The Geography of Balıkesir

Balıkesir is bounded on the west by the Çanakkale Strait and the Aegean Sea, and on the north by the Sea of Marmara and İstanbul Strait. Balikesir’s strategic location has made it a hub of the immigration routes that helped form the culture of Turkey.


In Balıkesir, in addition to the Mediterranean climate, Black Sea climate and continental climate are also effective in some regions.

The History of Balıkesir

Archaeological surveys conducted around Balıkesir indicate that the earliest human habitation goes back to the 3rd millennia BC. The Hittite texts call this section of AnatoliaAssuva, and during classical antiquity the area around Balıkesir and Çanakkale was known as Mysia. The legendary Trojan War, lasted for ten years between the Achaeans and Trojans, took place within the borders of this city, on the slopes of Kazdağı Mountain, named as Mount Ida during antiquity. In the 12th century BC some of the sea tribes of western Anatolia colonised Cyzicus (Erdek) and Proconnesus (Marmara Island), forming settlements in Balıkesir. The ancient city of Adramyttium is testament to the presence of Lydians in the region, and the ancient city of Dascylion, a Persian Satrapy, descends from the period of Persian dominance after 600 BC. Persian control of the city lasted until 334 BC, and ended when Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated the Persian army near the Granicus River. The city later became famous as the capital of the Karesi Principality. During the War of Liberation, from the Armistice of Mudros until the declaration of the Republic, the region became prominent by hosting numerous congresses which adopted resolutions that helped define the outcome of the war. After the declaration of the Republic of Turkey (29 October 1923) Balıkesir became one of the most important tourist destinations in the country and brought forward the region’s rich traditional culture into today.

The flora and fauna of Balıkesir reminds us all that human beings are not the only masters of the world.

Flora of Balıkesir

The forests of Balıkesir contain European black pine, Turkish pine, beech, hornbeam, oak, and willow, tamarix, plane tree and olive trees. In addition to the trees noted above, the Kazdağı Mountain is home to a fir species endemic to Kazdağı (Abies nordmanniana subsp.equi-trojani). In the regions of Susurluk, Kepsut, Bandırma and Gönen, beech, hornbeam, and oak trees form the forests. A rich variety of trees beautify the Kapıdağ Peninsula. Around Korucu and Bigadiç chestnuts are found, in Gönen linden forests. Thyme and sumac grow around Kepsut, and at Kazdağı sage, mountain mint, St. John’s wort, French lavender, absinthe wormwood, laurel and rosemary are common. Along the Aegean seaboard of the province there are maquis shrub-lands. Large orchards of olives and acorn oaks cover vast areas. Olive growing and processing in Balıkesir province is concentrated in the regions of Edremit, Ayvalık, Burhaniye, Bandırma and Erdek.

Balıkesir is on one of the most important bird migration routes of the Palaearctic region, which cuts through the north­western part of Anatolia. Each year it hosts about three million migrating birds of various species, here they nest, feed and raise their young. Bandırma Kuşcenneti (Bird Sanctuary) National Park, located in the province, hosts a rich variety of birds, including loon, Dalmatian pelican, spoonbill, pygmy cormorant, grey heron, flamingo, swan, falcon, quail, crane, little and spotted crakes, collared pratincole, woodpecker, and chaffinch.

As the province dips its shores in two seas, it is also wealthy in fish species.

The abundant saltwater fish species are sardines, European anchovy, European sea bass, bluefish, Atlantic bonito, bluefin tuna, grey mullet, turbot, mackerel, seabream and sprat. Freshwater fish include carp, roach, pike, shad, catfish, and vimba.

Wild life is widespread in the forests of Dursunbey, Bigadiç, Sındırgı, İvrindi and Edremit counties, and includes hedgehog and porcupine, weasel, partridge, Levant mole, European pond terrapin, Balkan wall lizard, Montpellier snake {Malpolon monspessulanus), wild boar, wolves, jackals, and foxes.

Kuşcenneti National Park Area: 24.047 Hectares Specific interests: Ornithology Access:19 kilometres from Bandırma, and 85 kilometres from Balıkesir Contact: Bandırma Nature Preservation and National Parks Directorate (+90 266) 714 99 11

Museum of the National Park:

Kuş Lake (lit. bird lake) and the Lake Uluabat (Apollyont) lie to the south of the Sea of Marmara, in a depression between Mount Uludağ and the Biga Peninsula. The fertile plains around the lakes are surrounded by high pastures and hills. The length of Kuş Lake lying in an east-west direction is 20 kilometres, and its width is 14 kilometres. Kuş Lake and the surrounding area form an extraordinary ecosystem of animals and nature.

Flora: The lushest plants are along the Kuşcenneti (Bird Sanctuary). When the water level falls during summer, the dried land is covered with lush green plants. The most common plant of the bird sanctuary is willow. Along the shore buttercup, tamarix, reeds, mayapple, are sandsage are common. Also there are woods containing acorn oak, olive trees, Turkish pine, black pine, beech, hornbeam, linden, plane, ash, and alter trees.

Fauna: The Lake is biologically fertile and rich in wild life, especially in water fowls. Endangered species such as Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Eurasian spoonbill (Palatelea leucorodia) and glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) have substantial nesting colonies. Crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) are common and commercially fished. There are more than twenty species of fish in the lake, including the common carp, Weis catfish, pike, European chub, wimba, sharptooth catfish, and European bitterling. Protected species include the southern crested newt, hyla savignyi, European tree frog, European copper skink, European pond terrapin, and European snow vole. Other species living around the lake are hedgehog, porcupine, mole and long­fingered bat. The Park is on the wetland that lies on the north-eastern part of Kuş Lake, the wetland where the migrating birds nest, winter, find food and breed with the protection provided by the lake waters, willow thicket, and reeds. The wetland is very important for 266 species of birds, and it annually hosts two to three million birds. The park’s ecosystem is tremendously valuable for maintaining and ensuring the sustainability of biodiversity, wild life, and ecological balance. The Council of Europe recognized the area’s international importance as a bird sanctuary by awarding it the “European Diploma of Protected Areas” in 1975.

Kazdağı National Park Surface Area: 21.463.0 Ha.

