Cesme – Izmir


Cesme, 80 km away from the metropolitan center of Izmir, is the westernmost point of the Anatolian peninsula. Cesme County is bordered to the north by Karaburun County and to the east by Urla County. To its west and south lies the Aegean Sea and across the sea, the island of Chios. Its 29 km long seashore, from Ildiri (Erythrai) to Alacati, is a perfect holiday destination. With hospitality options including hotels, motels, pensions and summer houses, Cesme provides you with a unique geography where human life intertwines with nature.


Cesme, which was called Cyssus during antiquity, was known to be the port that served Erythrai (Ildiri), one of the 12 Ionian cities. For this reason, Cesme has always been referred to together with Ildiri. The early history of Ildiri region goes back to the Bronze age. It came under the dominance of the Lydian State in 560 BC, but in 546 BC it fell to the Persian Empire. Trade flourished, due to its sheltered port, good farm land, and close proximity to Chios. Cesme maintained its commercial importance throughout the ages. In 334 BC Macedonian king Alexander the Great captured the region. After the death of King Attalus, in 133 BC, the Pergamum Kingdom was annexed to the Roman Empire, and Ildiri and its environs became an independent city in the Asian province of the Romans. The name Cesme dates to the time of Ottoman rule, and derives from the cool spring waters and famous fountains that exist to the present day – the word means “faucet” or “front” in Turkish.

With the development of port of İzmir, Çeşme has lost its importance as a trading port. However, it has gained a second life as one of the most important tourism centres of the whole Aegean Region. Its natural beaches and modem resorts are visited by the tens of thousands of holidaymakers who flock to its magnificent coast every year.


Fortress of Cesme

The fortress was built in 1508 during the reign of Sultan Bayezid. It is based on a rectangular plan with a citadel, and outer walls strengthened with six towers. It was built to defend the port, sitting right at the sea’s edge. Later land reclamation efforts, however, have pushed back the waters. Today the fortress hosts the annual Cesme International Festival, which is held between 2 and 7 July, and other cultural and artistic activities, including musical contests.

Cesme Museum

The Fortress of Cesme houses the Archeological Museum which exhibits many archaeological and ethnographic objects recovered from Ildiri (Erythrai), Cesme and Alacati. Objects on display include the finds of the underwater archaeological survey of the sites of the naval battles as well as reproduction paintings and archival documents related with these wars. The museum has also two separate exhibition halls for marble objects and smaller ceramic and earthenware artifacts.


The Caravanserai, built by the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1528, served as a secure staging post for traders, especially foreign traders, during the Ottoman Period. At present it is a fine hotel. While the hotel provides overnight accommodation, it also serves
as a venue of entertainment and shopping including every kind of product from hand woven carpets to leather clothes.


Ali of the mosques in Çeşme were built during the 19th century. They display common architectural features and ali of them are stili functioning. The oldest one is Hadji Memiş Aga Mosque which was built in 1827. The mosque has a rectangular plan and solid stone walls. Its roof is covered with terracotta tiles, and its cut stone minaret has a single gallery. Its carved wooden pulpit carries geometrical and plant motifs. The Hadji Mehmet Aga Mosque, which was built in 1842, has a similar architectural plan.

The Osman Aga Mosque was constructed by Osman Aga in 1835 as a two storey building with rough stone walls. The Memiş Aga Mosque in Alaçatı was dated to the 19th century through the headstones found in its graveyard. The mosque has an octagonal plan and differs from other mosques. Its cut stone minaret has a single gallery.

Haralambos Church

The church, believed to have been built in the 19th century, has a basilica plan with three aisles and two storeys, It was built of solid stone, and today it serves as a cultural centre exhibiting various artistic activities.


Fountains have adorned the streets and paths of Anatolian villages and towns for centuries. They are distinctive and attractive features of the Anatolian architectural history. The fountains in Çeşme were built and dedicated to the public use by wealthy citizens in the 1800s. These fountains lend their name to the region. Besides bearing classical features of Ottoman architecture, several Street corner fountains of Çeşme are simple structures. Kabadayı Fountain, Maraş Fountain, Kandıra Fountain and many other fountains reflect the historical texture of Çeşme with their authentic architectural styles.

