Cesme is a seaside resort town off the Aegean coast. Composed of golden beaches, thermal springs, green rolling hills and a welcoming chic ambience. Just an hour’s drive from Izmir, making this a popular pick for those that are looking to have a weekend getaway from the energetic city. Lying on the extreme tip of Turkey, the peninsula that Cesme sits on has about twenty different bays, beaches and coves that spread out the tourist population. The variety of natural landscapes is not the only thing that Cesme offers. It also offers a variety of activities and accommodation options from five-star to low budget.
Things to do in Cesme
The name of the town means ‘drinking fountain’. You quickly learn why once you begin to notice the scattered about Ottoman fountains. Some of these fountains are still functioning. The old downtown area is a mix of neo-classical buildings, Greek-style houses and Turkish style. All of these buildings huddle by the sixteenth century Cesme Castle, which is close to the shoreline. Built-in 1508 the fortress stands with dramatic walls that glint in the sunlight. The fortress is open for exploration, should you be seeking picturesque views of Cesme. Or better yet curious of the undulating steps through the fortress towers. Inside the castle at the Umur Bey Tower, there is a museum that displays archaeological finds and artefacts from the Bronze Age and the Roman Era. Once out of the fortress and if you look towards the sea you might spot the state of Cezayirli Gazi, the great Ottoman admiral. By his side is a lion that he supposedly brought back from Africa.
Another major attraction at Cesme is the bounty of surf options available. Asides from actual surfing there is also perfect spots for kite surfing and windsurfing all complete with a deep azure sea. In case, you tire yourself out with these active water sports, laze at the beach and watch the clear turquoise water lap up the shore. Or better yet make a revitalizing trip to the thermal baths one of the stand-alone pools or at the hotels. The main health resort is in Illica thanks to the many thermal springs available. Should all the activity actually stimulate your hunger there is a good share of restaurants and bars about the town. More importantly, grab a ‘Kumru’ sandwich. This local warm sandwich is made from special bread, Turkish sausage, grilled cheese and tomatoes. As a dessert treat yourself to some ice cream in the unique honey and almond flavour.
How to get to Cesme
Cesme is less than an hour away should you choose to take a car or a bus from Izmir. While from Istanbul the bus is about 8 hours. There are also daily ferries that connect Cesme from the Greek Island of Chios. If you enjoyed this beach resort scene be sure to visit Didim or Kusadasi via any of the ferry connections. Also not too far there is the Grecian counterpart, Samos Island.