Cunda Island, also called Alibey Island, (Turkish: Cunda Adası, Alibey Adası; Greek is the largest of a group of islands, formerly called Εκατόνησα Hekatonisa or Μοσχονήσια /Moshonisia in Greek. It is a small island in the northwestern Aegean Sea off the coast of Ayvalık, part of Balıkesir Province of Turkey, with an area of 23 km². It is located 16 km east of Lesbos, Greece. The population numbered about 5,000 in 2000, while it had about 14.000 people at the beginning of the 20th century, all Greek speaking.
Cunda is linked to Ayvalık on the mainland by a causeway. The island has a typical resort town, and a bus and ferry link to Ayvalık.
Most of the island’s former Greek population got killed in September 1922 - contrary to the Greek population of Ayvalik that was expelled - and only few families managed to survive by escaping to Lesbos. Following the Lausanne treaty (1923), it was replaced by Muslims from Crete, Cretan Turks and Lesbos. The main landmark of Cunda remains the Taksiarchis church, the large former Greek Orthodox cathedral, now abandoned and dilapidated.
Broken stairs at interior of Cunda Cathedral
Poroselene bay in the north of the island is probably the island’s major “sight.” In antiquity, it was the home of a dolphin who saved a drowning boy, mentioned by Pausanias.
Other interesting places to visit are the abandoned monasteries Taksiarchis ta Tsamia, Agios Dimitris ta Selina, Agios Giorgis to Psifi and Agios Giannis o Prodromos.