There come times when tiny villages are thrust into the spotlight and their appealing settings and attractive lifestyle become more widely known to the public at large. The best time to visit these special places is just at the point of the knowledge curve when everything is in place for the perfect getaway but the secret is not yet known to the general public.

Like Saint-Tropez in the south of France, Carmel in California, and Búzios up the coast from Rio de Janeiro, the Turkish town of Alaçat? offers a respite from the pressures of urban living where great food is enjoyed in a benign climate and pretty surroundings. Unlike these other places, though, Alaçat? has yet to be discovered by anyone other than sophisticated insiders looking for the ideal weekend retreat.

At the moment, the little village located on the scenic Çeşme Peninsula is a sybaritic hideaway for chic residents of Istanbul and Izmir, as well as a few international visitors who happen upon Alaçat? unexpectedly after touring the magnificent site of Ephesus 90 minutes away by car.

In a region where ancient archaeological sites are as numerous as delicious meals, foreigners who come to Alaçat? (ah-LAH-cha-tuh) are glad to have a place to rest between busy bouts of sightseeing and to sit back to enjoy a glass or three of surprisingly good local Urla wine before taking on the challenge of deciding which eatery will fill them with another excellent meal before heading to bed in one of the beautiful boutique hotels catering to cosmopolitan travellers.