Exploring the charms of Cesme Turkey proved an interesting experience. Taking the ferry from the port of Chios, the crossing was just an hour.  We reach Cesme where English friends are expecting us, invited to spend two nights with them to show us around. Chíos to Cesme is 16 km, equal to 4 nautical miles, and 85 km to the west of Izmir.

The Charms of Cesme TurkeyThe majestic castle of Cesme is a landmark that dominates the coastline of this small-scale city attractively. You cannot help but feel overwhelmed by its presence as the ferry approaches the port.

Exploring the Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

The upscale yacht marina of Alakati on the opposite side gives a glimpse into life. The seaside stretch around the marina houses several top class restaurants, cafe bars, as well as an open-air shopping centre with designer boutiques.

Exploring the Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Chesme Alakati

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

The two coastal towns Ilica and Alacati have their unique characteristics providing a tranquil Turkish retreat. These two and the ancient city of Erythrai are accessible from Cesme and worth a visit. Let’s see one by one what each has to offer: Alakati is a short drive away from Chesme, a chic resort place, and a Turkish town with Greek history. Traditional Greek stone-houses still exist and are beautifully restored. Bright coloured bougainvillaea come in contrast with the colourful painted shutters and doorways that retain the laid-back village charm. Walking around was like being in Greece.

Exploring the Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Alakati is a short drive away from Chesme, a chic resort place, and a Turkish town with Greek history. Traditional Greek stone-houses still exist and are beautifully restored. Bright coloured bougainvillaea come in contrast with the colourful painted shutters and doorways that retain the laid-back village charm. Walking around was like being in Greece.

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Walking down Alacati’s main street towards the maze of narrow cobblestone streets was a pleasant stroll. Quaint streets filled with hip boutique stores and great local restaurants. We loved the relaxed and romantic vibe of this lively town, wishing we could stay longer.

St Charalambos Church Cesme

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Until 1922 the majority of inhabitants were Orthodox Greeks. The Greek Church of St Haralambos in the centre of the city is a structure of 1832, built by a wealthy Greek merchant from Chios who was a friend with the Sultan and asked permission to build a church in Cesme. Nowadays the Church has been converted into a cultural centre for temporary exhibitions, covered in carpets and handicraft materials.

Exploring the Charms of Cesme Turkey

Ilica Beach Cesme

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Ilica is renowned for its beautiful beaches and hot thermal springs arising from the bottom of the sea. We did not have the time to swim here this time, but it is believed to have healing effects for the skin, as thermal waters that come out of the sea-bed mix with the sea water adding to it, minerals.

Altinkum Beach

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

On this short visit of ours to Cesme, we got as far as the golden sands of Altinkum Beach, 10 km away from the town centre. We were here during spring and were virtually alone on the whole beach.

Exploring the Charms of Cesme Turkey

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

The crystal turquoise waters of Altinkum beach are said to be freezing, contrary to the ones of Ilica Beach due to thermal springs. During the summer months, the beach accommodates beach clubs that host beach parties, transformed the late hours into buzzing nightclubs.

The Ancient Greek City of Erythrae

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Erythrae (Ildiri) is located 22 km north-east of Cesme on a small peninsula stretching into the bay and used to be a major trade city in the 7th and 8th centuries with trade relations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. It was also the main tradesman of slaves and wine with Chios.

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

How moving it was to see Greek words written on pillars and visit this historic place, as a Greek. The fields around the gorgeous hillside in full bloom offered us some spectacular sea views.

The Charms of Cesme Turkey

Bottom Line

Cesme is a charming little seaside town with a long seafront, a prominent castle, a bustling commercial area with plenty of shops and inexpensive restaurants and lovely beaches. Can’t highly appreciate enough the warm hospitality and the two full days’ tour spent exploring the charms of Cesme with friends. As it happens so often, on short trips for us, we wish we had arranged the trip differently and spend at least a day more. Cesme is one of the hidden gems of Turkey worth exploring!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here