Tag Archive: history



Foça in August

Since our son gets a two week semester break at the end of January/beginning of February, we decided to rent a car and go explore the Aegean coast of Turkey.  I know, it’s not really the right time of the year to go to the seaside!  However, we wanted to scout out places for this summer.  We live in Antalya, which is brutally hot and humid during the summer, so we are looking for a place to spend our summers.  We had heard that the Aegean side of Turkey is hot, but not humid.


Foça in February

We visited Selçuk, Şirince, and Çeşme, but Eski Foça (Old Foça) won our hearts. Don’t confuse Eski Foça with Yeni Foça (New Foça), which is only 800 years old!


Selcuk: it best known for its ancient fortress and for being a base from which to see Ephesus.


Şirince, a charming Ottoman town which is famous for its wines and olive oil.


Çeşme is a popular vacation spot in summer.

When we came here to Foça in February, even with the cold, crisp air we fell under the spell of its charm.


Scroll down to find a photo of this same area in the summer.

We discovered that Eski Foça is a laid back Aegean seaside town with a great vibe.  There are no 5 star resorts, no buildings more than about three stories, and no pulsating night life, other than a few seaside bars with music. Just what the doctor ordered!


Phocaea (Foça’s ancient name) was known for its mariners, who founded colonies in Spain, Italy, and France while exploring countries around the Mediterranean and the Aegean. I was surprised to learn that Marseille was founded by the Greeks from ancient Phocaea!


There’s a picturesque harbor with a mix of colorful fishing boats; the occasional stork swimming by, dogs and cats enjoying the mild sunshine along with the humans.



Eski Foça is about an hour’s drive from Izmir, so the town fills up with people coming for the day, especially on the weekends. On mild winter weekdays, the evenings are quiet and tranquil. There’s a medium sized sandy beach nearby, with little cafes to get a bite to eat.


There are two bays; the bigger bay is home to many modern sailing yachts whereas the small bay is home to many quaint fishing boats.  In the summer there are many tourist boats that are ready to take you out on day trips as well as evening cruises.


We returned to Foça a week ago, and we are really enjoying the summer vibe!  The weather is absolutely PERFECT: sunny, warm, with a gentle breeze. We haven’t needed to use air conditioning; just a fan is sufficient.  Best of all, we can be out during the middle of the day without melting!  Knowing what our friends in Antalya are suffering with the humidity,  we especially appreciate these exquisite summer temperatures.


There are many seaside restaurants and cafes to choose from for the hungry humans. Don’t be surprised if the cats sit by your table and look at you pleadingly as you eat some fresh seafood!


You found the summer photo, congratulations! Notice the vines growing above.

Flowers and trees are booming, adding to the charm of this fun seaside town!


So, what’s the best way to get to Eski Foça? You can fly from Istanbul or anywhere in Turkey to Izmir.  Rent a car and you will be here in less than an hour.

Here are some websites with information about how to get to Eski Foça by public transportation:

Getting to Foça from the otogar (main bus station in Izmir)

Check below for information about taking the metro from the airport to Hatundere, which takes you most of the way to Eski Foça. We were told that you can take a dolmuş (minibus) from Hatundere to Eski Foça, or you can take a taxi.

Izmir Airport/metro info


However you get here, just GET HERE!  It’s a great getaway, and would be a terrific way to end a busy sightseeing trip of Turkey’s many amazing places. You can people watch from one of the many seaside cafes while savoring some delicious seafood and local cuisine.  You can go on a boat trip to enjoy the beautiful coastline and  swim in the sparkling coves with crystal clear water. Go for a walk in the evening, admiring the yachts while feeling the warm, gentle breeze. End your vacation rested and ready to return home! We will definitely be back next year.







The Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor

We stayed for four days in Herceg-Novi, in Montenegro.  One day we decided to go for a drive around the Bay of Kotor.  Think Norwegian fjords, Hawaiian lush landscape, spectacular bays and crystal clear water…stunning!

We felt as if we were at a lake, because we were surrounded all around by mountains.

We felt as if we were at a lake, because we were surrounded all around by mountains.

We drove along the bay and decided to stop at the entrance of the town of Perast.

Ok, this was the view from the parking lot!!

Ok, this was the view from the public parking lot!!

We walked toward the little town of Perast, and found an area to go for a swim.

The water was clear and wonderful!

The water was clear and wonderful!

We dried off and visited the little town of Perast. It has a long and colorful past, dating back to 3500 BC with evidence of a Neolithic culture found in caves above Perast.  Other archeological finds include evidence from Roman and early Christian periods.



This little city has changed hands frequently over the centuries. It was part of the Byzantine empire in the 10th century.


It was a free city of medieval Serbia in the 1100’s.


Perast enjoyed a brief time of independence between 1395 to 1420.



It changed hands from the Venetian Republic of Venice and Hungarian control between the  1400’s and the 1700’s.


Perast was under French occupation in the 1800’s until 1914.



It was then ruled by Austria from 1914-1918. Perast became part of Yugoslavia in 1918.



Mussolini annexed the territories around Kotor to Italy in 1941. Perast later became part of Yugoslavia again after WWII.

Perast has been part of Montenegro since its independence in 2006. What a past this little city has!

The modern Perast has a sleepy, relaxed vibe with lots of character.  Perfect for a day trip to include a swim, a boat ride to one of the little islands, and a meal at one of the outdoor cafes!