AyvaTakA labyrinth of rooms spread out across two old Greek houses in the back streets of Ayvalık near the huge church of the same name, the Taksiarhis is a lovely traveller's hangout-cum-hippy hideyhole with two delightful terraces where you can chill on sofas or work on your blog at a table beside a huge pithos full of flowering geraniums. It's a long-time favourite of mine.

The colourful rooms vary greatly in size but are thoughtfully designed to make the most even of quite small spaces.  Don't expect luxury or many mod cons; there's air-con thankfully but no TVs which is just as well since sound carries in the creaky wooden corridors. 

Breakfast, if you opt to take it, is a splendid spread of cheeses and jams and eggs washed down with however much tea or coffee you want. But there's also a kitchen for guest use so you can rustle up your own spread with ingredients bought at the large Thursday market if you prefer.

This is a great place to meet other travellers and exchange ideas. The only downside is the shared bathroom facilities which won't suit everybody, especially as the largest sink is on view to everyone (there's a small one in the upstairs toilet).

Thumbs up: Great views, great atmosphere, bags of character, lovely breakfast

Thumbs down: Lots of stairs so no good for mobility-impaired. Not everyone will like the shared bathrooms.

Tel: 0266-312 1494taksia2

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