Specific interests: The géomorphologie structure which features deep valleys and canyons, and the biodiversity provided by the diverse plant life and rich fauna Access: The Park is 15 kilometres from Edremit, 105 kilometres from Balikesir. Contact: National Park, Tel: (+90 266) 373 14 80

The Kazdagi Mountain, called “Mount Ida” during antiquity, is the highest peak of the Biga Peninsula, which separates the Aegean and Marmara regions. The steep valleys and canyons of the mountain lie in a north-south direction, and create oxygen rich air streams. In antiquity, the region, known as Mysia, was controlled successively by the Mysians, Carians, Trojans, Leleges, Luries, Lydians, Alexander the Great, the Kingdom of Pergamum, and the Roman Empire. These civilizations gave birth to ancient cities such as Thebe, Astria, Anderia, Antandrus, Adramyttium, Killa, Krysa, and Lyrnessus, the ruins of which can still be seen today. The only village ethnography museum in Turkey is located in the Tahtakuşlar Village. The Sarıkız Hill, the scene of the legend of Sarıkız (lit. blond maiden), and the Sutüven Waterfalls and Hasanboğuldu artificial lake, the setting of the Hasanboğuldu (lit. drowned Hasan) Legend, are part of the National Park. Sections of the Park at Pınarbaşı and Sutüven (Hasanboğuldu) have been designated for day tripping visitors.

Flora: Forests cover Kazdağı Mountain and its lower slopes. In the stream ravines and some slopes there are maquis which could be seen in Mediterranean region. The maquis are formed by laurel, strawberry tree, myrtle, holm oak, Spanish broom, and wild olives, and they are acclimatised with the local climatic conditions of Kazdağı Mountain. Of the many tree species on the Kazdağı Mountain, the endemic Kazdağı firs are the most important, and are under protection.

Fauna: Mount Ida, with its enchanting natural beauty, was the scene of the first beauty contest in mythology.

Paris, son of the Trojan King Priam, was appointed by Zeus, King of Gods and Goddesses, as judge in the world’s first beauty contest. Aphrodite, Hera and Athena were competing to win a golden apple on which was inscribed “To the most beautiful”. Each of the Goddesses made a promise to Paris, tempting him to award them the apple. Hera promised to make Paris the king of Asia and Europe; Athena, promised him to make Achaeans victorious against Trojans; and Aphrodite promised to give him the most beautiful woman as his wife. Considering the promises Paris selected Aphrodite as the most beautiful of them all. After a while he was sent to Sparta to negotiate with King Menelaus. When Paris saw Menelaus’ wife, Helen, he fell in love. Helen also fell in love with him. Paris and Helen ran away to Troy. Menelaus believing that his beloved wife was forcibly abducted, gathered an Achaean fleet of hundreds of ships, and sailed to Troy. The Achaean army besieged Troy, and the Trojan Wars that would last ten years started. The famed poet Homer described Kazdağı Mountain ‘famous for Its many springs, nurturing mother of beasts, and there are many springs and streams, as well as spas and thermal springs. On the summit of Kazdağı as well ns in its deep ravines, birds of prey such as eagle, falcon, buzzard, kestrel, and raven üre a common sight. The high pastures of Kazdağı also host migrating birds. Although their numbers have dwindled, birds such as partridge, quail, common blackbird, and pheasant and common wood pigeon can still be seen.

*             Natural Parks

Nature Parks are areas set aside from development to protect their beautiful plants, wild life, and scenery. There are few better ways of enjoying your leisure time than at one of Turkey’s Nature Parks.

*             Ayvalık Islands Natural Park Specific interests: Geomorphology, natural landscapes and recreational options. Ayvalık County has 22 islands and 19 of them are in the natural park.

Fauna: Rabbit, Partridge, Fox, Badger Flora: Turkish pine, juniper, wild olive Contact: Tel-Fax: (+90 266) 312 59 87

*             Kazdağı Göknarı Nature Protection Area

County: Edremit

Access: 35 kilometres from Edremit Specific interests: A unique ecosystem that features the endangered Kazdağı Fir trees, endemic to this region. The park is 124 kilometres from Balıkesir city centre. The principal tree species include Kazdağı fir, black pine, and beech. Principal animal species include deer, roe deer, boar, bear, wolf, and jackal.

The Treasures of History: Ancient Cities

Dascyiium (Hisartepe) Ancient City -The city that bolstered the courage of Alexander the Great, inspiring him to world conquest, offers the enchantment of Kuşcenneti

Dascyiium was established 30 kilometres to the south of Bandırma (2 kilometres west of Ergili Village) on the south shores of Kuş Lake (Dascylitis). The writers of antiquity were effusive in their praise of the beauty of Dascyiium and Paradeisos (Kuşcenneti). Historians tell that when Alexander the Great set out to end Persian rule in the region, in 334 BC, he decided to capture Dascyiium, the centre of the Persian Satrapy (Governorship), first, lured by its political importance and by the well-deserved fame of Paradeisos.

Stone axes and flint burins found in the region indicate human settlements in the region as far back as five millennia ago, in the prehistoric ages. A cylinder Babylonian seal (1700-1800 BC) made of steatite (soapstone) yields clues about the culture of the region in Anatolia, as well as its connections with the cultures of Asia Minor. The city later became a key stronghold for the Phrygians, Lydians, Achaemenids, Macedonians and Byzantines. These successive powers built up the city and administered its economy and politics via important people.

Antandros Ancient City – The largest necropolis on the shores of the Aegean

The ancient city of Antandros is four kilometres east of the Altinoluk, a town in Edremit County, on the lower slopes of Mount Ida (Kazdagi).

While scientists generally agree that the city, which had a militarily strategic location, was founded in the 10th century BC, there are some who argue that it could be as old as the nearby city of Assos, known to have been founded around 2000 BC. The region’s first settlers were Thracian Mysians, followed by Aeolians arriving from Lemnos Island in the 7th century BC. The ancient sources tell us that Antandros fell under the control of the Pelasgians, and after the suppression of Ionian Revolt of 499-494 BC it was taken over by the Persian Empire. The necropolis contains three layers of sarcophagi as well as evidence of other funerary methods, such as cremation and inhumation. The funerary gifts recovered from the necropolis are on public display at the Museums of Balikesir and Bursa. The architecture of the Roman villa (1st century AD) as well as its fresco decorated walls and mosaic floor are remarkable.

