Babakale

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Babakale is a village in Turkish region of Northern Aegean.

Understand[edit]

Babakale sits on a cape that is exactly the westernmost point of mainland Asia, the Cape Baba (Baba Burnu), which lies on the 26° 03' 50" E, i.e. at about the same longitude with Helsinki, and Bucharest.

Local story has it that the village was founded by prisoners who were pardoned in return for working at the construction of the citadel of the village, and later joined in by seamen, and their families.

Most of the travellers who make it to Babakale visit it as a day-trip on their route along the Troad coast.

Get in[edit]

  • Ezine Birlik ([1] +90 286 618 10 11, e-mail: .) provides buses to the village from Ezine, which is a short bus ride away from Çanakkale, at a frequency of about once every two hours every day. The buses run through the villages at the backcountry of this Troad Peninsula, so expect to take the ride from Ezine to Babakale more than an hour.
  • The village has only a single road getting in and out: an 8 km-long, really narrow and winding tarmac, but heavily potholed road from Gülpınar, a relatively bigger village in the uplands of the area. To get to Gülpınar, you should either take the road to Bozcaada from south of Çanakkale, or head for Assos first and then take westward road from there.

Some detailed maps also show a dirt road from Assos in the east direct to Babakale, but according to locals that road is not in a condition to be useful.

Get around[edit]

This is a village, where you can walk from one end to the other in approximately 5–10 minutes.

See[edit]

  • Citadel (Kale). The citadel of the village, which dates back to 18th century and made of unique, local, somewhat shiny black rocks, sits directly on the westernmost tip of Asia over a cliff with a fair drop to the sea and is the main attraction of the village. Strategically located on northeastern Aegean, it was built to control the trade in the strait between the mainland and the Greek island of Lesvos which is just around the horizon. A windy place with some impressive views over the cliffs towards the sea, though inner part of the citadel is used for local weddings and celebrations of the village and thus may be a little bit untidy with white plastic chairs and firepits. Free.
  • Local architecture. Most of the village consists of fairly well preserved houses of stone architecture typical of the region. You will also notice a fountain or two dating back to Ottoman period along the cobbled streets of the village.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

There are a few fish restaurants in the village.

Drink[edit]

  • Village coffeehouse (on the main square, just opposite the gate of citadel). The local coffeehouse with an open-air patio shaded by a huge grapevine, perfect to take a short break and watch around. 0.40 TL for a glass of Turkish tea.

Sleep[edit]

Though Babakale is mainly visited as a day-trip from nearby destinations, it is possible to overnight in one of a couple of hotels in the village.

Stay safe[edit]

Located just opposite the Greek island of Lesvos, thus on the border of Europe, there is an illegal (and possible dangerous for witnesses) immigration activity at the outskirts of the village according to locals. Therefore don't stray or wild camp too far from the village, especially not on the coast — the dirt road following the coast east to Assos is reported to be where this activity is concentrated most. However, visiting the village itself and the tarmac road leading to it is perfectly safe with not even the slightest concern.

If wild camping, wild boars in the area may pose a (minimal) danger. If awake and out of your tent, standing up on your feet seems to be enough to make them disperse and run away from you.

Connect[edit]

The telephone code of the village is (+90) 286.

Go next[edit]

  • The temple to Apollon (Apollon Smintheon) in nearby Gülpınar (8 km north) is one of the most impressive Roman ruins in the region.
  • Most holidaymakers have their way to Assos, 20 km to the east, after visiting Babakale.
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