Balikesir is a city in the Marmara region of Turkey and has a population over 1 million inhabitants. Its main exports are olive-based products. It is a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists, who use it as a base to explore the nearly countryside which is renowned for its beauty, especially the nearby Mount Ida (Kaz Dagi). The province of Balikesir has pretty little towns of wide natural beauties. The beaches extending for kilometers on both the Aegean and Marmara coasts, the dazzling waters of deep blue, and rich greenery gently covering the land, attract anyone who would like to have a wonderful time in the midst of wonderful scenery.
At or near Balikesir was the Roman town of Hadrianutherae, founded, as its name commemorates, by the emperor Hadrian. During Byzantine ownership the city was known as Palaeokastron (Greek: Palaeologus castle). The remains of the ancient Makestos Bridge are found in the surroundings. Having housed many civilizations in Anatolia throughout its long past, the province is a rich center of historical remains bringing the oldest times of humanity to light. The attractive Yildirim and Zagnos Pasa Mosques in the city center are examples of the monuments of earlier periods besides the interesting clock tower, while the towns nearby also hold ruins from the remote ages, standing in a beautiful natural scenery.

The Gulf of Edremit, lying on the Aegean, is one of these lovely sites, with a broad choice of beaches and seaside resorts overlooking the clear sea. Edremit and Altinoluk (which is an oxygen heaven, ranks second in the world for a high oxygen density) are the towns that stud this wonderful area, together with Oren, where green pine forests meet the sandy shores of fine holiday resorts. In one part of this beautiful village you may see Roman and Byzantine ruins, while in the other you can find the most fresh and delicious seafood and typical dishes of the district, offered by good restaurants.

Kus Cenneti (Bird Sanctuary) National Park, Erdek, Bandirma, Edremit Bays and Ayvalik Coastal Beach and seytan Sofrasi (Table of Devil), Marmara Islands, Alibey (Cunda) Island, Erdek and Gonen Open-Air Museum, Kyzikus Ruins, Balikesir Yildirim Mosque (eski Mosque), Zaganos Pasha Mosque Complex, Clocked Church-Mosque at Ayvalik, Alibey Mosque. Gonen, 30 kilometers from Bandirma, is another excellent relaxation center, possessing therapeutic thermal springs. The health and cure establishments here, have been used by people suffering from various illnesses since the earliest times.

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