Bozcaada Beaches

Bozcaada’s Beaches

This island is rimmed by fine beaches, often dune-backed and almost Hebridean in appearance, but the really rewarding ones take some reaching. There’s a regular in-season minibus service from town to the popular one, Ayazma, where there are shack-style restaurants, sun loungers and parasols, even occasional water sporters.

You may be happier hiring a bike or motor scooter in town – respectively £8 or £17 a day from outlets in town including the Aki Hotel gift shop on Cumhuriyet Meydani and following the quiet road to the southeast of Ayazma. Along this shore, where the Greek fleet hid waiting for the Trojans across the water to fall for their fabled wooden horse, lies a succession of deserted bays: huge Ayana, fronted by a broken reef which makes it better for paddling or rock pooling than swimming; Aqvaryum, with the clearest shallows and book-ended by tiny headlands, each with its moored fishing boat; and Tuzburnu out by the lighthouse, where at the time of my passing a solitary man was sitting in a deckchair looking out to Troy.

The stiffish breezes that often blow across Bozcaada lead the locals to choose beaches where they will find most shelter; the south shore when the prevailing northerly poyraz gets up, and the north shore’s Çayır – an apparently endless and utterly pristine sand beach – when the occasional southerly lodos blows.  Follow their lead. Remember, though, that this is the northern Aegean where the sea is colder than one expects in Turkey.

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