotel in Altınoluk.
The tour itinerary went something like this: Bozcaada and Assos on day one; Kaz Dağı and Adatepe on day two; Cunda Adası, Ayvalık, and Bergama on day three. Since I’m such a big fan of Roman ruins, I was most looking forward to Bergama (aka Pergamon). Additionally there’s an old church in Ayvalık that I wanted to visit, and I had heard nice things about the small historic village of Assos.
Certainly the tour wasn’t a complete disappointment, but we could have used our three days in the area much more efficiently. The worst waste of time was on the third day spending so long at dirty Cunda Adası where there’s really nothing to see (our guide ate breakfast here, but the rest of us had eaten at the hotel), followed by an hour at a viewpoint (Şeytan Sofrası) where 10 minutes for a photo would have been more than enough. In the end our guide decided we didn’t have time to stop in Ayvalık that day. Oh, by then I was pissed.
But, wait, I didn’t want this to be so negative.
We started with an overnight bus from Antalya to Geyikli where the ferries leave for Bozcaada. How Condé Nast readers chose this island as the world’s second most beautiful remains a mystery to me. We spent a couple hours to visit the fortress and wander around the cute center. I’ve only been to a few islands in the Aegean. Chios is far and away my favorite.