CUNDA ISLAND, TURKEY
What makes for the perfect romantic holiday destination? How about a beautiful island surrounded by seemingly endless sea glistening brightly in the sun. An island with Greek style stone houses lining its cobblestone streets. An island draped in natural charm and beauty where you can spend hours strolling amongst the olive trees. The island of Cunda seems too good to be true and from the moment we first set foot upon it, we were in love.
Whilst a long weekend is enough to cover the whole of Cunda, it's the kind of place where you can see yourself peacefully spending the rest of your life. But, lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet. For now at least, we're here for the weekend.
First things first, lets get checked into our hotel. Hospitality is a theme that rings through the whole island, and nowhere is that more true than Gule Otel which we were lucky enough to call home during our time here. This little family run hotel perfectly fits Cunda as perfectly as Cinderella's slipper and is the only choice for an unforgettable stay. The rooms are comfortable, quaint and charming and Sehnaz, the owner, is so welcoming and helpful. You won't need to spend much money on food in Cunda as the breakfast buffet at Gule Otel is worthy of Ottoman Empire itself.
You'll want to spend your days exploring which you can easily do on foot. One of the main points of interest is the Sevim and Necdet Kent Library. In the past this library was the Agios Yannis Church but had remained derelict up until 2007. This old church and windmill sits on one of Cunda's highest points and has wonderful 360 degree views of Cunda and its surroundings. From the outside it appears to be a small, modest place of worship doubling as a windmill. On the inside elements of its religious history are still present although now it houses over 1,300 volumes which belonged to the late Mr Rahmi M Koc whose foundation financed it's restoration.
From the library you will see another windmill about a kilometre away. Beautiful in its simplicity it is nothing more than an old windmill which has been left to the elements. The panoramic views are as good, if not better, than those on offer at the library. The perfect place for a photo shoot for all you insta-friends.
Back in the centre you'll find the most important monumental structure on the island, Taxiarches. The church was constructed in 1873 by the Greek Orthodox which then inhabited Cunda. Its neo-classical architecture style is as wonderful now as it was then and is a fitting centrepiece for Cunda.
There's no better way to spend an evening here than at one of the many bars or restaurants. One of our favourites is a cute, little wine bar called 'Vino' which serves up a selection of homemade wines and cheese. After a few glasses, or bottles, head around the corner to Moshos Taverna for some of the best meze you'll ever taste.
If words haven't been able to paint a picture of this heavenly island, here is some more photos from our wonderful weekend there.