Traditional Çeşme Houses

Traditional Çeşme houses, well known for their aesthetically pleasing designs, were built side by side without front gardens. Their entrance doors open directly to the road and are sided by ground floor windows with shutters. The front walls of fırst floors are extended on cantilevers. Generally a yellow coloured stone (Köste stone) is used for building. The front elevations end with shallow gables. Another feature of Çeşme houses is two-dimensional plaster adornment technique called “sgraffito.” In this technique, layers of different coloured plaster are applied on top of each other while the lower is wet. The outlines of a design are created by scratching through layers.


Çeşme, with its 29-kilometre-long shoreline, crystal clear waters, beautiful vistas, and natural beaches, is an excellent spot to enjoy sea, sun and sand. Çeşme is among the prime locations in the whole Aegean for swimming, sunbathing, surfıng and diving at Blue Flag beaches, or for day trips to the islands.


Ilıca is about three kilometres east of Çeşme, and has a two-kilometers-long beach of fine white sands. Its beautiful holiday resorts, and thermal water springs seeping from the sea bed make Ilıca the most popular tourism area of Çeşme. The shallows, fed by thermal waters, are ideal for learner swimmers and children. Most of the resorts have capacity to meet the intensive demand of high season, and have access to the natural thermal spa waters.

Boyalık Bay

The five-kilometres-long seashore of Boyalık Bay is dotted with fine beaches. It has the same features of Ilıca beach, and it is the fastest growing tourism area of Çeşme. A modern holiday resort and a marina are situated at Kalem Point in the Central part of bay.


Ayayorgi (Hagios Georgios) is a crescent shaped bay between Dalyan Village and Çeşme. It is sheltered from the north winds and renowned for its turquoise, clear water. With these natural aspects the Ayayorgi Bay is an ideal stop for visiting yachts as well as shore based visitors.

Dalyan Village and Sakızlı Bay

Reflecting the life and nature in the Aegean region, these tourist attractions are situated on the northern shores of the Çeşme peninsula. Dalyan village is about four kilometres away from the centre of Çeşme, and has many good quality hotels and pensions.


This area is situated on the south-western shores of Çeşme. It is sheltered from the northerly winds and its calm seas are quite suitable for swimming. Next to the popular beaches such as Altınkum, Pırlanta and Tursite, several high quality resorts and pensions are aggregated.

Şifne- Büyük Liman – Paşa Limanı

From Ilıca Beach, the seashore, stretching north east and reaching Şifne, is enchanting with its beautiful beaches and spas. Büyük Liman (Great Harbour) and Paşa Limanı (Pasha Harbour) bays are home to tourist resorts, camping sites and summer houses. Transportation to this area runs from Ilıca centre, about fıve kilometres away.


Ildırı and its environs, site of the ancient city of Erythrai, is an attractive centre for holiday makers, with its natural beaches and fısh restaurants. This site of outstanding history and natural beauty is about 27 kilometres from centre of Çeşme and 15 kilometres away from Ilıca.

Ovacık – Çatalazmak Beach

This beach, situated at Güvercinlik, is in the south of Çeşme and is famous for the travertine outcrops. The shore is pock-marked by sea-formed caves.

Donkey Island

The coves of Donkey Island that can be reached with an hour’s boat ride from Çeşme, are heaven for day trippers. Due to their natural lie those coves are sheltered from north wind and very suitable for water sports. The island is almost covered with small shrubs, and there is a wind operated fresh water well to provide water to the donkeys which gave name to the island. Being a National Park area the island well serves to the needs of tourists. There is no overnight stay accommodation and the only option available is taking part in one of the day trips. The adjacent Kara Island is a very attractive place with its Blue Cove which is almost a natural aquarium.


