We first saw Çandarlı from a distance almost three years ago when en route to some where else. It looked amazing, a huddle of low rise houses around a castle, and ever since then we have been trying to go back and actually visit the place.

Last month we finally managed it: bus to Izmir then another bus to Çandarlı, about 7.5 hours in total but would be much less if you drove. The town did not disappoint.

A close up of the Castle which is closed for restoration is shown above.

We later saw an aerial photo which shows the in side as a big empty space. It should be open again next season.

However, the interesting thing about this castle is that, unlike all the other coastal castles on the Aegean/Mediterranean, it wasn’t built by the Crusaders.

Instead it was built by Genoa following the breakdown of the Seljuk empire when the Italians, already occupying Greek islands facing this stretch of coast, tried to seize territory on the mainland.

They failed but left behind this perfect castle. Every little boy’s dream fort no less.

As you can see from the second photo (you can just spot one tower of the castle with flag flying at the far end of the street) Çandarlı is mainly low rise buildings, a good mix of old and new construction.


We’ll tell you more about this charming seaside town in future articles.

Where is Candarli?

Çandarlı is a coastal township with own municipality within the district of Dikili in western Turkey’s İzmir Province.