Bozcaada, Bozcaada (Tenedos), Turkey
This tiny island 12 miles off the Turkish coast embodies the ideal of the “hidden gem.” Its harbor is dominated by a sprawling crenelated fortress with Byzantine, Venetian, Genoese and Ottoman provenance. Its compact town invites visitors to explore winding cobblestone streets with no other objective than to immerse themselves in the antique atmosphere. There is no compelling attraction here other than the picturesque, but unpretentious charm of a quiet, unspoiled haven. Its small museum is the creation of a loving amateur, Hakan Guruney, who often personally leads visitors through his collection of objects and memorabilia recollecting his island’s, and in many ways his nation’s history. Much of the island’s fifteen square miles is dedicated to vineyards producing both red and white varietals. Ayazma beach offers clear water, although freshwater springs keep the water chilly even in the summer heat. At the peninsular Polente Feneri, a white lighthouse is guarded by a picket of modern, three-bladed windmills. Local flavors worth tasting are red poppy syrup and a luscious tomato jam you won’t find anywhere else.