If many Turkish holiday resorts seem too touristy to you, consider Cesme for your Turkish holiday in 2018. A picturesque town with an authentic Turkish character, Cesme is popular with both Turkish visitors and international holidaymakers. Retaining its original fishing-village feel, Cesme is unspoilt by tourism and has resisted commercialisation, giving you a prime opportunity to enjoy the best of Turkish culture. Among the must-visit attractions in and around Cesme are the restored Ottoman castle opposite to the harbour, an armament museum and a variety of local beaches.
Cesme has several different areas, each with its own distinctive culture and way of life. Prior to Izmir emerging as the country’s main port, this honour was reserved for Cesme. Historically, Cesme marked the end of the Silk Road, which caravan traders used to transport their goods from Asia through to the Middle East. During the day, the town has a traditionally laid-back and friendly Turkish ambience, while by night, a lively atmosphere descends with a number of cafés, bars and restaurants tempting you in. All in all, Cesme offers the perfect blend of tradition, excellent attractions and convenient amenities that make for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday in Turkey.
You’re never short of options for things to do in Cesme. With its location on a stretch of particularly beautiful coastline, you can simply get up and go to enjoy a number of scenic beaches in the nearby vicinity, watch the fishing boats come and go, and enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. Located on Cesme’s seafront you’ll find the majestic castle, which is in good condition considering it has stood for more than five centuries. Having been previously renovated, Cesme’s castle is one of the best remaining examples of an Ottoman castle, making it a must-see attraction for history lovers. You’ll also find two museums with well-curated modern and historical naval collections.
Wine and Dine
The cuisine in Cesme is typical of Turkish food and drink, with strong Ottoman influences and a number of elements from international cuisine. Turkish cuisine has been heavily influenced by Central Asian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines, bringing a truly distinctive dining experience. The best feature of Turkish cuisine is that it’s rich in fish, herbs and vegetables, making for a nourishing and flavourful culinary experience. Olive oil is used in abundance in Turkish cooking thanks to the numerous olive trees that grow in the country. While many Western cultures start the day with a light breakfast, Turkish cuisine is often rich, involving cheese, olives, eggs, honey and sucuk, or spiced Turkish sausage. Main dishes for lunch and dinner include the ubiquitous Turkish kebabs, soups, savoury and sweet pastries, and a number of smaller sides including cheese and bread.
Cesme’s laid-back atmosphere and relaxed ambience makes it ideal for a fun holiday with your family. While many of the superstar Turkish resorts such as Bodrum have a decidedly touristy feel and little in the way of traditional Turkish culture, Cesme still looks and feels like an authentic Turkish fishing village. This makes it an ideal choice for families that wish to learn more about history and culture, as well as those looking to reconnect with their families, ditch the technology and social media and embrace a more simple way of life. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants and cafés in Cesme to keep all the family happy, and a number of quiet bars that are suitable for spending a quiet evening together as a family.
Action and Adventure
Cesme is a great choice of Turkish holiday destination for those looking to enjoy an active time on holiday and stay in good shape. Of course, the naturally beautiful surroundings of Cesme encourage you to get up and about for plenty of walks in the sunshine, head to the beach and enjoy the crisp sea air. Cesme’s sands gradually shelve into the warm waters of the Aegean Sea, making them perfect for swimming, paddling and banana boat rides.
There are many more water sports available, too, including windsurfing, jet skiing, paddleboarding and the ultimate exhilarating experience, paragliding. A wonderful outdoor day out in Cesme involves visiting the hot springs just five kilometres outside of town. The hot springs are renowned for their incredible health and well-being benefits, thanks to their mineral composition and balanced pH of 6.5. Whether you’re aching from an intense workout or want to treat joint or muscular conditions, the soothing heat and bubbling action of the hot springs will leave you refreshed and reinvigorated, ready for more holiday adventures.
