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Sığacık: the Cittaslow alternative for Alaçatı

Why would one want to look for an alternative for Alaçatı, you may ask? Isn’t it almost perfect? Quaint, excellent wining and dining options, close to the sea and Izmir? Yes, it is. But so is Sığacık (or Sigacik if you do not have a Turkish keyboard), in fact, Sigacik has a few things that Alaçatı doesn’t have, or has no longer. This is a seaside Cittaslow village, where life follows a different pace. And while locals will say it is turning into a tourist destination, this is still a village where you can get a great dose of authenticity served with a healthy splash of facilities that tourists (and travelers) love, such as nice restaurants, and quirky little shops. In short, if you like pretty villages near the sea, you will love Sığacık. Check it out below.

This Looks So Inviting!

This Looks So Inviting!

Plenty Of Nazar In Sığacık

Plenty Of Nazar In Sığacık

Sığacık, the pearl of Cittaslow Seferihisar

Seferihisar is the town and district in Izmir to which Sigacik belongs, and it is Turkey’s first slow city. Seferihisar became a member of the Cittaslow movement (Italian for slow city) in 2009. Cittaslow stands for the respect of traditions through the joy of slow and quiet living. It values the authenticity of products and good food, the richness of craft traditions, and the beauty of unspoiled landscapes. Cities who want to become a member must meet several criteria and be engaged in preserving local tastes and products, using clean energy, and maintaining areas of historical and cultural value. And that is precisely the case in Seferihisar and Sığacık, which is surrounded by archaeological sites such as Teos, mandarin, citrus, and olive groves, and gorgeous beaches like Akkum and Ekmeksiz. The ever-present wind is the ideal base to provide wind power to complement the use of geothermal and solar energy. Life in Sığacık is different, and that’s a good thing!

One Of The Many Charming Inner Castle Dining Options In Sigacik

One Of The Many Charming Inner Castle Dining Options In Sigacik

Whiling Away The Afternoon In Sığacık

Whiling Away The Afternoon In Sığacık

Exploring Sigacik’s inner-castle

Sığacık has a new and an old part. The old part, located in the inner-castle, will charm the hell out of you. It’s a picturesque maze of narrow streets with colorful shops and restaurants adorned with scented jasmine bushes, roses, and bougainvillea. This is the ideal setting for a relaxing day out. Walking the streets of Sigacik, you’ll get to taste local delicacies cooked by the village women. Their baklava and homemade food is delicious and waiting to be savored in the modest cooking pots it has been prepared in. The village is becoming more popular with Izmirites spending the weekend or a Sunday there. The whole inner-castle area has a distinct eclectic feel to it, though we have to say that we haven’t met a single person who wasn’t Turkish during our entire stay. To us, that is a plus!

Color, And More Color, That's Sigacik

Color, And More Color, That’s Sigacik

Sunflowers In Sığacık

Sunflowers In Sığacık

Inside the castle walls, the buzz of the outer streets disappears. The vibe is somehow different, and you forget about the world. That was probably not the case back in 1521-22 when the castle was built as a defense during Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent’s war with Rhodes. The castle and its walls protected the village and served as a naval base. Later it served as a customs control center. Only one level remains from the original two-floor construction.

Sığacık View From The Akkum Road

Sığacık View From The Akkum Road

A Peak On Both Sides Of Sigacik's Castle Wall

A Peak On Both Sides Of Sigacik’s Castle Wall

Sığacık served as the northern port of nearby Teos and now as a marina for the many yachts that visit the Aegean. With the marina on one side and the fishing port on the other, you’re all set for a lovely stroll along the waterside. Do you fancy hitting the water yourselves? Daily boat trips are leaving Sigacik to places like Azmak, Papaz Boğazı, Aktaşlı, Taş Ada, and Çamağız. While Sığacık has a harbor and a beach, people do not swim in the bay. Instead, head up to the road opposite the harbor. It will take you straight to Akkum beach, a swimmers’ and sunbathers paradise!

