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Tourism in Balıkesir

Tourism in Turkey

Balıkesir, has a strong profile in tourism with its shores in Marmara and Aegean Seas, its geothermal sources, its biodiversity and its historical atmosphere.

Housing many forms of tourism from coastal tourism to thermal tourism, and from culture tourism to nature tourism, the province meets with tourists throughout the year.

  • Advanced Coastal Tourism on 290 km Coast
  • Alternative Tourism Activities
  • Four Seasons Tourism
  • Rich Cultural and Natural Asset
  • Developing Thermal Tourism with Geothermal Sources

Coastal Tourism

dalis sporlari

Having a shore of 291 km on Marmara and Aegean Seas, Balıkesir has developed tourism industry in Ayvalık, Gömeç, Burhaniye, Edremit, Erdek and Marmara Island.

Ayvalık has a strong potential for coastal tourism while 7 km long and 100 m wide Sarımsaklı beach and Altınova beaches add to the attraction of the province in summers. Ayvalık Islands, Edremit Bay and Marmara Islands are tourist hotspots with their unique coves and bays suitable for diving, paragliding and surfing. With its red coral, Ayvalık particularly is an important diving spot. While Balıkesir boasts a population of 1.2 million, this figure reaches 3 million with the number of tourists added in summer.

Thermal Tourism

Balıkesir is the province with the most thermal tourism centers in Turkey. There are 8 different thermal tourism centers in the province.

Flow rates and water temperatures of the Geothermal Sources

  • Edremit-Güre; Flow rate 4-50 l/sec, Temperature 33-68 °C
  • Edremit-Bostancı Flow rate 2-86 l/sec, Temperature 42-60 °C
  • Gömeç-Karaağaç Burhaniye-Pelitköy; Flow rate 5-30 l/sec, Temperature 33-35 °C
  • Gönen; Flow rate 20-80 l/sec, Temperature 70-84 °C
  • Gönen-Ekşidere; Flow rate 2-6 l/sec, Temperature 32-43 °C
  • Manyas Kızık; Flow rate 10-15 l/sec, Temperature 42-58 °C
  • Balya Ilıca; Flow rate 2-27 l/sec, Temperature 59-61 °C
  • Susurluk-Kepekler-Yıldız; Flow rate 2-24 l/sec, Temperature 46-74 °C
  • Altıeylül–Pamukçu; Flow rate 7-18 l/sec, Temperature 53-58 °C
  • Bigadiç Hisarköy; Flow rate 2-60 l/sec, Temperature 52-98 °C
  • Sındırgı-Hisaralan; Flow rate 7-32 l/sec, Temperature 33-98 °C

Culture Tourism

kültür turizmi

Balıkesir is a center of attraction in culture tourism with its monasteries, museums and ancient cities. Housing many ancient cities such as Antandros, Daskyleion, Kyzikos and Adramytteion, the province also has excavations and restoration works in cooperation with Ministry of Tourism and Culture and universities at a rapidly increasing speed

Balikesir rich historical and cultural assets, starting from the ancient ages such as Rome, Byzantium, Seljuk, Anatolian Turkish Principality and Ottoman Empire. Additionally, 8 museums serve to promote and introduce the handcrafts and historical social structure prominent in these ages.

Gastronomy Tourism

Balıkesir has a strong potential, in gastronomy tourism with its agricultural product diversity, eating habits and its rich cuisine. Ayvalık olive oil produced in the province has geographic marking and is used as a significant tourism symbol in the province.

Höşmerim dessert, Edremit green scratched olives, Spicy olive oil, Gönen meat, Gönen baldo rice, Manyas Mihalıç Cheese, Susurluk Buttermilk and Susurluk-Ayvalık Toast, Aegean Herbs, Sea products, Creamy Balıkesir constitute Balıkesir’s unique gastronomic values.

Wits nature, rich flora and convenient climate conditions has made Balıkesir a unique region for nature tourism investments. The environment is sufficient for many alternative tourism investments such as tableland tourism, hiking and trekking, speleological (cave) tourism, bird watching, botanic and hunting tourism. Especially the biodiversity, flora and fauna of The Mount Ida make it trending in nature tourism. Dursunbey Alaçam Mountains is a center of attraction for campers with its ecologic structure.

Trekking

Topographic features of The Mount Ida in Balıkesir, make it a center of attraction for tourists interested in trekking activities.  Yayla hill and Ayı stream in the Mount Ida are significant stops while Sındırgı, Dursunbey, İvrindi, Edremit, Ayvalık, Erdek and Susurluk hosts trekking organizations.

