In brief:
How to Get
Bus Terminal in Balıkesir
Train Station in Balıkesir
The ferry that runs between İstanbul and Bandırma - Balıkesir
The Airport in Balıkesir
Where to Visit
Kuvayı Milliye Museum:
It is in the old town hole. Balıkesir is a frontier province for development of Kuvayı Milliye, written decisions of 41 vanguard representatives, 5 main decision of congress, private items of these heroes, their photographs, and some photographs of Atatürk which taken when he arrived in to Balıkesir province. The archeological findings and ethnographic creations are exhibited on the second floor.
Moreover, there are Erdemit city museum and Erdek open air museum present at the Balıkesir province.

Zağnos Paşa Mosque: It was built as a külliye by Zağnos Pasha, who was the vizier and commander of Fatih Sultan Mehmet period 1461. Only the mosque and public bath has reached today which are in the city center towards Hasanbaba Bazaar.

Yıldırım Mosque: It was built by Yıldırım Beyazıt in the second half of 14th century.

Karesi Bey Tomb: It is at behind side of Pasha Mosque. Inside the tomb there are graves of Karesi Bey who was the founder of Karesi Governmental and his 5th son's.
Preserved Areas
Kuscenneti National Park
Kazdagi National Park

Ayvalık Islands
Gürgen Dagi Nature Reserve
Kuscenneti National Park


Location: Kuscenneti (Bird Paradise) is 20km southwest of Bandirma, and around 50km north of Balikesir, adjacent to Kus lake.

Transportation: The park can be reached via the Balikesir – Bandirma highway.

At the end of the winter the level water in Kus Lake rises, which cover the small willow grove and reed beds at the northwest of the lake. By spring, migrating birds fly from the southern regions to the national park and nest, so their young are hatching and growing in the area. At the end of summer, they return to the warmer south. This tiny area (64 hectares) is a popular migrating spot for birds from Europe and Asia, who fly here for the nourishment of the lake water, willow tree groves and reeds, making it a world-famous bird-watching location. There are 239 different species inhabiting the area during these months, with a total of three million birds.

An unique characteristic of the Kuscenneti National Park is its award of the Class A European Diploma from the European Council four times since 1976, because of its effective and successful protection for bird life. The best months for bird watching are between March and July, and September and October. There is a watchtower that gives a wide range of viewing facility in the area.

Detailed information about the birds, and the park in general, is provided in the museum and the administrative building inside the park. Scientific research here requires permission from the park directorate. There are no facilities for food or accommodation, but the nearest place is in the village of Sigirciatik, or else further in Bandirma.

Kazdagi National Park

Location: The park is in the district of Edremit, in Balikesir province.

The park can be reached via the 230 highway from Balikesir (92km), and the 24 highway from Bursa.

Highlights: Kaz Dagi, originally called Ida in ancient times, separates the Aegean and Marmara regions and is the highest in the Biga peninsula at 1774m. Places to visit include the valleys with their rich variety of flora and fauna; the mythological Ida Mountain which was said to be the venue of the first beauty contest; and the area of Sarikiz, in which the Sarikiz myth took place.

In specially designated areas, is it possible to stay in tents or caravans.

Ayvalık Islands
Location: The Ayvalik Islands are just off the coast of Ayvalik, 100km west of Balikesir and 50km northwest of Bergama.

Transportation: The islands are accessible by road and boat. The largest, Alibey Adasi, is accessible by two causeways which link it to the mainland and to the tiny Lale Adasi, and there are public buses which take both these routes. In the summer, there are boats leaving from the centre of Ayvalik.

Highlights: Alibey Adasi is the best known for its ruins of Greek churches and old stone houses, inhabited by Greeks before 1922, and has a pleasant village atmosphere when walking around the quiet backstreets. Halfway up the hill from the harbour is the Church of the Taksiarhis, now abandoned. The structure of the islands means there is little plant life.

Facilities: There are several places to stay in Alibey Adasi, and many seafood restaurants along the waterfront. There are plans for a water-sports centre in the area of Seytan Sofrasi, where it will be possible to dive.

Gürgen Dagi Nature Reserve

Location: The park is between Zeytinli and Ortaoba, 124km from Balikesir and 35km from Edremit.

Transportation: Edremit is a good transport hub and is well connected to the rest of the country. The nearest airport is at Balikesir.

