Small but perfectly formed, Bozcaada (Tenedos in Greek), is Instagram magic. Narrow alleyways lined with colourful houses and heaving with vines provide shade; limpid seas are perfect for cooling off in the summer heat and the plethora of long sandy beaches and arid, rocky hills provide the perfect backdrop for long views across the Aegean. Popular with the high society of Istanbul, Canakkale and Izmir, Bazcaada’s population doubles in the summer and on weekends. But out of season, you can expect a taste of authentic Turkey that has all but been lost.
Bozcaada’s crowning glory is undoubtedly its vineyards and local wine production. The island has a viticultural heritage dating back almost 3,000 years and there is virtually no local resident who does not have a history or connection with wine making. In fact, archaeologists working on the island found coins dating back to 5 B.C. with the face of Zeus on one side and a bunch of grapes on the other, leading specialists to think that the islands viticultural history is perhaps one of the oldest in the world! The locals are only too pleased to have you taste (and buy) some of their local produce, so get ready for lengthy (and highly enjoyable) explanations why their wine is so much better than their neighbour’s.
Architecturally speaking Bozcaada is a bit of a jumble. Because of its strategic location between Greece and Turkey, the island has been invaded many times, with each civilization leaving their mark. The whole of the island is preserved and restoration is taking place under the watchful eye of the Committee for the Historical Preservation of Cultural and Natural Goods.