Inhabited until 1923 by Ottoman Greeks, Ayvalik combines a beach resort (Sarimsakli, about 4 mi/6 km from town and served by regular minibuses) with a pleasant, small market town 150 mi/240 km north of Izmir. The back streets boast lovely old houses and the remains of a few old churches, currently under restoration. The chimneys of old olive-oil factories stud the skyline.

Attached to the mainland by a causeway is Cunda (Alibey) Island, a great place to have fresh fish for dinner and watch the sunset along the waterfront. The top of Seytan Sofrasi (Devil's Table) mountain is another popular spot for sunset views.

During the high season, daily ferries connect Ayvalik to the Greek island of Lesbos.

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