Discover Balikesir and its small island
Located within the borders of Balikesir province in Turkey, Avsa is a small but lovely island almost completely surrounded by beaches. Avsa Island is preferred mostly by domestic tourists who regard it as an economical holiday option.
Avsa Island (also known as Turkeli Island), which has an area of more than 20 sq km, presents an impressive appearance with its long, expansive beaches. The length of the island's shores adds up to 28 km. Its highest point is the Aliler Hill. The restaurants specialize in fish and local wines. Nightlife here is also colourful. There are plenty of hotels, bars, nightclubs and restaurants with live music for visitors.
Avsa is quite popular in the summer, its regular population of roughly two thousand can exceed one hundred thousand between June and September.
Family guesthouses account for the bulk of accommodation on the island, which is preferred mostly by domestic tourists who regard it as an economical holiday option. The island population is mostly composed of people from the Aegean islands and the Balkans.
Food & Drink: The seaside Sahil Avenue is lined with hotels, restaurants and places to have fun. It becomes espacially lively in the evennigs. Avsa Island is remarkable with its wines, seafoods and delicious dishes. You may sample the fish and the locally produced wines of the island at the restaurants.
Historical Places: You can visit a historical ruin worth seeing near the Monastery area on Avsa Island. The structure, which stands out especially with its marble courtyard, is known to have been part of the 17th century St. George Monastery. The monastery was famed for its library filled with handwritten texts.
There are numerous beaches on the island, which is known for its vineyards and sandy beaches. It is possible to swim everywhere on the island. The coves Altinkum, Mavi, Beyazsaray, Cinar and Ciftlik are home to the best of the island's beaches. Boats go regularly to the nearby Marmara Island, or to island villages like Ekinlik and Cinarli. Besides the central settlement of Turkeli, there is also a village you can visit on the island called Yigitler.
You can reach this island that is at a distance of 29 km from Erdek, by ship or fast ferry from Istanbul, or by boat from Erdek and Tekirdag.