Cyzicus (Belkis) Ancient City – A trading colony matching the glory of Efes (Ephesus in antiquity), famous for its harbours, temple, theatre, wine, olive oil, marble, coins and perfumes

Cyzicus is at the southern foot of the Kapıdağ Peninsula, on the highway between Bandırma and Erdek. Human settlement in the region started in the Neolithic Age (6thmillennia BC), and continued throughout the Chalcolithic Age (5th millennia BC). The earliest recorded settlers of Cyzicus were Doliones who settled on the lower slopes of Mount Uludağ (ancient Olympus). The founder of the city, King Cyzicus, captured Arteka (Erdek) and the city subsequently became an important trading centre, the capital of the region. With its 25 kilometre square area Cyzicus was larger than Efes.

In mythology, the Argonauts (heroes named after their ship, the Argo) visited Dolionia (Cyzicus) during their quest for the Golden Fleece, which was in Cholchis, on the Black Sea (part of modern day Georgia). King Cyzicus welcomed the Argonauts, fed them and provisioned their ship for the journey. When the Argonauts left the harbour, they encountered a storm and were forced to come ashore.

The Argonauts, unaware that they were once again in the land of Dolonia took King Cyzicus and his companions, their sometime hosts, for enemies, and engaged in battle. During the battle King Cyzicus died and the city was named after him.

After the death of King Cyzicus the city underwent several occupations. Following the Aegean Migrations (1200 BC) it became an Ionian Colony (7th century BC). It late came under Persian hegemony, then became part of the empire of Alexander the Great (334 BC). In the 2nd century BC the city developed good relations with Bergama (ancient Pergamum) and became a centre of science and culture. The city subsequently came under Roman domination, and the Roman Empire minted a special coin, called the Cyzicus Stater, in 297 AD, which had substantial intrinsic value during its era. Cyzicus was later damaged during Arab raids, part of the campaign to capture istanbul. Major earthquakes had always plagued the city, and in the devastating earthquake of 23 September 1063 the city was totally devastated. The earthquakes caused total destruction of the Temple of Hadrian, the eighth wonder of the world during the antiquity, as well as the Amphitheatre of Cyzicus and the remarkable theatre of the city, with its monumental scenery structure. The earthquakes led to the abandonment of the famed city, in its time the peer of glorious Efes. The city, famous for its three harbours, its wine, olive oil, wheat, marble, coins and perfumes, became a wasteland.

Adramyttium Ancient City – Famous for its constitution and philosophers

The ancient city, founded by the Pelasgians, is located at Karata§ locality, two kilometres west of Burhaniye County. When the Persians defeated the Kingdom of Lydia in 546 BC, the city’s administration fell subject to the Satrapy of Dascylium. During the Ionian Revolt (499-494 BC) the city was devastated and many of its residents were killed. During the Roman Period Aristotle mentioned about the Old Adramyttium Constitution. The city, one of the most important hubs of the ancient Mysia Region, was famous for the coins minted under its name, some of which have reached to the present day, and as the hometown of the philosopher Diodorus and the eminent rhetorician Xenocles (Zenocles).

Proconnesus Ancient City-TAie fantastic marble quarries of antiquity,.. Still operational

This ancient city is on the north coast of Marmara Island, next to Saraylar Village, and it is famous for its marbles. Sarcophagi, stelae, columns, and capitals were hewn from rock faces and brought to a semi-finished state, then shipped to Italy and İstanbul respectively during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The ancient marble quarries are still operational.

Enjoy the serenity of visiting historical centres of worship in the land of religious tolerance.

Zağnos Paşa Mosque and Religious Complex (1461) has a remarkably well- preserved and intricate architectural scheme. The mosque, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908, was constructed over a square plan, covered by an eye-catching dome seated on four large columns. The mosque is in the popular hybrid style of Ottoman art, created by Greek and Armenian masters. Access to the internal hall of the mosque is via twin timber doors. The soffit of lesser domes is set on top of each corner, and the arches feature hand-painted decorations. The mihrab is a typical example of late Ottoman Era arts and crafts. The dome sits on an octagonal drum supported by half-vaults, and all the intersections are adorned with borders containing flowing branches, flowers and tulips. The inner surface of the drum is perforated with two arched windows per side, and clad with glazed tiles. The Baroque style dressed stone masonry minarets are truly impressive.

The Yıldırım Mosque and Religious Complex, commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Yıldırım Beyazıt I, was built around a large courtyard in 1338. The structure was constructed of dressed stone masonry on an oblong plan.

Saatli Mosque, Hamidiye Mosque, Hayrettin Paşa Mosque, Çınarlı Mosque in Ayvalık;Haydar Çavuş Mosque in Bandırma; Kurşunlu Mosque in Edremit; Kasım Paşa Mosqueand Yeşilli Mosque in Bigadiç are worth seeing with their enchanting architectural features.

The Mosques of Şahinler and Ağacık villages of Burhaniye County have a heritage going back 150 years. Visitors pay particular attention to the mosques’ unusual decorations, notably the soffit of their domes decorated with frescoes showing landscapes and fruits.

A cultural excursion in Ayvalık County takes visitors through the narrow cobbled streets and neighbourhoods, where beauty and history become indistinguishable. Among the most interesting parts of Ayvalık is the neighbourhood where Christians and Muslims lived side-by- side for the first time. The neo-classical urban architecture and the typical houses which line the streets create a special atmosphere. The Taxiarchis Church is one of the structures that have preserved its original magnificence and character, having welcomed visitors since its completion in 1873. The church’s outstanding architecture, its internal carved marble decorations, its ceiling frescoes depicting biblical scenes, from the birth of Jesus Christ to the crucifixion, and the icons and portraits of saints painted on fish skin, make it well worth a visit.

The Aya Nikola (Taxiarchis) Church on Alibey Island, the Ayışığı (lit. moonlight)Monastery in Patriça, the Faneromeni Ayazma Church with its Ionian columns, the Kirazlı Monastery of Yukarı Yapıcı Village, Aya Triada Church, Harap (lit. ruined) Church and Küçük (lit. small) Church are the buildings worth a visit.

Visit the Exciting Cultural Treasures of Balıkesir’s Museums

Kuva-yi Milliye (National Forces) Museum

The museum building was a mansion house built in 1840. During the War of Liberation the national forces used the building as a local headquarters. The ground floor of the museum exhibits the documents and resolutions adopted by the several congresses held in Balikesir during the War of Liberation, the personal items and photographs of Liberation War heroes, and photographs of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, taken during his visit to Balikesir. On the second floor of the building are artefacts unearthed during local archaeological excavations, following a chronological order representing the timeline of Balikesir throughout history.

The museum is open to the public every day.

