This article has been previously published as a part of book Gallipoli Peninsula and the Troad: TAN Travel Guide by Izabela Miszczak
Ezine is a small town located in the southern part of Çanakkale Province. Its location makes this sleepy little town an excellent base for tourists visiting the sights in the Biga Peninsula, i.e. in the ancient Troad region. The most famous product from the Ezine is the local cheese, called, of course, Ezine peyniri. It is made from cow, sheep, and goat milk, and the secret of its flavour lies apparently in the process of maturation in tin containers. This cheese can be purchased at many stores throughout the town. It's hard to miss the opportunity to buy this speciality, even if you are only passing through Ezine on the main road, as the adverts are visible everywhere.
The earliest traces of human settlement in the area of Ezine were found on a nearby mound Çaltıkıran Tepe. However, the history of the town started only with the arrival of Turkish tribes to the area of Asia Minor. The local Danishmend tribe contributed significantly to its development, establishing the Great Mosque (tr. Ulu Cami). It is known that at that time, i.e. in the 14th century, the settlement was known as İğne - "Needle." The Ottoman domination in this region began in the 1350s. In time, Ezine became an important settlement because of its fertile land and trade routes.
The most famous mosque in the Ezine is Seferşah Camii, also called Abdurrahman Camii. It was built in the 14 century, during the reign of Sultan Bayezid I. It is one of the earliest examples of mosques in typical Ottoman style. The walls were built of stone, and the vaulted ceilings - of brick. The wall with the mihrab has four windows on two levels. Apparently, the building material was obtained from the ruins of the ancient city of Neandria. Next to the mosque, there is the tomb of the fourteenth-century hermit called Ahi Yunus.
In the neighbourhood, on Tea Street (tr. Çay Sokak), there is a bathhouse Seferşah Hamamı, built at the same time as Seferşah Mosque. The bathhouse has been restored and still accepts customers, separately men and women as the tradition dictates.
Another notable mosque in Ezine is the Great Mosque (tr. Ulu Cami), also known as Yazicizade Cami, built in 1382, during the reign of a local Danishmend dynasty, but completely rebuilt in 1828. It is near the bridge over the Akçin River, on Ulucami Kısığı Street.
You should also look into the Olive Mosque (tr. Zeytinli Cami), standing at the intersection of Nahit Şenoğul and Long streets, on the western side of the town. Both these buildings were built with the fragments of Roman buildings, and it is worth paying attention to their porches with clearly visible antique columns.
To the east, just a few hundred meters away from Ezine, flows Karamenderes River, in ancient times known as Scamander. One of its tributaries - Akçin River- flows through the centre of the town, although the view of this stream is not attractive in the middle of summer. A city park is an excellent place to spend an afternoon, with the inherent tea garden and a playground for children. The tea served there is tasty, strong, and cheap.
Ezine is a convenient base for exploring the sights in Southern Troad. The ruins of the ancient city Neandria are located only 14 km from Ezine and 22 km away from Ezine are the ruins of Alexandria Troas. The Temple of Apollon Smintheion or Lord of Mice is situated 50 km from the town.
Ezine is located near D550 transit route, and the historic district is situated on the western side of this road, on Akçin River. To get to this part of the Ezine, turn into Atatürk Street from D550 road, and drive in the direction of Seferşah Mosque. If you head westward from this point, you will reach Long Street (tr. Uzun Sokak), with the buildings dating back to the early 20th century. If you go to the south, down Seferşah or Tea streets, you will arrive at the bridge over the river, leading into the city park. The modern part of the town extends to the south of D550 road.
Steer clear of Pino Restaurant, located next door to Baransel Hotel. Maybe we were unlucky, but the dumplings (tr. mantı) that were served to us were extremely distasteful and dry. Fortunately, a delicious beef and vegetable stew (7 TL) compensated this unfortunate experience. Stuffed peppers (tr. biber dolma) (5 TL) were prepared correctly. The prices for non-alcoholic drinks were at a medium level: a large bottle of water cost 2 TL, and a small ayran (yoghurt drink) - 1 TL.
Opposite Baransel Hotel, there are several small eateries, specialising in various Turkish dishes. The bar called Gürel Pide ve Lahmacun Salonu offers different varieties of Turkish pizza (tr. pide, and several kinds of soups and kebabs. While pide (6 TL) was delightful, ezogelin soup and Adana kebab (8 TL) were too heavily salted, which unfortunately happens very often in restaurants operating in the Troad region.
Shopping and services
The biggest cheese shop in Ezine - Gedikoğlu Peynir Market - is located right on the transit route D550. In the centre of the town, there are many groceries, bank branches with ATMs, and a post office. The local bazaar is held every Monday.
By car: the distance from Çanakkale to Ezine is 47 km via E87 (D550) route. This road has been rebuilt for many years now, and the journey may be painfully slow.
By coach: local coach connections from Ezine include: Ayvacık, Çanakkale, Dalyan (near Alexandria Troas), Edremit, Gülpınar (with the Temple of Apollon Smintheion), and Babakale. Long-distance coaches go from Ezine to Ankara (12 hours, 75 TL), Antalya (12 hours, 70 TL), Aydın (7 hours, 50 TL), Denizli (9 hours, 50 TL), İzmir (5 hours, 40 TL), Istanbul (9 hours, 70 TL), and many other locations.
By ferry: the ferry terminal to Bozcaada Island is situated 17 km to the west from Ezine. The terminal is known as Yükyeri İskelesi, near Geyikli village. The ferries usually depart three times per day, and the cruise takes 30 minutes. The road to the ferry terminal is clearly signposted. The terminal is also served by minibuses from Çanakkale and Ezine.
Baransel Hotel (tel. 00 90 286 618 1501) is located in the centre of Ezine, on Tea Street (tr. Çay Sokak) no. 6/C. The hotel has an official category of two stars, and the rates are quite high, for example, a night in a triple room costs 150 TL. The rooms are not very big but equipped with a private bathroom and a refrigerator. Not all rooms have balconies, there is no elevator, and the floors are high. Service is friendly and willing to help, but only Turkish is spoken by the staff.
The big advantage of the hotel is breakfast, served in the restaurant on the top floor. You can dine in the spacious hall or the terrace overlooking the town. Breakfasts are generous, and the choice of ingredients is much wider than in many other hotels. Another attraction is the chance to taste the famous local cheese.
The second option of accommodation in the town centre is the local Teacher's House (tel. +90 286 61 82 411), on Zubeyde Hanım Meydanı Square. It has 12 guest rooms, but often they are all occupied by teachers.