Life's a Beach
The picturesque coastline around Cesme is home to some idyllic beaches whether you’re looking forward to swimming, taking a stroll along the sands or lounging around in the sun. The largest and most popular beach in the area is Ilica Beach, which has warm, clear waters and stronger wind currents that will keep you cool, although you may want to pack a windbreak. Ilica is ideal for families, thanks to the shallow waters creating a safe swimming environment for children, and more mature holidaymakers or inexperienced swimmers.
Alcati Beach features a collection of small coves, some of which have service from upmarket beach clubs. There are a number of water sports schools from which you can rent water sports equipment and take lessons in popular activities including windsurfing. The nearby beach of Atinkum, which means ‘golden sands’, lives up to its name with stunning yellow-hued sands that are soft underfoot. At Aya Yorgi Beach you’ll find more variety in amenities and a number of glamorous beach clubs, ideal for socialising, making new friends and enjoying refreshments under the sun. Another popular nearby beach is Boyalik, which is a hit with the residents of Izmir who are often the owners of summer homes in Cesme.
If you’re looking for a fun and vibrant nightlife scene, Cesme has a wide range of nightclubs and beach clubs, guaranteeing an exhilarating nightlife experience. Within Cesme itself, beach club options include the Fly-Inn Beach Club or the Sole & Mare Beach Club. For more varied nightlife options, make the 15-minute journey by car or public transport to the nearby town of Alacati. Located in a side alley in Alacati, the Nar garden bar offers a cosy, intimate atmosphere and Indie music for a great place to drink with friends or make new ones. If you’re looking to rock out, head to Hayal Kahvesi, ideal for rockers looking to dance and let their hair down. One of the most famous bars in Alacati is the Tektekci Alaciti, a popular cocktail bar that plays a wide range of music including rock, indie and pop and offers free admission. If you’re willing to travel a little further afield, you can head to Izmir to experience the Okuz Club, where you can dance and drink both day and night.
Cesme is the ideal Turkish holiday resort for couples looking for a peaceful holiday experience, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The scenic beach is the ideal venue for lounging in the sun with a drink in hand, taking hand-in-hand strolls and enjoying water sports together. Active couples will enjoy water sports including water skiing, scuba diving and surfing, as well as jet skiing.
Cesme’s convenient location means that you are within easy reach of a number of popular areas including Izmir, which has a number of bazaars and shops where you can treat your significant other to a new piece of jewellery or some designer clothes. If you’re looking to have a culturally-enriching time on holiday and learn more about the heritage of this area together, visit the town of Ildir to see the 3,000-year-old Ionian city, Eryhrai, and walk the picturesque coastline. Cesme’s castle is more than 500 years old and is an excellent example of a well-preserved Ottoman fortification, and there are two museums in Cesme with captivating collections of modern and ancient naval collections.
As a traditional Turkish fishing village with a stunning natural environment, Cesme offers you a prime opportunity to immerse yourself in the authentic culture of the Turkey that is unspoilt by tourism and commercialism. The location used to be known as ‘small port’, and was renamed later after a fountain.
The culture in Turkey is traditional and family-orientated, making it the ideal holiday destination to come together with your loved ones and spend plenty of quality time together. Turkey is also world-famous for its major focus on hospitality – known in Turkey as misafirperverlik – which is one of the cornerstones of lifestyle here. Families and friends often visit each other’s houses for meals and long conversations, while the atmosphere in the local clubs and restaurants is similarly friendly and welcoming. It’s worth noting that as a predominantly Muslim country, drinking alcoholic beverages in public is considered impolite and is not sold during times of religious importance, such as Ramadan.
Some of the best cultural attractions in and around Cesme include a day excursion to the town of Ildir, a 3,000-year-old city which was formerly named Erythrai. You’ll also find one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture in the castle at Cesme, while you can learn more about both the historic and modern naval world at two museums here. The most important local festival is the Izmir Festival, an annual event that aims to bring together music lovers and performers from around the world.