Tel: (+90 266) 243 31 81

Tahtakuslar Ethnography Museum

The Ethnography Museum, situated in Tahtakuslar Village, is one of the most visited spots in the area. The galleries display typical cultural artefacts of the Turkish tribes that migrated to the region from the Central Asia, garments, utensils, tools, carpets and tents, as well as other artistic creations including headscarves, necklaces, and charms. A large leatherback turtle on display in the museum is believed to be the largest leatherback turtle displayed in the world.

The museum is open to the public every day.

Tel: (+90 266) 387 33 40

Sıdıka Erke Ethnography Museum

This museum, in Edremit, is furnished like an 18th or 19th century Edremit House, and is a good way to learn about social and daily life in that period.

The museum is open every day except Mondays.

Tel: (+90 266) 374 17 18

Bandırma Archaeology Museum

The museum is 200 metres from the junction of Bandirma-Erdek highway and the highway leading to Çanakkale and İzmir. The museum exhibits artefacts from the Persian and Roman Empires, as well as the cargo of a ship sunk during the late Byzantine Period.

The museum is open to the public every day except Mondays.

Tel: (+90 266) 714 82 71

Bigadiç Museum and Culture House

This museum has galleries displaying many artefacts on separate themes. The sections are the National Forces section, Archaeology section, Ancyra section and the Ethnography section.

The museum is open every day except Sundays and Mondays.

Tel: (+90 266) 614 28 38

Gönen Mosaics Museum

The museum, near the thermal facilities of Gönen, exhibits two floor mosaics, and stone artefacts from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras unearthed in the vicinity of Gönen.

Saraylar Village Open Air Museum

The museum exhibits large marble artefacts, extracted from the quarries in Marmara County during the Roman and Byzantine eras. It is situated 25 kilometres to Marmara.

Enjoy the adrenalin rush of adventurous activities! Test your stamina against nature in mountaineering!

Kazdağı Mountain (Mount Ida) combines natural beauty and the topographical features that attract mountaineers as well as enthusiasts of other nature sports. The mountain offers irresistible adventures and so many enjoyable moments. A favourite peak of mountain climbers is the Karataş Hill, the summit of Kazdağı (1,774 metres). Other much climbed peaks are Babadağ (1,767m) and Sarıkız Hill at 1,726 metres altitude.

The Kazdağı Mountain (Mount Ida), which is believed to hide many mythological mysteries, has many routes for climbing and trekking. Not only the National Park area, but almost the whole of Kazdağı Range is open to trekking. The horizontal route in the National Park passes through many settlements and provides not only landscapes of natural beauty, but also glimpses of the local life style. Discerning visitors will enjoy the quaint villages, fascinating traditions and distinct tastes they encounter along the route. The Tahtakuşlar Village and its Ethnographic Galleries provide an enjoyable stop. The Şarlak recreation area has a commanding view over Çamlıbel Village, 1 kilometre south of Tahtakuşlar Village, and the Bay of Edremit. It has a pool built in the shape of the Sea of Marmara, and around it there are teahouses and picnicking areas. Güre is a settlement that has maintained its old texture, preserving examples of Turkish and Greek architecture. TheYassicali and Kavurmacılar neighbourhoods of Güre have preserved the typical look of a classical village. If you follow Kızılkeçili Stream after Güre, you would reach the Sutüven Waterfall, with a head-height of 17 metres. Around the pool created by the waterfall there is a recreation and picnic area. If you continue walking, almost 500 metres later you will reach Gök Büvet (Hasanboğuldu).

Volunteer ecotourism guides are on hand in the Kazdağı National Park, and the tours are jolly occasions. (A prior permission of the Akçay National Park Engineers of the Kazdağı National Park should be obtained.) One of the reasons why the bay area is renowned as an “oxygen tent” is the Şahinderesi Canyon. The canyon acts as a two-way channel, distributing pine scented mountain air to the lower areas, while sucking iodine rich sea air up the mountain. The two-way circulation of the channel is created by the 600 metres deep, 27 km long canyon, which has a U shaped cross section about 600 metres wide.

Fun of Water Sports

Balıkesir has ample opportunities for water sports. The shores of Edremit (Akçay and Altınoluk), Ayvalık’s Alibey (Cunda) Island, and Sarımsaklı Beach; Burhaniye (Ören), and Erdek as well as Marmara and Avşa islands are suitable for water sports such as water skiing, jet-ski, and diving.

The Ayvalık Islands, which form a niche teeming with underwater life as well as natural beauty, are a favourite spot for diving.

In the northern Aegean Sea, just off the Ayvalık County, are 22 islets which make prime diving locations. The depths reveal colourful coral reefs, and the clear water provides good visibility. There are 60 well- recorded diving sites.

The coasts of Ayvalık, Edremit, Burhaniye and Erdek enjoy a continuous moderate breeze, making them ideal for sailing and windsurfing. There are many fully-equipped facilities, and specialist sailing clubs at the tourist resorts that help visitors enjoy these fun activities safely.

Exciting Fishing-Hunting Trips

Balıkesir offers many different alternatives for fishing and hunting. The favourite spots foramateur line fishing are Ayvalık, Edremit, Burhaniye regions, Bandırma and Marmara Island. Off the coast of Balıkesir Province are plentiful seabass, grey mullet, and sardines. The preferred areas for hunting are the inner parts of the province, as well as Kazdağı Range and the Dursunbey Alaçam Mountains. Among the most hunted animals are wild boars, partridges, quails, rabbits, wild ducks, and woodcocks. Organised fully equipped hunting trips can be arranged by getting into contact with various clubs or specialist companies.

Improved Facilities for Visiting Yachts

The Setur Marina situated in Ayvalık is a beloved stopover spot for visiting yachts, and provides 650 berths, fully equipped technical facilities as well as accommodation and clubhouse facilities. The marina provides moorings, lifting equipment (Travelling lift with 80 ton capacity), slipway, custom clearance, electricity, potable water, internet, telephone, technical maintenance and repair services, as well as ancillary services such as pumping out holding tanks and garbage collection. Marine oils and fuel are available.

An introduction to the centres of sea and shore tourism

Balıkesir is geographically blessed, with shorelines on two seas, and numerous island gems in the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea. Its natural beauty is complemented by a wealth of summer activities – sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving etc. – and topped with a treasure trove of cultural wonders dating from antiquity to the present day. The province truly offers its visitors the holiday of a lifetime!

First stop is Ayvalık, one of the most beautiful coastal counties.

