A vacation to Cesme Turkey will take you to the very tip of a peninsula that stretches to only about two miles from the island of Chios in Greece. At the head of this peninsula, about 50 miles to the east, is the city of Izmir. Cesme (pronounced CHESH-may) is the port for ferries both to Chios and to the west coast of Italy. This is the northernmost part of the lovely Turquoise Coast that extends south for another 1,000 miles or so to Alanya.
Cesme travel is particularly popular with the residents of Izmir who come here for quick weekend vacations. A vacation to Cesme Turkey is also popular with tourists from Europe, especially the Scandinavian and United Kingdom countries. Visitors from the United States come here less often, but are beginning to discover the attractions of this ancient city on the Aegean, set on one of the most beautiful and unspoiled stretches of coastline in the country. There is a wide selection of excellent Cesme hotels, good restaurants, lively nightlife, and plenty of water sports and sailing.
There are many sources of fresh water here, and the word Cesme means "fountain" or "spring." Because of this, there is a lot of agriculture, with fields of artichokes, sesame, and aniseed, and orchards of fig and gum trees as a green counterpoint to the endless azure waters and blue skies. There is also an excellent highway from Izmir, so car rentals are a good option for a quick visit, and the drive is quite lovely.
The history of Cesme travel dates to before the Christian era when it was an important seaport visited by the ancient mariners of Greece, Italy, and Egypt. Even Marc Antony and Cleopatra ventured this far north from their home in the south at Fethiye. It has been ruled variously by the Byzantines, Seljuk Turks, and finally the Ottomans. From these centuries of occupation and exploration comes the massive Cesme Castle that dominates the little port and was built by the Genoese as a fortress in the fourteenth century. Today, one of the many museums of the country is housed here.
Near the castle fortress is a sixteenth-century caravanserai, that now serves as one of the town's unique boutique hotels. A caravanserai is a roadside inn with the purpose of serving the lodging and dining needs of caravans traveling to the seaport with goods from the East. In fact, Cesme was the terminus of one of the routes of the fabled Silk Road, and this is another indication of how long Cesme travel has been going on.
A vacation to Cesme Turkey may well take you to one of the smaller villages around the larger town. Dalyan, a little fishing village, is particularly idyllic. It boasts some of the finest seafood restaurants and dining spots in the area, as well as long stretches of pristine beaches. These are some of the longest beaches on the entire Turquoise Coast. Little Ciftilik is also quite near, and has two very popular beaches, Golden Beach and Pirlanta Beach. There are numerous old Greek style windmills here, many of which have been converted into restaurants.
Things to do in Cesme include visiting the Church of Agios Harambos, which is now an art gallery, and the thermal Turkish baths and spas that take advantage of the many springs in the region. The pedestrian promenade along the harbor boasts some lively nightlife, and yachts can be chartered to explore the coves and inlets of the peninsula. If you are deciding when to go to catch one of the country's most important events, consider July when the International Song Contest is held. If you want you get in some shopping, reserve Sunday, as that is market day. There is also a Saturday market in nearby Alacati.