A Secret Paradise in Ayvalık, Badavut

Recently the historical garlic stone quarries in the Badavut region of Balıkesir Ayvalık have gained the attention of international tourists. The region known among locals as a ‘secret heaven’ was declared a ‘strictly protected sensitive area’ by the presidential decree issued on May 3rd and registered as a natural site.

The main attraction of Badavut is its natural beauty. The area is home to a wetland where different bird species including flamingos and mallards live, and there is also a long beach. Stone quarries which have been used to mine garlic stone since ancient times can be found in the same area as well.

The quarries are the most visited touristic spot in the area. Foreign as well as local tourist coming to the region are fascinated with the texture of the quarries. The garlic stone is the main building material of the historical Ayvalık houses, but the quarries stopped working after the region was taken under protection.

The stone gives the historical Ayvalık houses their characteristic appearance and is their most distinctive feature. The architecture of the houses reflects Turkish and Greek social life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The dusty rose-colored stones were favored in that period because of their durability and ease in processing. The Sarımsaklı (meaning with garlic) area is the main source of garlic stone. The stone was formed by lava flow thousands of years ago. Due to its porous textures the stone breathes so the houses are cool in the summer and warm in winter.

The reason they are called garlic stones is that their texture resembles garlic veins and the stones gradually turn red due to the oxidation process of their iron content. Now, the garlic stone cliffs are a touristic attraction to both locals and foreigners.

The sea and the climatic conditions of the Aegean side of the region has brought about interesting rock formations, which are known as the Karakol Mountain. The mountain also has a cave on the other side.

The Tourism Development Association is actively working to protect and promote the area.

Last Updated: 27.7.2019 10:25:02