Alaçatı – Germiyan Village: 15 kilometers
Locals of İzmir and Alaçatı know the amazing taste of Germiyan bread very well, made with sourdough and baked in the wood fire. Each moment you spend at the village, you can feel the warm hospitality and smiling faces of Germiyan villagers, who are creators of this delicious bread and who have turned this place into a great village in an authentic way by carefully renovating it. Before going into details about the white walls of the houses which are painted with flowers, owls, snails and flamingos, we must tell that Germiyan is a praiseworthy village that has successfully become the ‘First Slow Food Village’ in Turkey. It was granted the ‘Slow Food Village’ title in 2016, which is given to the villages that support the ‘natural’ over the artificial, develops ‘local production’ instead of mass production, prefers ‘traditional’ to industrial and produces chemical free, clean and fair crops in a sustainable way; thanks to the efforts of the villagers and the local authorities. The village’s endemic products which are produced with the seeds inherited from the ancestors by using their traditional and cultural methods are sold with a registered snail emblem holding an olive branch.
(The Slow Food movement started in 1986 by an Italian food and wine journalist called Carlo Petrini. Slow Food identifies foods that are geographically specific and produced by methods that protect biodiversity. The movement encourages farmers to revive the old environment-friendly method of cultivation and grow organic and natural food.)
Germiyan’s story has started when Mrs. Nuran Eren, a local woman in the village, took her paints and brushes to paint the white walls of the houses with flower designs. Mrs. Nuran, an organic farmer and an art lover, whose flower designs were admired widely, has also added social messages to her murals which brighten the streets at the same time creating an awareness. Germiyan, the representative of ‘silence, tranquility and slowness’ is a village spreading hope and positivism to its visitors with its murals on snow-white walls.
What to do in Germiyan Village:
- Walk in the streets up and down where you can see different paintings on the walls in every corner.
- You should try delicious Germiyan bread; which is made of unrefined wheat flour, fermented with natural sourdough, kneaded by methods of grandmothers and baked in wood stone ovens. It is a thick, healthy and easy-to-digest bread which keeps you full for long hours. You will definitely buy another one to take with you after tasting it. If you want to do so, follow the sign ‘Stone Oven Bread is available’ and enter the garden next to ‘Otantik Ev’ and buy your fresh bread.
- We also recommend trying ‘Kopanisti Cheese’, a speciality of the region. It is a valuable and delicious type of cheese similar to ‘roquefort’ with its taste and mature smell which can be served with wine.
- You can visit Otantik Ev to have breakfast where hundreds of years furnitures, objects and clothes are being displayed. The breakfast is served with additive-free natural products; including Germiyan bread and tarhana soup (a traditional soup prepared at the houses with a mixture of flour, yeast, yoghurt, tomato paste and herbs), homemade jams, various types of cheese, pastries with pepper and herbs, village egg prepared in pan with natural butter. We recommend you to call for breakfast reservation or for a visit; as it is a family house where people actually live in. 0533 369 6863
- Another stop to have a short break for tea and coffee is the house of Mrs. Nurdan Erden who painted the walls of the village and has made the village a famous one. You will see the plate written ‘Goca Emine – Nurdan Erden’in Evi’ in the entrance of the yard under the grapevines where the house is surrounded by greenery.
- Make a visit to handcraft shop; Nokorika Hamarat.
- Buy village eggs, tarhana (a traditional mixture to make soup prepared at houses with flour, yeast, yoghurt, tomato paste and herbs), chickpeas, watermelon; all are sold fresh by the villagers.
- If you want to experience the village as a local, pay a visit to the ‘village cafe’ at the entrance of the village where the old men of the village spend time drinking sage or fresh lavender infusions.
- If you encounter the ‘Germiyan Festival’ which takes place in October, you can attend workshops such as; Germiyan Bread Making, Kopanisti Cheese Making, Lokum (Turkish delight) Cutting, Making House Wine and Making Soap and get to learn the traditional methods. In the “Germiyan Bread Competition”, delicious breads made with hundreds years old yeasts compete. The villagers, attending the festival with their local folkloric dresses in the cortege create a festive ambiance in the streets where drums and clarion are played.