Cesme [pronounced chesh-may] is a popular holiday resort and spa centre located 80 Km west of Izmir city on the westernmost tip of the Cesme peninsula. The Greek Island of Chios is less than 3 Km offshore.
Cesme has a long and rich history having been an important centre down through the ages under Ionian and Ottoman rule and that Greek influence is still evident in the town today.
There are many sulphurous thermal springs around Cesme with some of them springing from the sea with source temperatures in excess of 60° C as can be seen in the nearby beach resort of Ilica. The therapeutic and curative qualities of these springs have made Cesme a renowned spa and thalassotherapy centre. It was these same hot springs and the cooling on shore breezes enjoyed through the long Summer which made Cesme a favoured summer home location for the families of the Ottoman Emperors and nobles of the time.
The town itself is dominated by Cesme Castle and the nearby caravansary. The harbour is at the very centre of the resort where traditional fishing boats mingle with luxury yachts. There is a regular ferry service to the nearby Greek Island of Chios and the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi. There are many bars and restaurants around the resort centre and a couple of larger night clubs on the outskirts.
There is no actual beach in Cesme town but the nearby satellite resort of Ilica [pronounced il-ig-a] more than compensates with its 3.5 Km long white powdered sand beach. The name Ilica means spa or hot spring and the best examples of the undersea sulphurous hot springs which made Cesme famous are actually located in Ilica. Although much smaller than Cesme, Ilica has developed as a resort in its own right with a good choice of shops, bars and restaurants. Some of the best hotels in the Cesme region are located in and around Ilica.
Alacati [pronounced al-a-chat-a] which is 5 Km from Cesme used to be best known for its vineyards and windmills. That same wind which turned the famous windmills has in more recent years been harnessed to make Alacati a world renowned centre for windsurfing and kitesurfing. All kinds of water sports are available and there is a good selection of shops, bars, beach clubs and restaurants to choose from.
Transfer time from Izmir airport: 1 hour.