Apart from ferry services, the day trips on board motorboats and sailing craft departing from Çeşme attract a large number of visitors. Among the attractive destinations are Donkey Island, Blue Cove and hot water spas. If you prefer a longer trip, you may opt to take part in trips between the harbours of Çeşme and Kuşadası. These longer tours visit Kuşadası, Sığacık, Alaçatı, Çeşme, Karaburun, Foça, Bademli (Dikili), Ayvalık, Altınoluk, Behramkale, Lesbos and Chios harbours. These tours contain ample opportunity for sunbathing and swimming. Besides, there are ferry trips Crossing from Çeşme to Chios Island within an hour which operate six times a week during the winter months, and daily during the summer season.


The route between Çeşme and Kuşadası is one of the prime yachting and sailing regions on the Aegean coastline. Due to its Central position and suitable natural lie, the Çeşme Marina is an important destination for local and international sailing yachts. Top quality 24- hour service includes slippage, winching in and out, winter storage över hard surface, cleaning as well as maintaining batteries charged, ventilation, periodical engine running, winterising and various repair services are provided at the marina. Besides serving the needs of the yachting and sailing communities, the Çeşme Marina provides a meeting place to them with its shopping areas as well as cafe, bar and restaurants.

Furthermore, Altınyunus Marina and Alaçatı Pier are prime locations with ideal facilities for stop over, wintering and maintenance of yachts.


Wind Surf at Alaçatı

Alaçatı is a cosy settlement with cobble stone roads, centuries old wind milis and orchards of gum trees, and it is about 7 kilometres away from the centre of Çeşme. The natural harbour of Alaçatı is one of the famous locations of the world for wind surfing, with its constant hard winds, but a calmer sea with smaller waves. During the windy season lasting between May and October you may see windsurfers across the globe. If you don’t have any surfing experience you can take courses from the windsurfing schools serving beginners in Alaçatı.

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Alaçatı is also an ideal centre for sailors, and every year surfing and sailing competitions are organised with the participation of internationally renowned sailors or surfers. It will certainly be a great experience to live this atmosphere.


Çeşme coastline is rich in features that attract diving fans, who enjoy abundant opportunities to explore new areas and discover different aspects of the sport. There are many suitable sites for advanced divers as well as beginners.

• Fener Island

The island is an ideal location for those who enjoy diving in a current. There are two diving sites where the depth reaches 18 metres. You may fınd ali kinds of sponges and corals and there are a couple of old seal caves. Occasionally divers are accompanied by Mediterranean Monk Seals and schools of fish swimming above the amazing background of shapes and colours of the seabed.

• Yatak Island

The seabed reaches 40 metres deep around the island and it is renowned for the magnificent sea cave at about 8-10 metres depth. Generally it is chosen for the last dive of the day. The two cave entrances on the west coast of the island and the seabed covered with sponges provide ample opportunities for macro and wide angle photography. Looking from inside, the cave entrance provides a dark framed turquoise water expanding into unknown.

• Donkey Island

While there are many diving sites in the island, Yarık Kaya (Cracked Rock) is the best. The depth reaches 50-60 metres. The east wall that starts at about 20 metres and reaches 40 metres is a must see place for every diver.

• Udin Bay

ildin Bay is one of the excellent sites for diving at Çeşme, and it is very attractive with its coral rocks and caves.


Rich in tourist attractions, Çeşme is also endowed with natural hot springs abundantly. Ilıca, Şifne and Yıldız Point are among the best known spas. The thermal waters of these spas are thought to be benefıcial for those complaining from gynaecological disorders, rheumatism, skin and digestive system disorders, as well as metabolism problems.

Ilıca Spa

Ilıca Spa is on the road connecting Çeşme to İzmir, and it is about 5 kilometres to Çeşme. Its seashore location makes it almost unique in the world. The thermal waters of 50-60°C seep from the seabed. Easily accessible from İzmir and Çeşme, Ilıca Spa and Beach provides hotel facilities to thousands of visitors each year.

Şifne Spa

Şifne Spa is situated on a small peninsula thrusting into the Şifne Bay, about 10 kilometres to Çeşme. It is famous for its mud baths and thermal waters of 42- 52°C. With its open-air and covered pools, Şifne Spa provides service both in summer and winter and there are many hotels and restaurants in the vicinity. The location of the spa is advantageous since it is near to the beaches and camping sites such as Reisdere and Paşa Limanı.