The Sarımsaklı Beach, 8 kilometres from the county centre, has an impressive sand shore 100 metres in width and 7 kilometres in length. Seafood restaurants, refreshment bars, cafeterias, and accommodation facilities offer visitors many alternatives. The continuation of Sarımsaklı Beach is Şahinkaya (Badavut) Beach, famous for its fine sands. Altinova is a small town 13 kilometres from Ayvalık. Its crystal clear sea, clean beaches, recreation facilities, walking route and picnicking and recreation areas under a canopy of trees make it one of the most popular holiday resorts in the region. To the north of Ayvalık is the AM Çetinkaya (Armutçuk) resort, famous for its fine sands – perfect for making sand sculptures! The Duba Locality on the road to Alibey (Cunda) Island provides beach facilities lined with entertainment options. One of the most exciting spots of Balıkesir Province is 8 kilometres from the centre of Ayvalık. Alibey (Cunda) Island, with its unique aura of peace and beauty, is the spot for those who seek to lose themselves in contemplation. An intricate lace of beaches surrounds its many coves and points, and the sea provides a rich menu of seafood.

The long and wide sandy beaches of the eastern shores of Kapidag Peninsula looking towards Bandırma County are famous as the set of many films. The beaches at Kocakum and Tanaça locality are also very famous.

Akçay is 9 kilometres to the Edremit County and set on its seashore. It has exciting and colourful beaches, and famous for its cold fresh water springs and artesian wells. Altınoluk is 25 kilometres from Edremit and renowned for its beaches which are known as oxygen therapy centres. There are many accommodation facilities and holiday resorts catering to diverse needs and tastes.

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The golden sand beaches of Erdek County are among the best natural beaches of Turkey. Narlı, Ocaklar, İlhan, Turan and Ormanlı villages also have natural sand beaches. Ören, 4 kilometres from Burhaniye County, has a ten kilometre long, 30-60 metre deep, beach of soft, find sand. This is a favourite spot for foreign visitors. Denizkent, which is 26 kilometres to the Gönen County, is famous for its natural beaches, accommodation options, restaurants and refreshment bars. Marmara County is a paradise where greens and blues embrace each other on the natural beaches. There are boat tours to the county.Avşa Island, in particular, is almost always crowded with domestic and foreign tourists arriving on board the fast passenger catamarans (sea-buses) and ferries from İstanbul. The whole periphery of the Avşa Island is a continuous natural beach. Ekinlik, just off Avşa, is famous for its sandy beach, while the Mermer (lit. marble) Beach at the coast of Saraylar Village of Marmara Island is famous for its marble bottom.

Beauty and Healing at the Ages-Old Thermal Springs

Pamukçu Thermal Spring is 15 kilometres from Balıkesir, and just 3 kilometres off the highway that leads to İzmir. According to the chemical analyses, the thermal waters contain sulphates and chlorides. The Pamukçu Thermal Spring provides fully equipped therapeutic thermal springs as well as comfortable hotel accommodation.

Gönen Thermal Spring is notable for more than just the chemical composition and temperature of the water. This historically important thermal spring has been in operation since the Roman and Byzantine periods, making the experience a fascinating journey through time. Excavations of the local area have unearthed many artefacts related to thermal spring therapy, and these are exhibited at the Open Air Museum of Gönen. The spring is naturally tapped at a depth of 275 metres, separating the thermal waters from those that circulate in the atmosphere. Consequently the waters of the thermal spring are clean, pure and true to their original composition when they reach the surface – something quite rare in the world. The waters of the thermal spring are used to alleviate ailments of various diseases. The thermal spring can be visited throughout the year, and the fully equipped thermal spring also provides comfortable accommodation and entertainment facilities.

Gönen-Mountain Thermal Spring (Ekşidere Youth Spring) is near (100 metres) the Mountain Thermal Spring which is 13 kilometres to Gönen. The radioactivity of water causes it to be referred to as “Youth Spring”. It supports treatment of various diseases. Drinking the thermal spring water helps in treating kidney and urinary tract disorders, and the waters are also used for bathing.

Edremit-Gure Thermal Spring is located in the Güre Town of Edremit County. The original structure of the thermal spring was built as a Roman bathhouse. The water of the thermal spring is believed to alleviate the symptoms of various diseases.

Edremit-Derman Thermal Spring is 3.5 kilometres to the Edremit Town, and the waters of thermal spring are used in various treatment methods.

Balya-Ilica Thermal Spring is 22 kilometres from the junction where the road to Şamlı splits from the highway between Balıkesir and Bandırma at the 13th kilometre. The hotel in the region offers accommodation and resting opportunities. The thermal waters are believed to help sufferers of rheumatisms, sciatica, arthritis and some skin disorders.

Bigadiç-Hisarköy Thermal Spring is situated 18 kilometres east of Bigadiç County. The thermal waters are believed to alleviate rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, eczema, gynaecological disorders, kidney disorders, and many other medical conditions. The thermal spring facilities also provide a peaceful atmosphere, clasped in the serenity of green nature.

Sındırgı-Hisaralan Thermal Spring is 17 kilometres from Sındırgı County, and 500 metres off the highway between Sındırgı and Simav. The thermal spring provides sodium bicarbonate mineral water, and at the source the water temperature varies between 46 and 98°C. The water is used as a complementary therapy for painful musculoskeletal system disorders and others. There are accommodations at the thermal spring facility as well as other local pensions which bring you closer to the local culture and the traditional life of the region.

Sındırgı-Emendere Thermal Spring is in Ilicali Village, 7 kilometres from Sındırgı County. The spring water temperature is 33°C, and it can help in treating gout, kidney stones, and skin disorders such as psoriasis, fungal infections, and eczema.

Susurluk-Ilıcaboğazı Thermal Spring is in Ilıcaboğazı Village, 20 kilometres from Susurluk County. The thermal spring serves thermal water and thermal mud baths.


Susurluk-Acıca Mineral Water Spring and Susurluk-Yildiz Thermal Spring are also recommended for the treatment of various diseases.

Manyas-Kızıkköy Thermal Spring is in Kızıkköy Village, 6 kilometres from the county of Manyas. It contains sodium, calcium, bicarbonate, and chloride, and it is used in the treatment of various diseases.

Burhaniye-Pelitköy-Zeytinpınarı Thermal Spring and Gömeç Karaağaç Thermal Springare recommended for the treatment of various diseases.

Taste the unique dishes of Turkish cuisine and local dishes of Balıkesir!

