Bozcaada

Bozcaada ferry harbor

Bozcaada (pronounced boz-DJA-ah-dah) is an island on the Aegean Sea, near the western exit of Dardanelles in Turkey. Its ancient name is Tenedos.

Understand

Bozcaada is located 12 miles from the Çanakkale Strait and extends over an area of around 40 square kilometers, roughly in the shape of a triangle one edge of which is parallel to mainland coast. The islanders make their living from viticulture, fishing and tourism.

The sole town of the islandhome to about 2,000 peoplelies on its northeastern corner, facing the mainland. The rest of the island is covered by vineyards, scattered pine woods, and Mediterranean shrubland (maquis), dotted by the occasional vineyard manor and, close to the coastline, housing estates used by mainland Turks as vacation homes.

Specifically exempted from the "population exchange" agreement between Greece and Turkey (which lead the way to the forced immigration of the Greeks of Turkey and the Turks of Greece to the other country in the 1920s), Bozcaada is one of the very few locations in Turkey that still has a Greek community. While the local Greek population is much smaller than it used to be, their heritage is more or less well kept.

Get in

By plane

Çanakkale Airport is located 56 km away from the Geyikli Yukyeri Harbour. There is a 3 connections in a week between Istanbul and Çanakkale. THY Turkish Airlines are flying to Çanakkale.

By bus

Regular buses run from most major cities to Çanakkale. From Çanakkale there are frequent Bus connection to Geyikli Yukyeri Port where the ferryboats connect Bozcaada with the mainland. There are also some buses from Istanbul directly to Geyikli Yukyeri Port ("Truva" and "Metro" bus companies).

There is a bus company office located in one of the small shops at the town square. You can buy your ticket for Istanbul (or somewhere else on the way) for a bus departing from Geyikli in the mainland. Your bus will be waiting for you just outside the harbour in Geyikli. Don’t forget to catch the corresponding ferry back to the mainland (bus hours are usually in accordance with the ferry hours, they depart usually about 30 minutes after the departure of the ferry from island quay), they may wait for the next ferry or not! (more likely, not)

By car

From Istanbul — Get to Çanakkale first by following the route west from the city via Tekirdağ, Keşan, Gelibolu, and Eceabat. Take the ferry at Eceabat to cross the Strait to Asia. After passing the Strait into Çanakkale in Asia, take the road (D550/E87) south to Izmir. About 30 km away from Canakkale (and only a few km after you left the junction for the road to Troy behind), you’ll arrive at the junction which the access road to Geyikli harbour forks (there are also ‘Bozcaada’ signs on that junction). This route is about 400 km in total. Those who’d like to drive less may take fast ferries from Istanbul to Bandirma on the southern shore of Marmara. Bandirma to Geyikli is abut 210 km in total.

From Izmir — Take the route north (D550/E87) to Çanakkale, and turn left (to direction signposted as ‘Geyikli’/’Bozcaada’ there) in Ezine, about 50 km south of Çanakkale.

By boat

In summer of 2009, passenger-only fast ferry (deniz otobüsü) service to Bozcaada direct from Çanakkale started. However, the only mainland location with a ferry connection which can accommodate cars to Bozcaada is still Geyikli, located on the western (Aegean) shore of Troad (Biga) Peninsula, south of Çanakkale.

Ferryboat Schedule from Geyikli to Bozcaada (there are often changes on the schedule, so it advisable to check):

A return ticket (they don’t sell any one-way) for the ferry between Geyikli and Bozcaada costs 4 TL per person without a car (no student discounts). There is a ticket check only once when boarding the ferry in the mainland, after this, the ticket is practically worthless, since it is not checked again (for example when boarding to return to the mainland in Bozcaada).

Get around

There are frequent minibuses heading for Ayazma and Habbele beaches. Their departure is in the square right next to the entrance of the castle. A one-way ride costs 3 TL per person (no student discounts available) and takes about 15 minutes. There is also a minibus service once every day (at sunset time) to Cape Polente, the westernmost point of the island and where the electricity-generating wind turbines are located.

Although they are well-paved in most sections, most of the roads on the island are narrow. Nevertheless, there is little traffic anyway, so it is no problem that they are narrow.

The town itself is really small you can walk from one edge of it to another in approximately ten minutes.

See

Bozcaada Castle from the beach

Do

Buy

There are two ATM's in town and they do accept foreign VISA cards. One is located at the main square and other on the exterior wall of Ziraat Bankası in the town square.

As of summer 2006, there was only one supermarket in the island (located at one of the cobblestone streets, past one of the wine shops, leading to the town square). There you can find anything you may need as a casual traveller. Despite its monopolistic situation, the prices were at about the same level as the mainland.

Books

Locally available books that are worth a look are:

Eat

Definitely fish restaurants. A fish, some green salad, and a glass of raki did cost about 20 TL per person in summer 2006. You can see the prices for different kinds of fish on the boards in front of many restaurants. Keep in mind that almost all restaurants in the town gets really crowded between 8PM and 10PM and it is almost impossible to find a seat between these hours unless you either, be seated before 8PM or after 10PM, or better yet, reserve a seat during the day.

Drink

Local drinks

Bars

Sleep

Average price in the hotels and pensions of the island is about 50 YTL (and upwards) per person per night. This price generally includes breakfast too. There is also a campsite near Habbele beach which should be much cheaper.

If you are given a chance to choose between a cheaper/non-air conditioned room and a more expensive/AC room, go for non-A/C one, as it is always windy in Bozcaada and you won’t need to use the air-conditioner. Why pay more for a useless A/C? It’s unlikely but even if you feel hot, you can simply wide open the window (except if you are staying in the street-level floor for obvious reasons) even if there is no mosquito screen installed, as mosquitoes cannot survive in this windy climate and theft from the hotel rooms (by entering through the window) is virtually unknown.

Be aware, it is almost impossible to find a room without booking beforehand in summer.

Work

It is sometimes possible to find a job as a waiter or waitress in one of the not-so-many cafés in the town. You may also try to work as a picker during grape-harvest time (August to October). But don’t rely on either of these before going to Bozcaada anyway.

Stay healthy

Don’t swim in the stony beach between the castle and Salhane bar (that yellow building located between the mountain and the shoreline) in the town centre. As you’ll soon find out by the smell, there is a raw sewage discharge into the sea from two different points in that beach. The aforementioned beaches are perfectly pure, though.

Connect

Telephone

The area code for Bozcaada (and the rest of Çanakkale province) is 286. All phone numbers in the island are further prefixed with 697 (which should be dialed even when calling within the island), making up 7 digits in the total without the area code (10 with the area code): 286-697-xx-xx. To call a number in the island from out of Turkey, dial +90 286 first.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, October 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.