Windsurfing Turkey’s Aegean shores are among the most fascinating and beautiful stretches in the country. The magnificent coastline, lapped by the clear water of the Aegean Sea, with landscapes of cultivated fields of aniseed, sesame and artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees, will guide you to discover one of the world’s greatest windsurfing destinations in Alaçati bay on the Cesme peninsula. With its 1.8 kms width, over 5 kms depth, crystal clear waters, azure blue skies, consistent and steady winds, topography and location Alacati is an ideal windsurfing spot in Europe. Both, the very shape of the bay and the thermal water pressures, create steady and consistent w inds blowing side-shore from North to South (Poyraz) in summer and from South to North (Lodos) in winter months. First time windsurfers love the place as the waist-deep and sand covered shallow water area extends for 500 meters from shore into the bay creating perfect conditions for beginners of all ages. Easy recovery from falls adds a new dimension to both teaching and learning to windsurf. Consistent steady winds, combined with the best equipment ready and all rigged up steps away from the water is also an opportunity for speed or wave lovers not to miss. In summer, the North wind creates perfect conditions for flat-water high-speed windsurfing, whereas in winter the South wind creates waves steady enough even to please the big wave-funs. As the coastal plain enjoys an exceptionally mild climate, with soft, verdant springs, hot summers, sunny autumns and warm winters marked by occasional showers. For windsurfing and sun-bathing summer months are ideal, but as the Aegean provides a perfect escapes from rigors of a northern winter even in January and February with mild sunny and pleasant days, wave lovers prefer to visit Alaçati in winter to mix and match their Xmas holidays with windsurfing PLAYING FIELDOF THE WIND As you speed along İzmir-Çeşme expressway your eyes are suddenly struck by a vista of modern windmills with their huge white wings reaching to the sky above.Further along come some ancient time-worn windmills built of stone with their naked wooden appendages,and you sense the cool,salty fragrance of the sea then you can be sure that you have arrived at Alaçatı. At Alaçatı you are confronted with two very trying choices.Either you join the antics of the windsurfs of every imaginable color riding the deep blue waters or you delve into the colorful streets flavored with Anatolian culture under the shade of the time-worn windmills.It is very likely that the decision will be taken from your hands by the sun rising steeply in the sky overhead.And then,all of sudden,you will find you are on the road to Alaçatı cove with its petite boat basin.turkeyarena.com Alaçatı cove is one of innumerable coves to be found along the Aegean coastline.However,two very special features of this cove render it a windsurfer's heaven. One of these is the ceaseless wind.The other is the depth of the sea which does not exceed one and a half metres,and extends as such out as far as sixty or seventy metres from the shore. Piri Reis ,known in Turkish history for his cartography and seamanship,writes in his "Kitab-ı Bahriye"(The book of Navigation)that "the sea in the port of Alaçatı is like a wafer"And what he meant by that was that the sea was quite calm.That is,despite all the wind,the height of the waves in the cove does not rise to a level disturbing to the surfers. The wind at Alaçatı blows in from the north throughout the summer months at a velocity of between 15-25 knots.During the windy season from May to October one may encounter windsurfers from every corner of the globe here.There are those who come with their caravans or tents and spend the whole season as well as those who just stop over for the competitions.These aficionados of the wind and sea are accommodated at two schools of surfing on the shore and at the hotel and pensions located both at the cove and in Alaçatı itself. Alaçatı cove with its depth of less than a metre and a half is a fine learning environment for novice surfers.It is because of these qualities that the cove is so desirable both for master and novice surfers.You will encounter the youthful master surfing here with his young novice sibling or with his girlfriend.The shallow waters provide support for the novices,while the blustering summer winds provide sport for the masters. The cove,in which many national and international competitions are held,is at the same time a fine locale just for practice.Bora Kozanoðlu,the 1998-1999 Turkish champion,is one of those who have made a home in Alaçatı.You can always catch him playing sport with the wind and sea or giving pointers to those who are just learning to surf. Like the sea and the wind,the narrow streets of Alaçatı are also filled with surprises.There are the two storey homes,worldly-wise from long hard years of use,built of stone and set along both sides of the cobblestone streets...And then there are the bright faces of people of all ages peering out of the windows and overhanging bays of the houses.You witness the cultural richness of the region in Alaçatı's streets,in its mosque and its antique shop. Clearly,this cultural ricness has its source in Alaçatı's fascinating history.Until the 16th century the Çeşme region was the internetional commercial gateway to Anatolia.The Geneose merchants who settled on the island of Chios abandoned the area following the Ottoman conguest of the island in 1566,and gradually the Çeşme region lost its commercial advantages to İzmir.During the 1850s Greek laborers were brought in from nearby islands to fill in the swamps to the south of Alaçatı and to work in the port.These island Greeks joined in the construction of Alaçatı and settled there,later engaging in viniculture. Still later migrants from Yugoslavia and Macedonia made Alaçatı their home,but war forced them to move into the interior of Anatolia.They returned after the Turkish War of Liberation in the early 1920s,and then they were joined by migrants from Thessaloniki, Crete and Kos who introduced tobacco farming to the region. It is possible to observe the traces of these historical ebbs and tides in Alaçatı today. The mosque in the marketplace,the homes of stone with their bay windows,and the windmills,all bear witness to this inescapable social and cultural flux.The history of the region has transformed the place into a world of forsaken dreams and emerging hope.Today anisette,olives,onions and artichokes are grown in the fertile soil of Alaçatı.The region is also a star tourism spot. So much so,that its winter population of eight thousand climbs to fifty thousand in summer.The municipality of Alaçatı organizes an International Youth and Children's Theatre Festival every year. Alaçatı is munificent to those who portake of the wind and sea as well to those who wish to have an Anatolian experience,and this is a place you are sure to take great pleasure in getting to know..