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Reading list | Northern Aegean

Turkey's northern Aegean coastline is a joy to explore by car, and the independent traveller will still find it gloriously bereft of tourists in early spring and autumn. For our purposes, it stretches from the Greek border in Thracian Turkey to the metropolis of Izmir, gateway to the southern Aegean. Fabled landscapes are surrounded by a pristine sea, often refreshingly icy. And to wash it all down, some seriously good wine is produced here. One of the greatest of all antique cities, Pergamum, is here; Troy and the Troad are to the north. Places rich in historical association include the Gallipoli peninsula, the windswept vineyards of Bozcaada (ancient Tenedos), and epic Mount Ida (Kaz Dağı), where Zeus was suckled by the very goat whose horn gave Cornucopia its name. There are also very pretty villages to stay in or near, such as Old Foça, just north of Izmir; Cunda, close to Ayvalık; and the little harbour of Assos, which looks out to sea towards the island of Lesbos (Midilli Adası).

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