The former Greek village of Assos, which overlooks a harbor 190 mi/305 km southwest of Istanbul, was settled by colonists from the nearby island of Lesbos.

On the hill above the harbor, in the modern village of Behramkale, the pretty stone houses are being snapped up and restored by artists—and others—from Istanbul. (Chilly in winter, it has never become a popular destination for travelers—hence, the old houses haven't all been razed to make way for concrete-block hotels.)

Aristotle lived there 347-344 BC opened an academy before fleeing to Macedonia. To honor his legacy, philosophy classes are still hosted there (and open to visitors).

A sixth-century BC temple of Athena with beautiful Aegean views is being restored, but the work is expected to continue for decades. The picturesque harbor and its pebbly beach, lined with boutique-hotels and fish restaurants, is a pleasant place to while away an afternoon.

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