How About A Little Something To Eat?

How About A Little Something To Eat?

Fishing Boats With The Castle Wall In The Background

Fishing Boats With The Castle Wall In The Background

Practical tips for your visit

This is a great day trip from Izmir or Kuşadası. Sigacik is easy to reach by car and by public transport. If you’re flying to Izmir, take bus 202 to Üçkuyular and then line 985 to Seferihisar. You’ll find both timetables on the ESHOT website, simply select the line numbers (202 & 985) on your left-hand side. Check out the current timetables to go from Seferihisar to Sığacık by dolmuş here. Please note that no cars are allowed in the inner-castle. Parking nearby can be a drag. The most convenient place to park is on the north-eastern side of the village, behind the beach. Are you spending the night in Sigacik? The inner-castle is home to countless boutique hotels. Also, know that while the castle walls muffle the outside noise, plenty of eateries near the marina have live music in the evening. If you’re an early sleeper, you may want to pick a hotel that is a little further from the center. Check out our hotel & restaurant tips in the tabs below.

This Is What We Call Picture Perfect!

This Is What We Call Picture Perfect!

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Sığacık can get busy over the weekend. Still, there is no comparison to Alaçatı, where people are partying in the streets until morning. despite its growing popularity, Sığacık still is very much the Cittaslow it claims to be. This is a perfectly quaint village with a very Turkish soul. If you like places like Kalkan, or Kaş, but you’re looking for a more authentic version, this is it. As a bonus, Seferihisar has 11 blue flag beaches along its 49km coastline.

Of course, we’re all different people, so checking reviews on TripAdvisor is always a good idea! We do visit each place personally and all photos are our own. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Now that you’re here, go visit Teos ancient site, and maybe even drive to Çeşme for a different kind of experience. Do taste the delicious homemade food in Sığacık, it would be a shame to leave without it.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We’ve mentioned it above, there are some very pretty boutique hotels in the inner-castle. But we like it quiet and decided to find a place to stay just out of town. We were very happy with the level of comfort at Satsuma Boutique Hotel, which is conveniently located amidst the citrus groves.

If you like fish, we can highly recommend Nena. This restaurant in the inner-castle is located right next to the famous Milos restaurant. This family-owned business can rival its famous neighbor without a doubt. If you’re in town, give it a try. The meze is to die for. The aubergines were probably the best we’ve ever eaten in Turkey!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Izmir here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Sığacık can get busy over the weekend. Still, there is no comparison to Alaçatı, where people are partying in the streets until morning. despite its growing popularity, Sığacık still is very much the Cittaslow it claims to be. This is a perfectly quaint village with a very Turkish soul. If you like places like Kalkan, or Kaş, but you’re looking for a more authentic version, this is it. As a bonus, Seferihisar has 11 blue flag beaches along its 49km coastline.

Of course, we’re all different people, so checking reviews on TripAdvisor is always a good idea! We do visit each place personally and all photos are our own. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Now that you’re here, go visit Teos ancient site, and maybe even drive to Çeşme for a different kind of experience. Do taste the delicious homemade food in Sığacık, it would be a shame to leave without it.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We’ve mentioned it above, there are some very pretty boutique hotels in the inner-castle. But we like it quiet and decided to find a place to stay just out of town. We were very happy with the level of comfort at Satsuma Boutique Hotel, which is conveniently located amidst the citrus groves.

If you like fish, we can highly recommend Nena. This restaurant in the inner-castle is located right next to the famous Milos restaurant. This family-owned business can rival its famous neighbor without a doubt. If you’re in town, give it a try. The meze is to die for. The aubergines were probably the best we’ve ever eaten in Turkey!

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Izmir here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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#Sığacık is a #Cittaslow where the blowing wind meets the slow pace of an authentic Aegean seaside village. In #Sigacik, life is good & the streets are pretty. #Turkey
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