The Balıkesir cuisine has been influenced by the geography of the province. The region is perfect for cereal, legume and olive cultivation, while two coastlines and plentiful pastures, together with a culture steeped in fishing and animal husbandry mean that scrumptious seafood and delicious meats are never far away. The cultivation of olives in the bay area means that olive oil is a part of all cooking. The delicious vegetables dishes prepared in olive oil, fresh and salted seafood, dough based dishes such as dumplings, pastries, leavened bread, the meat products of Manyas, Gönen and Susurluk counties, dishes prepared with wild vegetables and herbs such as milk thistle (askalubrus), common vetch (mürdük), wild asparagus (sarmaşık), black-eyed beans (börülce) dishes, and fried black bryony (ac/ filiz); fruit desserts, herbs (thyme, mint, and basil), these all contribute to the rich local cuisine of Balıkesir.

Some of the favourite dishes of Balıkesir cuisine are as follows: Meat and wheat paste(keşkek), dried bread softened with beef stock (tirit), whole lamb ribs filled with a herby rice (sura), baked filo pastry shreds and chickpeas, and chunks of chicken served with garlic flavoured yoghurt sauce (saçaklı mantı), chicken dumplings similarly served with garlic flavoured yoghurt sauce (tavukiu mantı), cheese and aubergines (peynirli patlıcan),wedding soup – bouillon with meat shreds thickened with flour (düğün çorbası), trout(alabalık), rice pudding with saffron (zerde tatlısı), two layers of baked sweet butter and flour mix served with a layer of clotted cream in the middle (Balıkesir Kaymaklısı), cheese dessert (höşmerim), oil fried dough dipped in syrup (mafiş tatlısı), boiled black­eyed peas served with a dressing of olive oil mixed with the juice of ripe grapes (börülce ekşilemesi),cracked wheat boiled in chicken stock served with chicken pieces and garlic flavoured yoghurt and olive oil (sarımsaklı bulgur), and pan fried clotted cream and flour mix served warm (kaymak hamuru).

Excursions to recreation areas amid virgin nature along with the most popular beauty spots

City Centre Değirmen Boğazı Picnic Area is on the 10th kilometre of the highway between Balıkesir and Bursa. There are 52 tree species in a 250-hectare area of land, making this a favourite spot for recreation and picnics. There are food stalls serving local dishes, a refreshment bar, cafeteria, and children’s play area. Necati Sezgin Picnic Area is on the 40th kilometre of the highway between Balıkesir and Edremit. Immerse your body and soul in the tranquillity of nature on 45-hectares of land dominated by the harmonious colours of a Turkish pine forest and the uplift of an oxygen rich atmosphere. Atatürk Park, the Clock Tower and Şadırvan (Ablution Fountain) are other places where you can enjoy your time in the spectacular nature.


Alibey (Cunda) Island, where virgin nature meets neo-classical style and tranquillity, is one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. The island protects Ayvalık from the oncoming seas and is connected to the mainland by a causeway carrying vehicular traffic. During the summer hourly boat trips run between Ayvalık and Alibey Island. The higher sections of the Island provide glimpses and vistas of the sounds, islets, and intricate coves. Those who enjoy neo-classical style could not find a better place than this, where a perfect harmony between the built environment and nature prevails. The row of seafood restaurants serves the famous Papalina (fried sprat) dish, and other seafood and appetisers (meze) as well as wild vegetable and herb dishes prepared in olive oil. Stop anywhere on the island and make your dinner a memorable event.

The Çamlık area is on a hill with commanding views over Ayvalık, amid a fine pine forest. Refreshment bars and food stalls serve local dishes. Çamlık Bay is well worth a visit, and when you do, do not miss the large rocky outcrop, and small islet at its foot. The island, known as the Tımarhane (lit. bedlam) Island is home to the ruins of Taşlı (lit. stony)Monastery, the legend tells that its natural beauty brought miraculous cures to the mentally deranged.

After Çamlık, the road to Sarımsaklı winds its way to Şeytan Sofrası (lit. devil’s table), a favourite destination for adventure lovers and fans of mysticism. Şeytan Sofrası is a flat top of a rocky outcrop like a table, and a fantastic vantage point over the surrounding landscape. The Pordoselene Tower, situated on Maden Island, belongs to the Pordoselene civilisation of antiquity, and its architecture and location warrant a visit.

As Ayvalık has 22 islands, it is also known as the “City of Islands”. The islands scattered over the sea like a snapped pearl necklace are Çıplak (lit. bare), Yuvarlak (lit. round), Kamış (lit. reed), Güneş (lit. sun), Yumurta (lit. egg), Kılavuz (lit. pilot), Taşlı (lit. stony), Yelken (lit. sail), Yalnız (lit. lone), Küçük Maden (lit. small mine), Maden (lit. mine), Alibey (Cunda), Hasır (lit. wicker) , Dolap (lit. cupboard), Kutu (lit. chest),

Balık (lit. fish) , Kayabaşı (lit. rock head) , Çiçek (lit. flower), Kız (lit. maiden), Poyraz (lit. north-easterly) and Tavuk (lit. chicken) islands. With the exception of Cunda (Alibey) Island, there are no permanent settlements on the islands, but the picturesque nature of the islands makes them worth a visit, makes it worth struggling with nature a little in order to enjoy living in untouched places.


The Yunus Emre Park on the outskirts of Edremit is ideal for taking a rest after an enjoyable excursion. The teahouses decorated with the flowers represent the local flora, and serve invigorating herbal teas. There are organised tours to visit the traditional and modern oil processing facilities where the oil presses convert high quality olives into the highly prized olive oil of Balıkesir. The town of Akçay, in Edremit, is a prime location on the seashore for holiday resorts and water sports. Akçay is famous for its natural springs which provide plentiful drinking water. Visible evidences of this geographical feature are the artesian springs under the sea. The sculpture of the legendary Sarıkız (lit. blond maiden) welcomes visitors at the centre of Akçay. The pool before the sculpture is a wishing pond where people tell their wishes to Sarıkız, and toss a coin. Another important tourist destination is Altınoluk, which is 25 kilometres from Edremit, and 17 kilometres from Akçay. The town of Altınoluk, which is 25 kilometres from Edremit, and 17 kilometres from Akçay, puts its many enjoyable facilities at the service of visitors. Adventure lovers will relish the beautiful Şahinderesi Canyon, renowned around the world for its oxygen-rich air. The Mıhlı Stream, which is on the road from Altınoluk to Küçükkuyu (5 kilometres to Altınoluk), is a favourite trekking route leading to Başdeğirmen. The single span Roman arch of the Başdeğirmen Bridge used to be the only crossing on the road to Troy. Today it is a favourite hunting spot for photo safari enthusiasts and trekkers, with its small ponds and cascades.

