The real beauty of Bozcaada is not found within the town limits. To really appreciate this small, charming island, you must explore the interior, the vineyards, the beaches, and its many coves. The best way to do this is to rent a bicycle or scooter and set off from the town. It’s impossible to get lost!
I decided to rent a bike and travel an 18km circuit through the middle and around the eastern portion of the island. It allowed me to stop at several different coves along the way and jump in the water at almost each one. The only negative was that the island isn’t as flat as they tell you. Some of the roads can get pretty steep and by the end of the day my legs felt like jello. It can also get very hot with the sun blazing down on you. Bring plenty of water because there is almost nowhere along the way to buy any.
I started my ride through the middle of the island passing several gorgeous vineyards. It was fairly flat and an easy path to negotiate. I made a few stops to admire the scenery.
The first and only manmade landmark I came to is the Agia Paraskevi Agiasma. It’s a small chapel with a holy water spring. Every 25th of July, islanders (both Greek and Turkish) along with visiting Greeks from Greece and Istanbul have a huge three day festival here.
A bit further down the road I reached the southern end of Bozcaada and my first beach, Ayazma Plajı. This is the most popular beach on the island. It’s dotted with sun chairs and umbrellas. There are some restaurants and other services located there. The water is a little on the cold side but refreshing on a hot day. It’s possible to reach Ayazma Plajı by minibus from town.
The next beach just to the west of Ayazma Plajı is Sulubahçe Koyu. It’s just a few minutes walk from Ayazma but doesn’t have any services. I spent a few hours there the next morning and had the entire beach to myself. The minibus stops there as well. Beyond Sulubahçe is Habbele, a beach that sits inward from a large cliff.
I turned around and continued towards the eastern side of the island, stopping first at Beylik Koyu. This small beach is fairly clean with good sea, but with large rocks here and there. I spent about a half hour there.
I then stopped at Hacı Mahmud Koyu for a few minutes but it was too rocky to swim at. After that, I passed up a small beach which I couldn’t find the name for.
Next, I came to Ayana Koyu which has a nice beach with good sand. Other than a few spots with rocks and coral, it was enjoyable.
Güvercin Koyu was next. There’s no beach there but I imagine with a boat it would be a great place to swim.
A bit further down on the southeast side of Bozcaada is Mermer Burnu. This small cape separates two coves: Çanak Limanı, which is unswimmable, and Akvaryum Koyu, which is popular with snorkelers for its sea life. Akvaryum Koyu is a fantastic place to relax and swim even you aren’t into snorkeling.
I was too tired to stop at the next two beaches along the way. Tuzburnu Koyu had very clear turquoise water with fine sand. Ataol Plajı looked nice as well but I’m pretty sure it’s a private beach for a hotel.
Finally, I was hoping to visit the western tip of the island near the windmills. It was suggested as a must-do by the owner of the hotel. A minibus sets off every night at 6pm from the harbor, but there weren’t enough people to make the trip.
Of course there are several other beaches and coves that I didn’t visit, many inaccessible except by boat. One tip I was given is that the beaches on the northern side of the island aren’t very good. The best ones are on the southern and eastern sides. Also, some people may be tempted to swim at the small beach by the castle in town. I was told not to do that because there is a raw sewage pump near that beach.
One thing I would like to do on another trip to the island is visit one of the famous vineyards. Organized tours and tastings are available for many of them and some of them also double as hotels, such as Talay. Corvus is one of the best wine producers in Turkey and is located on the island. Another vineyard is Çamlıbağ, and there are many other smaller producers. Signs along the roads direct visitors to the vineyards. For a more social wine scene, the island’s wine festival runs for three days around the first week of September.