Behremkale (Assos)

Aristotle lived in Assos and St Paul visited, but today visitors go to Assos, just south of Ayvacık, (not Ayvalık) as a tranquil Aegean-coast seaside retreatamid ancient ruins.

Though officially named Behramkale (BEHH-rahm-kah-leh), most people still call this town 66 km (41 miles) south of Troy by its ancient name of Assos and 40 kilometers from Altinoluk . It was founded in the 700s BC by colonists from Lesvos.Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's , Pythia, before sailing over to Lesvos.

Atop a hill surrounded by olive groves are the ruins of the Doric-style Temple of Athena (530 BC) surrounded by crumbling city walls and an ancient necropolis (cemetery). Nearby is the 14th-century Ottoman Murad Hüdavendigar Mosque. The hill offers spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby Greek island of Lesvos.

Down the steep seaward side of the hill at the water's edge is the hamlet officially named Behram, but actually called İskele (Dock, Wharf) by everyone. It's hopelessly charming and picturesque. The small pebbly beach is less of an attraction than the boat tours and the picturesqueness of the hamlet itself.

These days, the nearest Lesvos ferry services are fromAyvalık and Dikili, to the south. The way to get to Assos is by bus from Altinoluk or Ayvalık or by daily tours from our hotel. You'll probably have to get off the bus at Ayvacık (notAyvalık) and switch to a minibus or taxi to make the final 19-km (12-mile) run into Assos.

The nearest small airport is at Edremit, the nearest large one is Adnan Menderes Airport south of İzmir. TheBandırma-İzmir train stops at Balıkesir, 161 km (100 miles) to the east. Going by bus is faster.