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Earth : Europe : Turkey : Aegean Turkey : Northern Aegean : Assos
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Temple to Athena overlooking the Aegean

Assos, also known as Behramkale (or, rarely, as Behram, as it appears on some old maps), is a village in northern Aegean Region, Turkey. It’s located on the northern coast of Gulf of Edremit, across the northern coast of the Greek island of Lesvos.


This is a village that is consisted of two parts: the ‘real’ village on the top of a hill overlooking the sea, and a coastal part right down by the shore (which was the harbour of the village in the past). Both parts are equally old and full of stone buildings with traditional Mediterranean architecture.

The village lived as Behramkale for centuries, and with the advance of tourism in the 20th century, its ancient name of Assos returned back to the surface. Today, highway signs and the like always refer to the village as both (such as Behramkale-Assos), but travelling industry almost always refer to it as Assos only.

The village was an important centre in ancient times. It had then a philosophy academy run by the famous philosophers Aristotales and Hermaios, a student of Platon.

Get in

By bus

Frequent public buses run by Küçükkuyu Town Council (Küçükkuyu Belediyesi) take pessengers from Küçükkuyu (about 20 km to east) to Assos and cost around 3-4 TL/person. There are also minibuses from Ayvacik to the north.

By car

The village is connected to the main Canakkale-Izmir highway (numbered D550/E87) by a 20-kilometre-long, narrow but tarmac road. This secondary road joins D550/E87 near the town of Ayvacik (not to be confused with Ayvalik, which is a couple of hundred kilometres down south). Total distance from Canakkale in the north is about 100 km.

There is also another secondary road joining D550/E87 near Altinoluk in the east. This road is recommended for travellers from more southern locations such as Izmir as it shortcuts the mountain pass on the road north to Ayvacik.

It's also possible to arrive from Gülpınar in the west, which you can get to by following the coastal road south of Canakkale (turn right to the direction of Bozcaada about 30 km south of Canakkale). For more details on this route, see the itinerary Along the Troad Coast.

Get around

The upper and lower parts of the village is connected to each other by a very steep road which can be taken in about 20 minutes on foot. Alternatively, you can take Küçükkuyu Belediyesi public buses from the stop at the entrance of the old town (next to the statue of Aristotales) to the waterfront—their last stop.


  • Old town. Old part of the town with its grey/granite stone houses and cobbled steep alleys.
  • Temple to Athena (Athena Tapınağı), (on the top of the hill over the old town). This is the major attraction of the village. It dates back to the 6th century BC and has the first ever Doric columns (still standing) built on Asian soil. A splendid place to watch the sun setting in the Aegean Sea. 5 TL/person. No student discounts.
  • Old bridge, (next to the road north to Ayvacik, about 10 min on foot from old town). An old bridge dating back to Ottoman times.


  • You may attend philosophy classes taking place in the village every summer. They choose a different major subject to think and speak about every summer.
  • The sea there is unbelievably clean, so swimming is also a good idea.


There are no supermarkets nor any ATMs in town. Only one of the grocery stores accept credit cards, the one located in the outskirt of the village, on the junction of the roads leading to west (Gülpınar), north (Ayvacık), and east (Küçükkuyu). Some fresh fruits/vegetables in addition to snacks, water, and drinks (alchoholic and soft alike) can be found there.

On the alleys of old town, villagers sell local produce such as thyme freshly picked from mountains around or castile soap at stalls.


There are open-air fish restaurants on the shore.



Most guesthouses (pansiyon) are located on the upper part of the village, while most hotels are located on the lower part.


Telephone code of the village is (+90) 286.

Get out

  • Babakale, some 20 km to the west, on the edge of the peninsula, is a village known for its well-preserved citadel which sits on a cape that is exactly the westernmost point of Asian mainland.

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