The Province of Balikesir features pretty little towns with natural landscapes that will make people feel happy just being there! These settlements are framed by blue oceans and forests, which give any traveler who visits this part of Turkey plenty of opportunities to enjoy themselves, away from busy cities and crowds.
Having housed many civilizations in Anatolia throughout its long past, the province is a rich center of historical remains bringing the oldest times of humanity to light. The attractive Yildirim and Zagnos Pasa Mosques in the city center are examples of monuments from earlier periods besides the interesting clock tower, while towns nearby also hold ruins from remote ages, standing in beautiful natural scenery.
The Gulf of Edremit, located on the Aegean Sea, is one of these lovely sites with a wide range of beaches and seaside resorts overlooking the sea. The town of Edremit and Altinoluk (whose high oxygen concentration ranks second in the world) are among those that stud this wonderful area together with Oren where green forests meet sandy shores in holiday resorts. In one part of this beautiful village you may see Roman and Byzantine ruins, while in the other you can find fresh seafood and traditional dishes from the region, offered by good restaurants.
Ayvalik, nicknamed "Olive Riviera", is a perfect stop along the way for families. The beautiful Tuskiyarakis Church and its awe-inspiring architecture are worth seeing. Nearby is the Seytan Sofrasi; this restaurant boasts one of the most panoramic sunsets in the world - take your time to admire from their rooftop terrace! It also offers beautiful views of Sarmisakli Bay with its many beaches, including Alibey(Cunda) Island.
Gonen is a spa town that offers many different treatment options. It has been used as an area of relaxation since the earliest time periods.
Utilizing spring waters, the town of Akcay is another popular spa-center with cures. Additionally, this town offers a beautiful natural scenery, fitting its legendary fame. According to legend, the world's first beauty contest was held here on Mount Ida and Aphrodite was chosen as queen from the three goddesses. This has been considered to be the starting point of everything in Trojan War.
This province is home to the islands of Marmara and Avsa, which offer beautiful shorelines as well as local attractions. The island of Maramara is famed for its wine-making and delicious fish bites; in fact, there's a scenic beach known as "Marble Beach" thanks to the marble quarries that surround it - hence its name.
Erdek, near the coast of the Marmara Sea, is a nice tourist center situated on the beautiful Kapidag peninsula. The area has olive trees, vineyards and fruit gardens surrounded by clear waters. This lovely place includes Hadrian's Temple at Kyzikos opposite other ancient ruins.
Of particular interest is the Manyas National Park near Bandirma, which is called the "Bird Paradise." It's a restful and lovely place for bird watchers. The whole city of Bandirma offers plenty of nature-lovers with opportunities to enjoy themselves.