Highlights: The area is especially noted for the rare and endangered Ida Mountain fir tree, and the rich wildlife in the unique forest ecosystem. In addition to the fir, the 240 hectares also has larch and eastern beech trees, and the animals living here include deer, roe deer, pigs, bears, wolves and jackals.
The Eastern Black Sea. The area has the status of nature reserve in order to protect these features.

Castles and towers:
Watch Tower:
It is in the city center, on the Anafartalar avenue adjacent to old Town hall. It was built by Governer of Silistre, Giridizade Mehmet Pasha, resembling to Galata Tower 1827. Destroyed in 1897 earthquake and restored by Mutasarrıf Ömer Ali bey, and take today's formation .
Sporting Activities:
Nature Tracking

Alaçam Mountains: It is at the east of province. Lie towards east to west. The highest hill is Tilki Hill with 1625 meters.

Madra Mountains: It split the Aegean and Marmara seas from each other. This mountain is at the south west of province and lie towards north east. Highest hill is 1338 meter height.

Kaz Mountains: It is at the west of provinces borders and north of the Edremit Bay. Mountains name mentioned as İda in mythology and lie towards to west, height reach's to 1767 meter.

Çatal Mountain: The mountains has two big slangs that lies on the east side, towards to the district of Susurluk. It is belong to Orhaneli mountain group with 1336 meters of heigth.

Kapidag: It is a peninsula take places in between the gulf of Bandirma and Erdek. The height is up to 200 meters. It takes place from very steepy slopes, covered on by maquis that reaches until to the sea.

Diving sport : Especially small bays at Ayvalık shore are suitable for diving in Balıkesir province.

Thermal Resorts
Gönen Thermal Spring : The springs in Gönen county are very historic. Thermal spring operated at the times of Egyptians, Romans and Byzantine. Items about ancient thermal institutions that founded during the excavation processes in region are exhibits at Gönen open air museum.

The province is rich by the means of thermal springs. Gönen Thermal Spring is the most important thermal spring of Balıkesir. Pamukçu Thermal Spring, Gönen - Dağ Ilıcası (Ekşidere Gençlik Mineral water), Edremit - Güre Thermal Spring, Edremit - Derman Thermal Spring, Balya-Ilıca Thermal Spring, Bigadiç - Hisarköy Thermal Spring, Sındırgı - Hisaralan Thermal Spring, Sındırgı - Emendere Thermal Spring, Susurluk - Kepekler Thermal Spring, Susurluk - Acıca Mineral water, Manyas - Kızıkköy Thermal Spring and Gömeç-Karaağaç Thermal Spring other springs of province.
At province generally the Mediterranean climate is dominant, however characteristic properties of this climate seems only at shore of the Aegean sea. Insider territories are under the effect of terrestrial climate.
It is estimated that Balıkesir and surroundings are settlement place since Prehistoric Age BC. 3200. Pelasg's nation that coming from the Balkans are formed colonies at the years of BC. 2000. Balıkesir lived at the periods of Frig, Lydia, Persian, Macedonian, Bergama Kingdom, Rome and Byzantine.

After the Malazgirt battle (1071) Karesi Bey who was son of a Seljuklian governor Kalem Şah Bey, conquered and formed Karesi Governmental and make Balıkesir capitol but he accepted Ottoman Dominance. Balıkesir proclaimed the status of province in 1923. Province old name Karesi changed to Balıkesir in 1926 .
Where to Eat
Höşmerim cookies and Susurluk ayran (a drink with yogurt) are famous at province.
What to Buy
Höşmerim cookie, cologne, Yağcı Bedir rugs are suggested original works to buy at shopping.
Don't Leave Without
- Watching sinking sun at Devil's table,

- Swimming at beach of counties,

- Using Thermal springs

- Eating Höşmerim cookies, drinking Susurluk ayran

- Buying cologne and buying Yağcı Bedir rugs at Sındırgı

Hoşmerim, Höşmerim or Höşmelim, is a dough dessert with a semolina. It is a yellow sweet which is prepared more different in Balıkesir region. According to legend, hoşmerim was first time cooked by a woman. And she served it to her husband. Then asked her husband " Hoş mu erim ?” (means; is it delicious?) and from there the food name Hoşmerim as remained.

Perhaps the most famous Ayran, even in its native land Turkey, is the Susurluk Ayran. Susurluk, is a small town near Marmara, on the way from Istanbul to Izmir province in South.
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