Cunda Island Turkiye

cunda island

Turkey is a land of diverse beauty, rich history, and hidden gems. One such gem that has been gaining attention is Cunda Island, also known as Alibey Island. Nestled in the Aegean Sea, this charming island offers a perfect blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and a serene atmosphere. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore why Cunda Island is worth visiting, how to get there from Istanbul, and what makes it a unique destination for travelers seeking an authentic Turkish experience.

Is Cunda Island Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Cunda Island is a hidden treasure that promises a unique and unforgettable experience. Here are a few reasons why Cunda Island should be on your travel itinerary:

Historical Significance of Cunda Island

Cunda Island, known in ancient times as Nesos Aigion, has a rich and diverse history. The island’s story begins in the Byzantine era, where it served as a strategic point in the Aegean Sea. During this time, it was part of the Byzantine Empire and was an important location due to its proximity to the mainland.

The island’s significance continued into the Ottoman period. When the Ottomans took control, they preserved much of its architectural heritage, which can still be seen today. The blend of Greek and Turkish influences is evident in the island’s historic buildings, including churches, monasteries, and traditional stone houses.

cunda island port

One notable historical event is the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. As part of this agreement, Greek Orthodox Christians were relocated to Greece, and Turkish Muslims from Greece were settled on the island. This exchange greatly influenced the cultural and demographic landscape, contributing to the unique character and heritage visible today.

The Taksiyarhis Church, now a museum, is one of the island’s most significant historical landmarks. Originally built in the 19th century, it stands as a testament to the island’s Greek Orthodox past. The church’s architecture and the restored frescoes inside offer a glimpse into the religious and cultural life of the island’s former inhabitants.

Over the centuries, the island has managed to retain its charm and historical integrity, offering visitors a journey back in time. Its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and cultural sites provide a fascinating insight into the island’s past while maintaining the serene beauty that attracts visitors today.

Charming Architecture

Walking through the narrow, cobbled streets of Cunda Island, you’ll be captivated by the well-preserved stone houses with their vibrant facades and wooden shutters. The island’s unique blend of Greek and Turkish architecture creates a picturesque setting that is perfect for photography enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Delicious Cuisine

Cunda Island is a paradise for food lovers. The island’s cuisine is heavily influenced by Aegean and Greek flavors, offering a delectable array of dishes. Don’t miss the chance to try fresh seafood, mezes (small appetizers), and the island’s famous “papalina” fish. Pair your meal with local olive oil and a glass of Turkish wine for a truly authentic experience.

Stunning Natural Beauty of Cunda Island

cunda island

Surrounded by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea, the Island boasts stunning natural landscapes. The island is home to beautiful beaches, lush olive groves, and scenic viewpoints. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, take a leisurely stroll, or hike through nature, Cunda Island has something to offer every nature lover.

Cultural Attractions

Cunda Island is dotted with cultural and historical attractions. Visit the impressive Ayışığı Monastery, the grand Taksiyarhis Church, and the intriguing Cunda Sevim and Necdet Kent Library. These sites offer a deep dive into the island’s rich cultural heritage and provide a peaceful retreat for reflection.

How to Get to Cunda Island from Istanbul?

Getting to Cunda Island from Istanbul is relatively straightforward and can be done via multiple modes of transportation.


Drive to Ayvalık: The most convenient way to reach there from Istanbul is by car. The journey to Ayvalık, the mainland town connected to Island, takes approximately 5-6 hours (approximately 400 kilometers). Follow the E87 highway southwards, passing through cities like Bursa and Balıkesir.

Cross the Bridge: Once you arrive in Ayvalık, drive across the Lale Island Bridge to reach there. The bridge offers a scenic view of the surrounding waters and is a short 10-minute drive. Here is the google maps link of Cunda Island.


Fly to Edremit Airport: The nearest airport to Cunda Island is Edremit Körfez Airport (EDO), located about 40 kilometers from Ayvalık. Several airlines offer daily flights from Istanbul to Edremit, with a flight time of approximately 1 hour.

Transfer to Cunda Island: From Edremit Airport, you can take a taxi or arrange a private transfer to Ayvalık. The drive takes around 45 minutes. Once in Ayvalık, you can cross the bridge to Cunda Island by car or taxi.


Take a Ferry to Bandırma: For a scenic journey, consider taking a ferry from Istanbul to Bandırma. The ferry ride takes about 2 hours. Ferries depart from Istanbul’s Yenikapı or Bostancı ferry terminals.

Drive to Ayvalık: From Bandırma, rent a car or take a bus to Ayvalık. The drive takes approximately 3-4 hours. Once in Ayvalık, cross the bridge to reach Cunda Island.

Things to Do on Cunda Island

Cunda Island offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors. Here are some must-see places and things to do during your stay:

Explore the Old Town

Take a leisurely stroll through the old town of Cunda Island. Admire the charming stone houses, colorful gardens, and quaint streets. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the island’s small boutiques, art galleries, and souvenir shops.

Visit Taksiyarhis Church

The Taksiyarhis Church is one of the most prominent landmarks on Cunda Island. This historic Greek Orthodox church, now a museum, showcases stunning architecture and intricate frescoes. The church is a testament to the island’s multicultural past and offers a peaceful atmosphere for reflection.

Relax on the Beaches

Cunda Island is home to several beautiful beaches where you can unwind and soak up the sun. The most popular beaches include Ayvalık Public Beach, Patriça Bay, and Ortunç Beach. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters and are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.

Sample Local Cuisine

Indulge in the island’s culinary delights by dining at local restaurants and taverns. Try traditional dishes such as “zeytinyağlılar” (olive oil dishes), “girit ezmesi” (Cretan paste), and “lokma” (fried dough balls). For a unique experience, visit one of the island’s fish restaurants and enjoy freshly caught seafood.

Visit the Cunda Island Sevim and Necdet Kent Library

Sevim and Necdet Kent Library

This beautiful library, housed in a restored stone building, offers a tranquil space for reading and relaxation. The library’s collection includes a wide range of books, and its peaceful garden is perfect for enjoying a quiet moment.

Hike to the Ayışığı Monastery

ayisigi monastery Cunda island

For nature lovers, a hike to the Ayışığı Monastery is a must. The trail offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding sea. The monastery, perched on a hilltop, provides a serene retreat and a glimpse into the island’s spiritual heritage.

Where to Stay on Cunda Island

Cunda Island offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious boutique hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a budget-friendly guesthouse, you’ll find plenty of choices. Some popular options include:

Best Time to Visit Cunda Island

The best time to visit Cunda Island is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is pleasant, and it is less crowded. Summer (July to August) is also a popular time to visit, but be prepared for higher temperatures and more tourists. Winter (December to February) can be chilly, but it’s a great time to experience the island’s tranquility and charm without the crowds.

Thoughts about Cunda Island

Cunda Island is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway, a cultural adventure, or a culinary journey, the Island has something to offer every traveler. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this enchanting island, and discover why it is worth visiting.

By focusing on the Island, your travel blog can provide readers with valuable insights and inspire them to explore this beautiful destination. From its rich history and charming architecture to its delicious cuisine and stunning landscapes, the Island is a destination that promises a memorable and unique experience. If you are into this kind of places, you may want to visit Cennet Island Marmaris, Cleopatra Island Marmaris!

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