Çeşme has a sea food rich cuisine. Typical dishes include grilled gilt-head sea bream (çipura), steamed sea bass (levrek), and various dishes with lobster (ıstakoz), mussels (midye), and octopus (ahtapot). Seafood is outstandingly fresh and the establishment is sure to provide attentive service and a pleasant authenticity. You may also enjoy special sandwiches called İzmir kumrusu, as well as specialities such as şeker işi, a sweet pastry served with local fıg marmalade; kuru sıkma köfte, dry and squeezed meatballs; enginar, artichokes prepared in olive oil; kaz budu, goose legs; bademli süt, almond milk. We must also mention sakız reçeli, mastic gum jam prepared with the resin of local gum mastic trees, and local melons which ar famous for taste.



– Celebration of Tourism Week June

– Peninsular Sports Games

– Alaçatı International Festival of Children and Youth Theatre


– Celebration of Cabotage Holiday and Water Sports Festival

– Çeşme Music Days

– Painting Exhibitions at the Çeşme Kale Burcu Çakabey Cultural Centre and Altın Yunus Holiday Resort


– International Surfîng Competition at Alaçatı

– Çeşme International Triathlon Games

– Çeşme International Cinema Days

– Boat Show

– BookFair


– Agricultural Produce and Çeşme Melon Festival

– Sea Food and Çeşme Chios Sheep Festival


You may use road, air or sea transport to reach Çeşme, the pearl of Aegean. Those who want to use road transport may take busses to Çeşme from the Intercity Bus Terminal of İzmir or from Üçkuyular Terminal. Those arriving at İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport may take service busses to Çeşme – the journey take about 45 minutes. Regular minibüs services depart from Çeşme centre to beaches such as Altınkum Dalyan, Alaçatı, Ovacık, Ilıca, Reisdere. Ferries sailing between İzmir, Kuşadası, Chios Island, and Greece and Italy regularly stop over at the Port of Çeşme.


Çeşme has typical Mediterranean climate and has a long swimming season. Sea and sun bathing can be enjoyed between May and September. The İmbat breeze, which comes from sea, and drives down the shore temperatures to a pleasant level, is a typical feature of the Aegean climate. Çeşme enjoys stable and warm weather throughout the winter – ideal for those escaping colder climes.

Don’t leave without having…

– Enjoyed the thermal waters of Ilıca and Şifne,

– Swum at the natural beaches of fine sands,

– Windsurfed at Alaçatı,

– Visited the famous Fortress and Çeşme Museum,

– Seen the fountains and mosques that reflect the Ottoman Period, and

– Tasted the seafood, İzmir kumrusu, and gum mastic jam…

District Governorship of Çeşme Tel: (+90232) 7126841
Fax: (+90232) 7126841
Çeşme Municipality Tel: (+90232) 712 6632
Fax: (+90232) 7126457
Touıist Information Office Tel: (+90 232) 712 6653
Fax: (+90232)712 6653
Çeşme Touristic Hoteliers
Association Tel: (+90232) 712 1362
Fax: (+90232) 7122304
Courthouse Tel: (+90232) 7126562
Police Station Tel: (+90232) 7126093
712 6627
Fax: (+90232) 712 6093
Gendarmerie Station Tel: (+90232) 7120404
State Hospital Tel: (+90232) 7120777
712 0778
Fax: (+90232) 7120779
Clinic Tel: (+90232) 7126878
Fax: (+90232) 7126868
Dispensary Tel: (+90232) 712 0420
Coast Guard Tel: (+90232) 71221 61
Fax: (+90232) 712 21 61
Çeşme Museum Tel: (+90232) 712 6609
Fax: (+90232) 712 6609
Customs Tel: (+90232) 7120428
Fax: (+90232) 712 6626
Harbour Master Tel: (+90232) 7126005
Fax: (+90232)7128695
Post Office Tel: (+90232) 7126348
712 6620
Fax: (+90232) 7129000
Çeşme Bus Station Tel: (+90232) 7126499
Alaçatı Bus Station Tel: (+90232) 7168299
Medical Emergency 112
Fire Brigade 110
Police 155
Gendarmerie 156

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