In what order should you describe the emotions that overtake you when you step on Bozcaada Island? I don’t know, I guess it must be different for everyone. East of here it is easier to believe in reality than it is to wish to make it up, because what surrounds you is stunning.
The beauty of Bozcaada is remarkable. The island’s old name is Tenedos and is mentioned as early as in the works of Herodotus. It is perfectly normal for the scattered land spots in the Aegean to be filled with the history of ancient Greece, mixed up with the current political tales of Turkey. But this island could also carry the name Acacia, for example, for its complete relaxation among the creamy white blossoms of these tall shrubberies which have taken over every last bit of land here.
Actually, Bozcaada’s territory is so small that by stepping off the ferry you find yourself already in the only village on the island. There are only white houses, symmetrically built in a series of narrow streets on which the only thing you hear are your own footsteps. At the doorsteps I find old sandals, dried up flowers, dusty toys…things that time carried over what, the past five or 50 years? It doesn’t matter because time is relative when you’re on Bozcaada. You can stretch it back to the ancient Greek mythology and then gather it back in a dot which will disappear in a second.
After approximately a 20 minute stroll you’ve already crossed the village and are at its brink. A walk around the remaining part of the island reveals scattered houses surrounded by vines. You can stop anywhere and have a glass of wine; even stay the night, if you will. The most precious thing about Bozcaada, however, are its people. The locals win you over instantly with their reluctance to please you by any means – a tradition already forgotten in Europe.
The most beautiful bay on Bozcaada is called Aquarium for its natural basin shape connected to the sea. The water there is crystal clear. An unprecedented kind of blue. And full of life. Swimming by the shore only reveals the direction of the flow. Then the flow connects with breathtaking geometrical schools of fish leading you to notice the variety of crawling sea snails in every color of the rainbow.
To get to Bozcaada you must pass by Odrin on the way to the Dardanelles and get on a ferry to Canakkale. Once you’re already in Asia, you can hop on the ferry from Canakkale to Bozcaada which doesn’t take longer than an hour. My advice is to visit the island around late May or early September in order to avoid the crowds of tourists. Whenever you visit, though, one thing is sure – you’ll want to go back there.