Balıkesir turizm

Jeep Safari

Developing under favorable geographic features, jeep safari tours make the province a favored stop for nature lovers. Especially the Mount Ida area is highly sought area for jeep safari tours.

Bird Watching

kus cenneti milli park

With its diverse species Bird Sanctuary National Park in Manyas is the number one spot for bird watchers in Turkey. National Park houses many wild birds, especially water birds.

Additionally, Gönen and Edremit have potentials for bird watching.

Agro-tourism

Being an agriculture city, Balıkesir has a strong potential for agricultural tourism also known as agro-tourism activities.

Ayvalık, Burhaniye, Gömeç, Havran and Edremit are the centers where agro-tourism flourish with their rural landscape, natural beauties and alternative tourism areas they possess.

Botanic Trips

Balıkesir is a significant center of attraction for those interested in botanics with the rich flora and endemic plant species it accommodates. Edremit, Erdek, Marmara, Susurluk, Dursunbey and Bigadiç are major centers for botanic trips.

Hunting Tourism

Recreational fishing is developed in Ayvalık, Burhaniye, Edremit, Bandırma and Marmara Island while hunting is developed in inland areas of Balıkesir and in Dursunbey. The province has 5 different hunting areas.

Astro-tourism      

Another rising trends of the 21st century is the dark escape locations where people can get away from crowded and illuminated cities and get rid of light pollution.

Balıkesir has numerous dark locations where the Milky Way and other stars present a fabulous visual feast. These dark locations provide opportunities to organize many activities such as astronomy education activities, amateur astronomer observations, astrophotography.

Especially Sındırgı, Dursunbey, İvrindi, Savaştepe and Balya houses many locations that attract numerous visitors from around Turkey.

Geriatrics Tourism

Also known as advanced age tourism, geriatrics tourism includes elderly care services, engagement tours, special care for persons with disabilities and trips.

Balıkesir is prominent in geriatrics tourism with its curing thermal sources. Geriatrics tourism is especially prominent in Gönen, Edremit, Sındırgı and Bigadiç counties with their hot springs with appropriate flow rates and temperatures as well as their healing physical and chemical compounds. Additionally, skirts of the Mount Ida are among the ideal locations for health tourism with their fresh air and microclimatic properties

Rich Biodiversity: “The Mount Ida National Park”

Separating Aegean and Marmara Regions and known as “The Mount Ida” in ancient times, Kaz Dağı is also the highest mountain of Biga Peninsula.

Deep valleys and canyons of the Mount Ida is a must see nature tourism center with its rich flora and fauna. Şahinderesi Canyon in the area is a favourite of nature lovers with its geographical formations.

Declared a national park in 1994, the region spreads over 22,000 hectares and houses natural beauties in green and blue with 31 endemic species. Hunting is forbidden in the tourism area, which has a rich biodiversity in wildlife.

Manyas Bird Watching Station: “Bird Sanctuary National Park”

Bird Sanctuary National Park spreads over 17,000 hectares and has been declared a national park in 1959 with its biodiversity and different bird species. Located on the migration routes of birds, the national park has huge breeding colonies, where birds nestle in trees and reeds consisting of pelicans, kingfisher, spoonbill, cormorant, wild goose, wild duck and other passerines.

National Park is a center of attraction for bird watching societies with its wide range of wildlife.

araliksiz turizm

Balıkesir doğa

Facilities Infrastructure and Tourism Related Data

Balıkesir has a total of 680 lodging facilities 80 of which are approved by Ministry of Culture and Tourism and while the rest are approved by their respective municipalities; with a bed capacity exceeding 35,000. Tourism businesses are generally concentrated around Edremit Bay and Erdek Area.

COUNTIES

OVERNIGHT STAY

DOMESTIC

FOREIGN

TOTAL

AYVALIK

717.995

214.609

932.604

EDREMİT

624.813

23.072

647.885

GÖNEN

386.523

11.412

397.935

MARMARA

247.509

1.366

248.875

KARESİ

202.012

14.545

216.557

ERDEK

165.707

12.547

178.254

BANDIRMA

121.979

10.554

132.533

BİGADİÇ

119.473

1.960

121.433

BURHANİYE

80.634

26.512

107.146

MANYAS

69.589

36

69.625

SUSURLUK

62.165

1.723

63.888

SINDIRGI

56.906

355

57.261

ALTIEYLÜL

36.192

2.227

38.419

BALYA

19.189

116

19.305

DURSUNBEY

13.349

285

13.634

KEPSUT

4.966

0

4.966

GÖMEÇ

1.357

83

1.440

TOTAL

321.402

2.930.358

3.251.760