An ever fascinating site to visit is the province
of Balikesir with its pretty little towns of wide natural beauties. The beaches
extending for kilometers on both the Aegean and Marmara coasts, the dazzling
waters of deep blue, and rich greenery gently covering the land, attract anyone
who would like to have a wonderful time in the midst of wonderful scenery.
Having housed many civilizations throughout its
long past, the province is a rich center of historical remains bringing the
oldest times of humanity to light. The attractive Yildirim and Zagnos Pasa
Mosques in the city center are examples of the monuments of earlier periods
besides the interesting clock tower, while the towns nearby also hold ruins from
the ages, standing in a beautiful natural scenery. The Gulf of Edremit, Iying on
the Aegean, is one of these lovely sites, with a broad choice of beaches and
seaside resorts overlooking the clear sea. Edremit and Altinoluk-which Is an
oxygen heaven- ranks second in the world for a high oxygen density, are the
towns that stud this wonderful area, together with Oren, where green pine
forests meet the sandy shores of fine holiday resorts. In one part of this
beautiful village you may see Roman and Byzantine ruins, while in the other you
can find the most fresh and delicious seafood of the district, offered by good
In this place called the "Olive Riviera", Ayvalik
is reached by following the olive groves. This town is also a picturesque spot
with its fine beaches facing a collection of 25 small lovely islands. An
attraction in the town is the Taksiyarkis Church. Its great architecture, and
marble carvings are worth seeing. Nearby is the "Seytan Sofrasi" (the Devil's
Banquet) which offers one of the most perfect panoramic sunsets in the world.
The site also affords a marvelous view of the Sarmisakli peninsula, famous for
its beaches, and the little island of Cunda (Alibey) .
Gonen, 30 kms from Bandirma, is another excellent
relaxation center, possessing therapeutic thermal springs. The health and cure
establishments here, have been used by people suffering from various illnesses
since the earliest times.
Located at the foot of Kazdagi, is Akcay, another
popular spa-center with its spring waters that effect cures. Besides the
health-related opportunities, this town offers a beautiful natural scenery,
fitting its legendary fame. According to mythology, the world's first beauty
contest was held here, on Mount Ida, and Aphrodite was chosen the queen from the
three beautiful goddesses.
Lying off the coast from this province are the
pretty islands, Marmara and Avsa. Famed for their wine and fish, these sites
offer wonderful shorelines. Marmara island is full of historical treasures which
increase its attractiveness. Here is the "Mermer Plaj" (Marble Beach) which
takes its name from the marbles for which the town is famous.
Erdek, on the coast of Marmara Sea, is a nice
touristic center, situated on the beautiful Kapidag peninsula. Olive trees,
vineyards and fruit gardens are features of this land which is surrounded by the
clearest waters of the region. The Hadrian's Temple at Kyzikos is here,
alongside many other historical remains that adorn the area.
Of particular interest is the Manyas National
Park near Bandirma which is the "Bird Paradise", sheltering 239 species of
birds. It is a restful and lovely place for bird watchers, just as the whole
city is for nature-lovers.