Assos, the ancient Aeolian city clinging to a rocky hillside above the charming and fairly sensitively developed fishing village of Behramkale in the Aegean region, is a splendid retreat from the hustle and bustle of many nearby 'must-see' sites and resorts.
Only really finding it's place on the tourist map at the end of the 1980's the village has a relaxed air to it and although you may be offered olive oil, soap and, of course, carpets there is still very little in the way of pressure selling here. In the summer you will find a phalanx of tourist buses dropping off day trippers to visit the ruins and have lunch but the majority of them will fade early to get to their hotels for the night and leave you to enjoy a rare tranquility and outrageously unspoiled vistas across the bay of Edremit to Lesbos. The acropolis, built on a hill 236 meters above the sea level, dates from the bronze age with the city dated to the 7th century BC. The sight of the defense walls of which 3 kilometers are still standing inspires a respect for the masons who erected them 2500 years ago. And on the top of the city the Temple of Athena, goddess of the city and fine arts and war, has the best place to watch the sunset. The temple has 6 columns on the short sides and 13 on the long sides surrounding the building externally with one row. Sufficient ruins remain to give the traveler an idea of the layout of the citadel although the only intact monument is a mosque with rather a checkered past.
The harbor is pleasant enough although you'll have to travel 3 or 4 kilometers to find a beach. A walk down from the upper village will take you 20 minutes or so, depending how many corners you cut on the hairpin road, bringing you to a cluster of hotels, pensions and restaurants perched on the edge of sea. Busy in the summer and popular with Turks who are seeking a romantic weekend away or just change of pace, you're advised to book ahead during June, July and August.
The best accessible beach is at near-by Kadirga, half an hours walk if you follow the coast from the harbor or descend from the back of the citadel above. Reasonable sand and not too busy as a result of the location.
Besides protection of Biga peninsula and Edremit Gulf, this Doric temple has been restored to its former magnificence. You can wait and stay for a while watching moon light on ruins of a temple, or you can awake early in the morning and watch the magnificent image of Edremit Gulf from the upper part of the city while sun is slowly rising. And all of these make one understand why Assos is paradise to be visited for a perfect holiday. There are agoras, a theater and a Gymnasium from hills streching out to the sea. A bridge, a castle and a mosque, constructed during Ottoman Sultan I. Murat during 14th century at the north edge of the Acropolis can be seen. There was a small and sweet port at lower side.
At 25 km. west of Behramkale, in Gülpynar village, Chryse, a historical city, in which Apollo Smintheus Temple constructed during 2nd century B. C., is present. At 15 km. west of Gülpynar, on a road which is lying throughout an unsigned sharp rocks, there is Babakale with cute village houses on the steep of the hill descending to the sea.
Assos, the famous teaching center of antiquity is 87 km south of Canakkale in Ayvacik County. Aristotle, Plato's most famous student, was invited to Assos and spent over three years living and teaching there. He married the niece of Hermeia, founded a school of philosophy and conducted his early exploratory work in zoology, biology and botany The acropolis of Assos (Behramkale) is 238 meters above sea level. The Temple of Athena was constructed on this site in the 6th century B.C. This Doric temple is being restored to its former glory and role as guardian of the Biga Peninsula and Gulf of Edremit. Linger to see the moonlight scattered through the temple ruins, or rise early for the gently awakening dawn over the acropolis.
Several changes had occured in Assos since the first settlement in the early bronze age about 3 rd millenium B.C. In the Hommer’s account, it was claimed that the southern shores of Troad were belong to Lelegians and they made their living as seamen and pirates during the years of the Trojan wars. It was claimed that the oldest name of the city was Pedasos and the name Assos was derived from it. On the other hand, Behram, the present name of the area, is a derivation of Makhram, Byzantine official who came to Assos on duty. Due to its strategic location by the sea, several civilizations were inhabited around the site such as Lydians, Persians, Gallians, Pergamons, Latinians, Seljukians and the Ottomans.