Dream European Vacations

Dream European Vacations

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Engin Aydeniz

From an idyllic port town off the coast of France to a medieval village in Spain, T+L has your next dream European vacation planned.

Alaçati, Turkey

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This sleepy village on the Çeşme Peninsula is the latest playground for Istanbul’s creative set. After a day spent lounging in the open-​​air cafés or browsing the recherché and vintage design boutiques of Old Town, head to the walled garden of the family-run restaurant Asma Yapraği ($$), where you order by picking from the home-style dishes on the kitchen table (fried zucchini flowers filled with goat-milk cheese; rosemary-rubbed lamb). While simply made Turkish staples are the draw, Alaçati also has a culinary talent of the highest order: former windsurfing champion Kemal Demirasal, whose ambition is to turn the glass-walled Alancha ($$) into nothing less than the Turkish answer to Copenhagen’s Noma. He’s on the right path. Book a table on the patio overlooking the town’s terra-cotta rooftops and order from the 12-course tasting menu, which may include specials such as tahini with dehydrated Black Sea anchovies.

For decades, Alaçati lacked a decent place to stay. That all changed when Zeynep Özis opened the first boutique property, Taş Otel ($), in 2001. Scores of handsome Ottoman-era stone houses have now been turned into “butik otels,” though many pale in comparison to Taş’s rustic-chic aesthetic. Most impressive of the newcomers is the 25-room Alavya ($$$), which spreads out over six restored stone houses in the center of town: expect white-on-white bedding, thick woven rugs, and sundowners by the mosaic-lined pool. —Sarah Miller

Dream European Vacations

Alaçati, Turkey

This sleepy village on the Çeşme Peninsula is the latest playground for Istanbul’s creative set. After a day spent lounging in the open-​​air cafés or browsing the recherché and vintage design boutiques of Old Town, head to the walled garden of the family-run restaurant Asma Yapraği ($$), where you order by picking from the home-style dishes on the kitchen table (fried zucchini flowers filled with goat-milk cheese; rosemary-rubbed lamb). While simply made Turkish staples are the draw, Alaçati also has a culinary talent of the highest order: former windsurfing champion Kemal Demirasal, whose ambition is to turn the glass-walled Alancha ($$) into nothing less than the Turkish answer to Copenhagen’s Noma. He’s on the right path. Book a table on the patio overlooking the town’s terra-cotta rooftops and order from the 12-course tasting menu, which may include specials such as tahini with dehydrated Black Sea anchovies.

For decades, Alaçati lacked a decent place to stay. That all changed when Zeynep Özis opened the first boutique property, Taş Otel ($), in 2001. Scores of handsome Ottoman-era stone houses have now been turned into “butik otels,” though many pale in comparison to Taş’s rustic-chic aesthetic. Most impressive of the newcomers is the 25-room Alavya ($$$), which spreads out over six restored stone houses in the center of town: expect white-on-white bedding, thick woven rugs, and sundowners by the mosaic-lined pool. —Sarah Miller

Engin Aydeniz
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