Güre, renowned for its thermal springs, is located at the foot of Kazdağı (4 kilometres after Akçay). The Pınarbaşı Picnic Area has all the facilities for recreation activities and simply resting amid nature. Kavaklar Village could be a pleasant surprise if you travel from Güre to Altınoluk. Here, rustic restaurants serve local dishes that somehow feel tastier in this simple environment that in the larger towns. Zeytinli is a pleasant little town at the foot of Kazdağı (2 kilometres to Akçay- Edremit highway). There are picnic and recreation areas along the Zeytinli Stream, where local facilities provide the cooling salty ayran (yoghurt drink) together with food and snacks prepared to your taste.

The Waterfalls of Hasanboğuldu and Sutüven, both of which is the subject of a sad legend, are 3 to 4 kilometres from Zeytinli. The picnic area along the pond formed by the swept rocks after Sutüven Waterfall has every facility to serve visitors. Zeytinli also provides tours to old oil pressing facilities, which are great favourites among visitors. A trekking route from the Mehmetalan Village travels through layered greenery to the summit of Kazdağı. Altinkum, in Zeytinli, near Akçay, is famous for its beaches, rustic teahouses, hotels, motels, pensions, food service, and entertainment facilities. There is a much loved trekking route between Akçay and Kızılkeçili. The pleasant teahouse at the centre of the village is the best rest area for visitors. In Hanlar, part of Edremit, you can enjoy a nap while lying in a hammock under the glorious plane and fir trees dreaming away the afternoon. The Çamlıbel Village on the road to Çanakkale is a village set at the foot of Kazdağı (6 kilometres from Akçay). The mountaineering facility built to complement the natural features is very attractive. The Şarlak Picnic Area is near the village and offers restaurants and picnic areas with fantastic views over the sea and mountains, much loved by visitors and locals alike.


The Atatürk Park, with its lush plants and trees, is a very attractive place for walks and picnics. The bright sea constantly changes hues, from turquoise to ultramarine, and you can explore it in boats departing the Port of Bandırma and navigating among the intricate coves of the shoreline.


The Yörücekler picnic and recreation area, a heaven under the shade of gigantic plane trees, lies along the banks of the Simav River, 7 kilometres from the Bigadiç County. The magnificent walnut trees at Cevizli (3 kilometres from Bigadiç) allow you to lie back and dream in the green shade, enjoying the tranquil embrace of nature. The cultural and historical excursions departing Bigadiç visit the Byzantine Era structure of the Bigadiç Fortress (which dates to the 11th century AD) and Hisarköy, where Roman Era bridges and galleries are all that survive of a structure believed to be a spa complex, as well as a theatre and other buildings.


Ören has been declared a protected nature zone and the century-old Turkish Oak (Quercus cerris) trees recorded by the Council for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage in order to protect the green identity of Ören. Ören Beach is famous for its clean water and fíne sands, and was awarded with a Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education Europe (FEEE) in 2000. The İskele (Pier) Neighbourhood has the appearance of a fine old fishing village, and awaiting the completion of the new marina, it is a prospective centre of yacht tourism. Enjoy an invigorating swim and an energy restoring meal at one of the seafood restaurants and teahouses along the shore. The Öğretmenler (Teachers’) Neighbourhood is a summer resort with many accommodation and entertainment options, restaurant, bars, and recreational facilities, renowned for its wide and long sand beach. The Seklik Pinery is a natural recreation area with olive and pine trees, and Ayaklı Meadow Garden is a recreation area with lush greens and several water sources. The Taylieli Village, with its fascinating history, has a commanding view overlooking the bay area, and it is the ideal place to enjoy the last rays of the sun as the evening light plays with the sea and the shimmering lights of the shore.


The Suçıktı Recreation Area is one of the most popular resting areas of Balıkesir, and it has an impressive water source with a history that goes back more than a thousand years. The restaurant serving freshly caught trout dishes under the shade of plane trees is a favourite of visitors.

Saz Recreation Area is a large green park on the banks of Suçıktı Stream, lined with poplar and aspen trees. There are facilities for sports activities. The county’s traditional trade fair is held annually in the park. The Çınarlı Pınar Recreation Area is a green recreation and rest area where the water spring descends through with a stand of pine trees. The Yayla Facilities near Sakız Village offers much sought after tranquillity, and the nearby deer and roe deer protection and breeding centre is very attractive. It is 30 kilometres from the town centre and offers accommodation options.

Other recreation centers about 35-40 kilometres from the county centre are situated in the pastures of Alaçam Mountains, and include Değirmenek, Candere, Alaçam, Gölcük and Faruk Şeker Forestry Holiday Facilities and Çamlık (Pinewood) Recreation Areas. These serve visitors looking to enjoy the simple pleasures of the forest: silence, space and nature.


Here we see an enchantment, or maybe a natural phenomenon, the appearance of a spectre against the sky. Watching the highway and mountains between Çanakkale and İzmir is none other than Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Republic of Turkey, his profile appearing mysteriously over the horizon. These rocky mountains are known asAtatürk Cliffs. Stop, take a picture. The much admired 850 years old Koca Çınar (Gigantic Old Plane Tree) with a 12-metre circumference is situated in the Ulubeyler Village which is 8 kilometres outside Gömeç County.

Kız Çiftliği (Maiden’s Farm) is an old historical farm house situated in a cove of the Edremit Bay, (between Cape Antarak and Cape Kara Tepe). Visitors enjoy its charming architecture and beautiful surroundings.


Alacaoluk Fortress and Babakaya Fortress can be visited in Gönen. Yeşil Değirmen (lit. green mill) which is 21 kilometres from the county, Dereköy Village which is 7 kilometres from the county, and Armutlu, which is 8 kilometres from the county are other recreation areas of the county situated at natural beauty spots. The worldwide famous Thermal Facilities are at your service to provide health and beauty.


