Spending a Night in an Ottoman Mansion in Ayvalik, Turkey

After our busy day in Selçuk in September 2013, we headed further north to pretty Ayvalık, a seaside town on the Aegean coast of Turkey which is full of beautiful Ottoman Architecture lining the hilly cobble stone streets. The scenic harbour has multiple public areas surrounded by restaurant and cafés, with beautiful vistas over the sea and even the Greek Island of Lesbos in the distance!

Me in Ayvalık, September 2013

Me in Ayvalık, September 2013

Compared to most of the places we had visited over the previous two weeks in Turkey, Ayvalık was a relaxing break with not much to do, which was welcome at that point in our trip. We spent the afternoon wandering through the streets and the harbour, before sitting down in a nice cafe overlooking the sea for a Turkish coffee and a pastry.

Ayvalık's cafe-filled harbour

Ayvalık’s cafe-filled harbour

After our coffee, we headed to the Taksiyarhis Pension, a 140 year-old Ottoman mansion that has been restored as a family run inn. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the balcony at the mansion with some of our friends from the group we were traveling with. From the balcony, we had a gorgeous view of the town below us, and the harbour in the distance.

Ayvalık seen from the mansion's balcony

Ayvalık seen from the mansion’s balcony

When the sun set, most of our group came together that night and we opted to have a dinner in, taking advantage of a fully stocked kitchen at the mansion. We each got food and created a feast of cold cuts, cheeses, olives, salad and fruits, all finished off with delicious baklava for dessert.

Our Rustic Ottoman Mansion

Our Rustic Ottoman Mansion

For those who want to visit Ayvalık and keep busy, you can find a beach 3km away, go on a boat trip around the harbour, or take a ferry to the Greek island of Lesbos. For me, enjoying the unique accommodation we were staying in, wandering through the sleepy town, and having a day of leisure  with friends, was the perfect way to spend my time.

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