Alacati - a place that the winds call home, and surfers and kiters call paradise....
Alacati is located on the West coast of Turkey - about 100 km from Izmir, which is the closest airport - the only other alternative way of ariving there is 1000 km away.
The city itself is nothing special - it is worth going to Cesme which is not far to see the old catle - unfortunately that was the part I missed - but else there is not much to see in Alacati....
However, the first thing you get when you step off the bus is a strong ghust of wind in your face - and the first thought that hits you is: "Wow..."
The shoreline of Alacati is crowded with kite and wind-surf rents, shops and hotels to stay. I was a beginning kiter when I first came to Alacati - actually going there to receive my first kite lessons. From my point of view, Alacati is a great place to start kiting - or wind-surfing for that matter. The bay is quite shallow on the edges, and the bottom is sand mostly, which gives very comfortable field for practice, for you can stand up at least waist deep in the water for many yards into the sea, which is invaluable when you are a beginner.
Secondly, the winds are not stormy, although the gusts can be quite annoying and hard to handle - when I was there the gusts could bring wind speed from 15 to 25 knots and back again in 3 seconds - which is really hard to handle while learning. Nevertheless, the good thing about the wind there is that it is quite constant, and a rare day passes with wind speed below 10 knots. Considering that 12 is a starting wind-speed for kiting - the conditions are nearing perfect.
Another thing about the bay is that it is a bay, and in most areas the water is calm, which is perfect for practice. The diting area however is a bit chopy, since the bay there is not fully closed from the open seas - so the water tends to get quite a bit of waves. It should be taken into account, that the kiting area is across the bay from the wind-surfing area, which is actually quite wise, for kiters pose a great danger when they are learning - the lines are 30 - meters long, which can hurt many people if the kite should fall.
I greatly recommend Alacati for all who want an active holiday either surfing, kiting, or learning to do either.
Due to the fact that the kiting area is across the bay from the main shore where the hotels are located, it might seem a problem getting there. That is absolute nonsense, since each rent has a boat to get you to the other side. And that is another thumbs-up, for there are lots of rescue boats if you drift into the open sea through the bays entrance - most of the rentals are on constant watch for SOS signals - so any of them will pick you up if need be.
However, one might find usefull, although absolutely not necessarily, to rent a car to have the chance to visit any kiting area one likes. When we stayed there we kited in the area of Alacati Beach resort, so I do not myself know any other kiting spots except the one Club Mistral - the center I took my lessons in - uses, however I am quite sure that there are a number of spots along the shoreline - and having a car might be usefull to visit a couple of them.
Unfortunately, there are days with no wind - but still there is much to do. Although at a considerable expense - 50 lira for 15 minutes - wakeboarding is available, and scooters too. In addition, there is a dock where I believe it is possible to rent a boat for the day, but it is only my gmable - I don't know for sure.
One more thing to mension is that the sea is very cold - cold at all times. When we were there the average street temp was about 35-40, yet the sea was ice - that is why nobody surfs or kites there without a wet-suit - a short 3mm one is enough - otherwise it is too cold. The wet-suits can also be rented at local clubs, along with surfs and kites.
Alacati is a great place to learn to surf or kite, and although it is common knowledge that not many people in Turkey speak good English, most instructors in the rental clubs are German, who speak quite good. So there won't be a problem of understanding))
So get your ruck-sack rolled-up, board under-hand - and lets ride!!! Alacati Surf Paradise - in truth=)