Erdek is a town on the coast of Southern Marmara Region in Turkey. It's the principal town on the Kapıdağ Peninsula, with a navy base and a straggling resort strip: in 2012 the district population was 32,958. This page also briefly describes other places on the peninsula.
Kapıdağ Peninsula was one of the Marmara islands until about 2000 years ago. Earth tremors may have lifted the bedrock, and the channel silted up and became a tombola then a broad isthmus. Eventually some enterprising ruler built a road across - Alexander the Great is one suggestion. Its city of Cyzicus, 5 km east of present-day Erdek, was a major port but abandoned around 440 AD.
Erdek in the 1880s had about its present population size, mostly Greek, but these were deported after Turkish independence in 1923. Erdek and the peninsula became a beach resort for domestic tourism. It remains so even though the Turks now venture further for their holidays, as it's within a day's drive from Istanbul. It's also a ferry port for the Marmara islands.
For intercity routes travel via Bandırma, which has fast ferries from Istanbul, buses from other cities such as Bursa, and a train from Izmir. Frequent minibuses take 20 min from Bandırma to Erdek: they'll probably drop you at the town's main roundabout 300 m north of the ferry port.
1 Erdek ferry port has ferries to the Marmara islands. Gestaş car ferry sails twice a day to Balikli on Paşalimani island (1 hour) then makes a circuit of Avşa, Ekinlik and Marmara Island, so timings depend which way round it goes. Marmara RoRo sails five times a day from Tekirdağ Barbaros on the far mainland coast, with some ferries calling at the islands. There are no direct ferries to Erdek from Istanbul but you can island-hop via Marmara.
You can reach Kyzikos by the minibuses along the highway to Bandırma. These also connect the nearer beach resorts, but you need your own wheels around the peninsula.
- Open-Air Museum (Açık Hava Müzesi) is just a little park with ancient monuments at the foot of Hükümet Cd by the ferry port. It's free to access 24 hours, but the stones are defaced by graffiti and modern hacking.
- 1 Zeytin is a wooded islet at the edge of the harbour with late Byzantine ruins and hot springs. It's variously been a monastery, quarantine station and spa but is now an open-air museum.
- 2 Tavşan island is the larger one seen to the south. The name means "rabbit island" and it's just scrub. The only thing to do here is to avoid confusing it with Tavşan island in the Princes' archipelago near Istanbul.
- 3 Kyzikos (Cyzicus) (on highway from Bandırma). 24 hours. This was a Hellenistic city from around 800 BC, when Kapıdağ was still an island in the region of Mysia. Cyzicus became an important port from 400 BC controlling Marmara sea traffic. It was held by Alexander the Great from 334 BC and then by the Romans, but fell into ruin from around 443 AD - perhaps a combination of earthquakes, silting of the port, and economic eclipse. Its masonry and monuments were enthusiastically looted, many finding their way to the kilns to be recycled as lime until an enlightened district governor stopped the operations in the late 1940s, but you can still see the city walls, the foundations of a temple to Hadrian, and the amphitheatre at the far side of the site. Free.
- 4 Kyzikos amphitheatre is at the east edge of the site, and you might prefer to drive round to it. Its distance shows how large a city this was.
- 5 Tatlısu is the first beach resort following the coast east of the tombola. Other resorts, equally undistinguished, straggle along the shore to Karşıyaka. Uninhabited Fener island is seen to the east. After Çakıl the coast turns to face north.
- 6 Kirazlı monastery was Greek, active from the 19th century until 1923 when they were deported. It's just dilapidated walls, on the road through the mountains to Ballıpınar.
- 7 Şahinburgaz has a small harbour. This coastline is rocky.
- 8 Ballıpınar is a small village on the north coast. There's a sandy beach and another ruined church, and not much else.
- 9 Turan is the main resort on the north coast, with a line of coves and hotels either side.
The main beach stretches northwest.
Lots of small stores. Bim at the central roundabout is open daily 09:00-21:00.
- By the harbour are Adasuare, Pizza Marina, Gözde fish & chips, Kekik Kokoreç and Ahmet's.
- Lots more on the beachfront northwest.
Two bars by the port are Kafkas and Ömür.
- Erdek has two strips for camping and basic pansiyon accommodation. East is Düzler, along the highway from Kyzikos. Places here include Aldırmaz'ın, Camping Kapıdağ, Pınar Hotel, Mysia Beach[dead link], Göktur Camping, Cumhuriyet Camping, Ipek (below) and Abant (below). This area is near the navy base and anywhere signposted TSK is military, Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri, where you're less than welcome.
- 1 Ipek, Çeltikçi, ☏ . Friendly family-run pansiyon and camping area.
- 2 Abant, Arif Kalıpsızoğlu Cd, ☏ . Clean pansiyon with well-equipped campsite.
- The larger strip is along the coast northwest, with dozens of places.
- 3 Yagci Hotel, off Piri Reis Cd, ☏ . Boxy modern place, comfy enough. B&B double 200 TL.
- 4 Yeşilim Camping, Piri Reis Cd 84, ☏ . Cheerful camping and caravan park with a restaurant. Their former site at Piri Reis Cd 168 has closed.
- Mavi Inci Park Otel (Blue Pearl Park), Neyyire Sıtkı Cd 5 (by harbour), ☏ . Simple place by the harbour, most customers satisfied. B&B double 200 TL.
There is 4G from all Turkish carriers in Erdek, its highway approach from Bandırma, and along the south coast roads of the peninsula. The Vodafone signal reaches Turan but there's otherwise no coverage on the north coast. As of March 2022, 5G has not rolled out in Turkey.
|Routes through Erdek|
|Loops back to Bandırma ← Kapıdağ Peninsula ←||N S||→ Bandırma → Ends at|
|Tekirdağ ← Avşa ←||N S||→ END|