Ayvalik & Cunda Island tourist & regional info | Property Turkey

Updated: 29 July 2021 Created: 26 February 2014

Don’t you wish you had bought real estate investment property in the South of France 50 years ago? Or, perhaps you wish you had bought a condo or two in Hawaii before it became an American state? With the world feeling smaller every day, it has become exceedingly more difficult to find real estate investment “hot spots.” But, difficult does not mean impossible. Would you love a tip that leads you to a paradise location that isn’t even on the radar of most institutional investors?

Welcome to Ayvalik, Turkey. Please, don’t tell too many friends. Once you understand the charms and romance in this place, you’ll probably be booking a vacation to Ayvalik sooner than later.

Read on to find out exactly why you should invest in this upcoming area. 

Ayvalik and surrounding islands

Where is Ayvalik? 

First, there’s the geography. Ayvalik is a small town that is surrounded by an archipelago, or group of islands of the same name. In the low hills surrounding the town are olive groves as far as you can see. But, when you stand on the beach, you will see sand for as far as your eyes will take you. This is because the town happens to sit on some of the longest white sand beach in Turkey, let alone much of Europe.

Within the archipelago, Cunda Island is probably the most notable. Interestingly, every building on the island has been entered into Turkey’s historic buildings registry. The island is actually connected to Ayvalik because of a couple bridges and another island, Lale Island, that sits between the two. Here, you’ll find quaint shops, restaurants and pubs situated along very narrow streets.

Ayvalik can be reached by ferry from several Turkish ports or by road if you prefer to enjoy the landside view along the way.

Properties in Ayvalik

Then, there’s the town itself. Ayvalik has many Ottoman-era homes, mixed with newer architecture. Many of the full time townspeople are involved in producing and delivering the area’s world-renowned cash crop, for the hills of Ayvalik help the residents produce the world’s finest olive oil. In days long gone, residents also used the small port to ship soap and other products, but Ayvalik’s olive oil has stood the test of time and is used by chefs all over the world.

The town and archipelago also has much history. Anyone’s best guess is that the chronic threat of pirates is what kept a town in a place this beautiful so small. But, other forces have also shaped the area. For much of its history, the area was mostly inhabited by Greeks. This changed in the early 1920s when the Turkish government encouraged Turkish families to move to the area in order to boost production of the already globally famous olive oil.  

Other citizen exchanges between Greece and Turkey have occasionally tipped the balance in one form or another, but those beautiful beaches have remained constant.

Life in Ayvalik


If you’re thinking about a sleepy beach town, you’re close. Much of the year, the pace of Ayvalik is slow and quiet. In the summer, however, things dramatically change because nearby Turks love to spend weekends on Ayvalik’s beaches. The good news for you here is that the Turks aren’t broadcasting their love for the white sand here, so developers haven’t historically raced to fill the overflow demand for summer housing.

For a little town, Ayvalik provides lots of opportunities to be busy, should you choose to be. Beyond the obvious temptation to enjoy a good novel on the beach is amazing scuba diving and snorkelling. The warm Mediterranean Sea will soak the cares right out of your joints.

You can also catch ferries to destinations including the city of Troy and other archaeological or natural treasures, including Turkey’s over 100 national parks.

You’re not going to find loud techno dance clubs in Ayvalik. What you will find is many spots where you can enjoy a cocktail or Turkish coffee while watching the sunset or people watching. As is usual across Turkey, people here are incredibly gracious and welcoming. Restaurants serve freshly caught seafood all year, but make sure you save room for some Lokma. Lokma is a dessert made with a deep-fried pastry that is dunked in honey and rolled in cinnamon. The word means “mouthful” and you’ll want more than one mouthful of this local treat.

If you’re game, Harvard University offers a summer language school. We’re not quite sure why, but to find the school, you should walk the town. When you find a lot of cats milling around, you’ll know you found the school.

But, beyond the charms of a small beach town with romantic sunsets, white sand and glorious weather, you most likely want to hear how this real estate tip will pay you off handsomely.  If you aren’t already familiar with the Turkish real estate boom, here are a few facts. While the rest of Europe and much of the world was stumbling through the real estate and economic recession, Turkey was more than pleasing institutional and individual investors.

Why buy a property in Ayvalik? 

Authentic properties in Ayvalik

A progressive government made sure that foreigners could own Turkish real estate without hurdles. They even extended the length of tourist visas for real estate owners. Turkish banks were and continue to be very willing to extend mortgages across the country.  

Not to be outdone, globally recognised architects and builders have poured into Turkey, bringing with them a striking variety of projects, including commercial and residential real estate projects. Turkey has rapidly become the go-to place for real estate investors looking for quality coupled with very low local prices.

Institutional and individual investors in Turkish property are consistently seen smiling because of the annual returns on investment.

Now, here’s the tip. Despite all of the development across Turkey, very few builders and even fewer buyers have taken notice of Turkey’s longest continuous stretch of white sand.

But, there is a catch. Isn’t there always a catch? The catch is that this quiet beach town is getting ready to grow. Although it will still be quiet, still have its olives and still have its white sand, Turkish builders are finally arriving in Ayvalik. That means new homes and condominium projects are starting to dot the landscape.  

For you, this means that you can quietly slip into the area, purchase that retirement home, vacation home or buy-to-let property before anyone knows you were there. You get your pick of the litter. Maybe you even aspire to buy more than one condo and operate your own boutique hotel. You already know your condos will be sold out throughout the summer months because there is already a shortage of space in the city. So, you let others pay off your property for you.

But, what makes this tip even better is the prices. For often less than a third of the already fabulous prices you would find in Bodrum, Fethiye or other hot Turkish markets, you’ll own a piece of the best kept secret in the Med. Perhaps you’ll use these prices to buy more property than you would have elsewhere. Or, maybe you’ll just keep the extra in your pocket.  

If you want to invest in a place that others will regret not knowing about in the years to come, visit Ayvalik and pick out a property. A year from now, they’ll probably be gone.

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