The Aegean Sea is studded with very beautiful beaches and great tourist destinations that are distributed in different countries.
One of these beaches is that of Cesme, very popular city and spa which rests at the tip of a peninsula about 85 kilometers from Izmir, in Turkey. Just look at the photograph that crowns this article to want to travel.
Cesme, the beautiful
The name in Turkish means "source" And it makes sense because throughout the city there are ancient sources of Ottoman origin and hot springs. It has long been a place where wealthy people had a second home, but for some time now the peninsula has become an international seaside resort.
Today It has hotels, rental houses, a marina, restaurants and everything that any visitor who wants to spend a few days off here needs. The entire peninsula is the target, beyond the charming city, because around it there are picturesque villages, other smaller cities and beautiful landscapes to explore.
How can you get there? If you arrive in Izmir you can take a bus as there are several services per day and they circulate on the route that connects both cities. You can also arrive by bus from Istanbul after eight hours of travel or if you are in Greece, on the island of Chios, you can catch the ferry. The trip is one hour.
Even there are cruise routes that touch Çesme , between the months of June and October, and that is why it has a modern cruise terminal that can be accessed from the Çesme Castle after about 20 minutes of walking along the coast.
Luckily within the city one can get around on foot. It is a compact city and easy to get around. A little map is enough, locate the castle and voila, it is super easy to navigate. You can get the map at the tourist office that is on the pier, next to the Customs and in front of the castle. From 8:30 it has its doors open.
What to see in Çesme
For cafes, tea houses and restaurants are crowded around the main square to eat out, relax and see the social life of the city with great views of the Aegean.
El Çesme Castle It dates from the beginning of the XNUMXth century and was rebuilt by Sultan Beyzit in order to have a good defense against the pirate attacks that were ravaging the area at that time.
It is an imposing fortress of six towers and moats that surround it on three of its sides. From the battlements the views of the city and the sea are great and luckily it is a very well preserved building and its two history museums They are very interesting.
In one of them there is a collection related to the ancient city of Erythrai and in the other one that deals with the Turkish-Russian war. You will see on the front a statue of Algerian Gazi Hasan Pasha, famous commander of a historical event known as the Battle of Çesme, and if you go in July it is a nice setting for the music festival organized by the city.
Cesme is history so knowing the castle also includes walk through the old town of the city that contains more constructions of the XVIII and XIX centuries, of Greek neoclassical style and that are well preserved. In addition there are Ottoman buildings, more peculiar, and one can walk very calmly through its streets.
The most recent works in the city are concentrated on the coast because six years ago the new marina, larger, with a 90 meter breakwater and multitude of shops and places to eat and drink by the sea.
South of the city are the best beaches where you can sunbathe, windsurf or kitesurf as well. There are miles and miles of golden sands throughout the peninsula and there is a lot to choose from, although some are quite inaccessible and one wonders when they will improve access.
Some beaches are very popular and you must pay an entrance fee to be on them, this is the case of the beach of Beachfront Beach Club, in Piyade cove. Is what must to see and be seen.
One of the best beaches is the Pirlanta Beach, sprawling and golden, just southwest of the city, and another is Altinkum Beach. If you like gentler waters, it is Wheel Beach, the most sought after by families with children. The same Buyuk Beach, with calm waters, very clean and warm thanks to the proximity of the hot springs, as well as decorated with white sands and not golden like the rest.
This makes the beach very crowded, so if you go in high season be prepared for crowds. To make windsurf you should go to the furthest Alaçati, one of the best places in the world to practice this sport, even home to international competitions.
What to see beyond Çesme
Not everything is beach, sun and rest. If you are one of those active tourists, who cannot stay in the sun for long, you can organize excursions around. There are many interesting archaeological sites in this part of Turkey.
Nearby is the spa by Ilica with its soft bay of white sands and thermal baths. About 20 kilometers away is IIdiri, a site declared National Heritage for its antiquity, its ramparts and mosaic floors from the Hellenic period still shining. And if you go up to its acropolis at sunset, what a view!
kiddle is a fishing village on a deep-water coast northeast of Çesme. As you can guess, it is one of the best places to eat fish and seafood and at night the taverns turn on their lights and you have a super nice time.
Amount Çitflik, where is Pirlanta Plaj beach and Altinkum beach, near which you can camp. The village of Alaçcati It is beautiful, with some of its windmills converted into restaurants and it also owns many beaches.
Urla Iskelesi it is another destination in the peninsula and the same Gümüldür, Sigacik or Seferihisar, all destinations with beaches and ancient ruins.
You can take a bus and visit Izmir, for example, the old Smyrna, to walk through its museums of archeology and ethnography, by the ruins of the distance novel, the castle and everything that was saved from the Russo-Turkish war back in the 20s.
Another excursion you can do is go to know Ephesus, undoubtedly a pearl of the Mediterranean that has to do with the Greco-Roman past of this area. There are also the ruins of the ancient Pergamon, north of Bergama, and if you want to go further, go further inland and arrive Hierapolis and Pamukkale with its magnificent ruins and the ice waterfall, waterfalls that are actually made of limestone and that seem to drift off the mountainside. A show.