With a castle in the middle of town, several beaches and a vibrant harbour to explore, Cesme has a lot to offer holidaymakers. You’ll find the traditional town on the western coast of Turkey, bathed in sun during most of the summer, where temperatures are often around 30°C. Winters here are mild, and while you might not want to go for a chilly swim, it still makes for a nice break from the dark, icy conditions in the UK.
Popular with Turkish tourists, as well as those from further afield, the town has maintained its traditional character. There is plenty of history to explore in the form of the large and well-restored castle, which was built as a 14th-century fortress. The beaches range from activity-packed, bustling areas with sunbeds and banana boats, to more tranquil secluded coves, and natural springs for those who want to relax.
The beaches are the place to go in the evenings, too, as there are a wealth of beachside bars and clubs to visit – Aya Yorgi Beach is particularly known for its glamorous nighttime haunts, where you can party until the small hours.
The nearby town of Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city and offers a lively pace of life if you fancy mixing things up for a day. Whether you’re looking to make some purchases in one of the many large bazaars, visit its many ancient landmarks or simply eat your way around its large selection of restaurants, there’s a lot going on to keep everyone entertained.
If you really want to get away from it all, the quaint beachside village of Ozdere can offer uninterrupted peace. Grab a snack at one of the traditional outdoor markets before heading to one of the quiet, sandy beaches, where you can stretch out and relax. If sitting still isn’t your thing, the village is surrounded by plush green hills and mountains, promising scenic walks, and breathtaking vistas once you make it to the top.
Those wanting to immerse themselves in nature will certainly be pleased with the nearby town of Kusadasi. In addition to beautiful beaches, there’s also the huge Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, plants and marine life, plus a sea park, where the kids can catch a glimpse of the dolphins.
Try scuba diving
Beginners and experienced divers alike are in for a treat at Ildiri Beach. Ildiri Lighthouse Island is full of crags and crevices where underwater creatures can be found, plus sealife such as red sponge coral and underwater flowers. Elsewhere in the area, there’s the wreck of the Monem ship and the 88 Blocks site which often has lobster, octopus and squid to spot.
Go mountain biking
Surrounding the town of Cesme you’ll find beautiful countryside populated by lush grass and trees, with trails to be explored on foot or even by bike. While powering up the hills is likely to be hard work, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the coast and surrounding areas when you get to the top, as well as the fun of wheeling back down.
Explore an ancient city
In addition to the castle, Cesme is just down the coast from Ildir – the modern name that’s been given to the 3,000-year-old city of Erythrai - one of the 12 cities of what was once Asia Minor. There are remnants and remains of the city scattered throughout what is now a quiet fishing village – well worth exploring!
Bathe in thermal springs
While Cesme’s other beaches have water sports, sunbeds and relaxing shallow waters, Ilica Beach has something a little different; natural hot springs that bubble beneath the waves. The town’s spas also use this water in jacuzzis and for various luxury treatments, so it’s a great excuse to treat yourself.
Put thoughts of end of the night kebabs far from your mind. With influences from the Mediterranean, Greek and North African cuisine, Turkish food is big on flavour, with fresh fruit and vegetables and hearty chunks of meat often playing the starring role. Smaller meze plates are fun to share – as well as being a way of trying as many dishes as possible, which we would always recommend!
Restaurants in Cesme
Head to the harbour for a great selection of eateries serving up fresh seafood and meze. For something a little different, try the kumru sandwich – a hugely popular local dish that usually comes with Turkish sausage, cheese and tomatoes. Don’t forget to wash it down with the tasty selection of Turkish beer and wines on offer, too.
Whether you’re wanting to book a trip which will entertain the kids, looking to treat yourself to a relaxing week of sunbathing and pampering or would rather immerse yourself in finding out about ancient cultures, Cesme can deliver it all – and all in a beautiful setting.
No matter your interests, the very last thing you’ll want is to feel stressed about booking your trip, which is where easyJet holidays comes in. We’re dedicated to making the whole process as easy and enjoyable as possible – and as you can book your flights and hotels at the same time, that’s two less things to worry about already!
If you want to see more of what south-west Turkey has to offer, have a browse of our other Bodrum area guides – we’re pretty sure there’ll be something amazing to catch your eye. Book with easyJet holidays, and you’ll have all the more time to plan your next adventure.