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YENİ FOÇA

"New" Foça                        Population: 4,000

Yenifoca1

Old names: Phocaea (Greek), Foglia Nuova (Genoese)

 

Just north of İzmir sit two small resorts, both called Foça after the ancient settlement of Phocaea. The bigger of the two is Foça itself, sometimes called Eski (Old) Foça to distinguish it from its smaller but in some ways prettier neighbour, Yeni (New) Foça.

Together, the Foças make a great escape from the urban stresses of İzmir, which means that they both get very busy over weekends. Yeni Foça, in particular, is increasingly the province of wealthy second-home owners from the city.yfocabeach

Backstory

Many people are surprised to discover that it is Yeni (New) Foça that has the richer heritage in terms of old houses. But for a long time it was Yeni Foça that was the more important of the two settlements, there having been a Genoese trading colony here from 1275 into Ottoman times.

An important naval battle between the Ottomans and the Venetians took place off the coast here in 1649 during the Cretan War of 1645 to 1669, a war fought for control of Crete.

Around town

Under the Ottomans, the two Foças both had large and wealthy "Greek" populations. Yeni Foça still has whole back streets of lovely old stone houses with blue-painted doors and windows which are being restored at breakneck speed by new owners. In the inevitable way of things, some are doing a good and sensitive job of the restoration, while others seem intent only on stamping their mark on the houses in whatever idiosyncratic way takes their fancy. On the whole though the work tends to be good. yfocadoor

Yeni Foça's beach is little more than a thin strip of gravelly sand, great for watching sunsets but hardly Bounty-bar beautiful. Fortunately there are a number of small bays strung out along the road that links it to Eski Foça. In summer there are daily boat trips out to the offshore islands and better bathing possibilities.

There are no specific sights in Yeni Foça although the belediye is housed in an award-winning restored building. The Griffon Hotel is also housed inside an old olive-oil factory; in the street behind it is a line-up of late 19th-century workers' cottages most with crosses and the date of construction still clear above the doorways. 

There's far less evidence of Yeni Foça's Ottoman Muslim population although near the market you will find the battered remants of an old hamam.

yficacrossEating

Yeni Foça has several pleasant sea-facing restaurants where you can tuck into a levrek (sea bass) with a glass of chilled wine as the sun goes down.

Sleeping

Griffon Boutique Hotel. Tel: 0232-814 7777

Otel Naz. Tel: 0232-814 7828

Transport info

There are hourly  buses from upstairs in İzmir otogar (80km) and timetabled services from Eski Foça (20km) via a string of bays and beach clubs.

If you're staying in İzmir you can also take the İzban to Biçerova and pick up a bus. 

Day trip destinations

Eski Foça

İzmir
Read more about Yeni Foça:http://www.todayszaman.com/news-144852-a-tale-of-two-focas.html

yfocatowerOne of Yeni Foça's tower-houses

yenifocachurch1Yeni Foça Belediyesi before restoration

yfoca1Yeni Foça Belediyesi building after restoration, 2007

 

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