The Çınarlıhan recreation area is 18 kilometres from the county, on the highway between Havran and Yenice. Its pine trees are enchanting, but the area is famous for its ages old plane trees that have lent their name to the place, and beloved for its cool waters. Thecascades at Kumluca are much loved by the trekkers and nature walking enthusiasts. TheSerhat recreation area, 2 kilometres northeast of Havran, is in a forest of Turkish Pine.Eybek Tower, at a 920-metre altitude, has a commanding view over the whole of Edremit and Havran Plain, looking down on the ruins of the ancient city of Thebe. The tower set amidst a forest of European black pine, oak, and occasional chestnut trees provides a visual feast to visitors. The Caves of İnönü have played an important role in shedding light on the prehistory of Havran and its environs.


The Kızılcık Locality Picnic Area of Kayapa Town is a good place to enjoy nature in tranquillity. Other enjoyable places of İvrindi are the Municipality Gardens of Gökçeyazıtown and the Milli Egemenlik Koruluğu (National Sovereignty Woods). The Mount Madrais the preferred trekking route. The Asar Fortress of B. Yenice town, Gömeniç Fortress andDeliktaş Kaleoba Village are on the routes of cultural and historical excursions.


The historical Kışla (Barracks) overlooking the Tekkeışıklar Village and the surrounding area have been touched up and made into a picnic and recreation area. Elma Gediği (lit. apple pass) of Serçe Ören Village is famous for its trout farms. After passing through the Elma Gediği, the 12 kilometre route leads to a high waterfall; its spray is thrown around by the wind. Because of the flying spray the waterfall is called as Su Uçtu (Flying water). It is a well-loved spot for trekking and picnicking.


While driving between Balıkesir and İzmir, stop at the Kertil-Çamurlu rest area, set in a peaceful forest. The rest area is 8 kilometres from the Sındırgı County, and has picnic and rest areas for day trippers as well as its restaurants. The Çaygören Dam Lake, which is situated in the county, offers pleasant hours to amateur fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers generally. Kuva-yı Milliye (National Forces) Monumental Park and the old Cüneyt Bridge are also worth a visit. The Emendere and Hisaralan thermal springs are well known thermal springs.


The ruined fortress is a regular stopover for cultural and historical excursions. TheKetenlik Recreation Area of Cumhuriyet Village is the preferred picnic and recreation spot.


The local natural beauty spots with recreational facilities are at the Bıçkı Stream, Aygır Fountain, and Farafat Forest Park. Other recreation areas such as Çaylak, Yahyaköy Yandım Çavuş provide basic amenities and services. The picturesque Günaydın Pond is a favourite spot on photo-safari tours and trekking routes, where the visitors have facilities to rest and enjoy Susurluk Ayranı (yoghurt drink) with toasted cheese sandwiches.


The shore along Erdek is like a ribbon of golden sands wrapping the city, and it is one the most beautiful natural beaches of Turkey. The sand beaches at Narlı, Ocaklar and İlhan villages are also striking. The principal recreation areas are the Apostol (Çifte Oluklar),which is 1 kilometre from the town centre, Seyitgazi (Adak) Hill, the Palata Fountain, and the Muhla Fortress. The natural beauty of Paşalimanı Island warrants a visit.

On the road to Aşağı Yapıcı Village, at the Demirkapi location the ruins of the City Wallscan be seen. The ruins continue up to the Bay of Erdek. There are eight historical fortifications on top of Seyitgazi Hill, and the Muhla fort which is 5 kilometres to the north are favourite haunts of trekking enthusiasts and history buffs.

Marmara Island

The Island has many natural beaches where greens merge with blues. The Avşa andEkinlik islands as well as Marble Beach with a marble bottom at Saraylar Village are attractive spots. In addition to sunny beaches, the islands also have a lively night life. Thecafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs, discos are always full of visitors. The coves around the Avşa Island can be visited by tour boats or in your vehicle. The most visited coves areÇınar, Mavi, Değirmen, Manastır, Beyaz Saray, Kumburnu, Kumtur, and Yiğitler. The night life and entertainment provided on Avşa Island is one of the factors that have rendered it a favourite destination for visitors.

How to go there?

There are road, air, rail and sea connections.

Balıkesir has highway connections with Ankara, İzmir, İstanbul, Çanakkale and Bursa, and rail connections to Ankara,

İzmir and Bandırma. There are scheduled services between İstanbul and the Edremit Körfez Airport during the summer months. İstanbul is 2.5 hours away via a fast ferry boat operating from Bandırma port.


The souvenirs most associated with Balıkesir are the eau de cologne and Balıkesir Kaymaklısı sweets, which are almost the symbols of the city. The most popular souvenirs by the counties surrounding Balıkesir are as follows: Sındırgı and Bigadiç counties provide Yağcıbedir carpets; Ayvalık, Erdek, Edremit, Gömeç and Burhaniye counties provide olive and olive oils; Edremit-Altinoluk provides olive sweets, olive oil with different aromas, and herbal teas;          Ayvalık provides pink olives; Gönen is famous for needle lace and fragrant rice; Dursunbey is known for its silver jewellery with amethyst stones and tight cooperage water bottles (yatık); milk products and cheese from Savaştepe and Manyas; Zilifabric woven in Dedekaşı Village of Kepsut County; of Avşa Island of Marmara County; terracotta pots from Kayapa District of İvrindi County; hand carved wooden spoons, wooden rolling pins, weaving combs, cigarette holders, and walking sticks turned and hand painted from the Korucu District and villages of İvrindi County.

Important Dates and Festivals

International Bandırma Kuşcenneti Festival – First week of June

Altın Kumsal (Golden Beach) Culture and Tourism Festival – Last week of July

Burhaniye Ören Culture and Tourism Festival – July 4-5-6

Ayvalık Culture and Arts Days – 31 August – 9 September

Edremit Olive Festival – Mid-August

Akçay-İda Culture and Arts Festival – August 29-30-31

Olive Festival – First week of August

Sarıkız Activities – August 22-23-24

Important Phones

Ambulance 112

Police Emergency 155

Gendarmerie Emergency 156

Coast Security 158

Traffic 154

Fire 110

Forest Fire 177

International Area Code of Balıkesir: +90 266

Balıkesir Governor’s Office: 2451301-2451409

Municipality: 2430400

Security Directorate: 2438100

Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism: 2451335-36

Provincial Directorate of Youth and Sports: 2411942

Museum Directorate: 2433181

Directorate of Environment and Forestry: 2397006-2495116

State Hospital: 2459020

Atatürk State Hospital: 2213510

Turkish State Railways: 444 8 233

Balıkesir Station Directorate: 2410721

IDO (İstanbul Sea-buses and Fast Ferries Inc.): (+90 212) 4444436

Coach Terminal: 2465751

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