You will find the Cesme peninsula about way down the Aegean coast of Turkey at its most western point. It is less than 1 Hours drive from the City of Izmir and Adanan Menderes International Airport.
Cesme is renowned for Thermal Spa's, Blue Seas and Golden Beaches, which range from crowded to remote and secluded. There are about 20 of them spread around the peninsular so transport is necessary to get to any of them. One option is to use one of the many the public "Dolmus" (Mini bus) services or just take Taxi. You could also hire a Car or Motorcycle for the day too and explore the peninsular at your own pace and convenience.
Cesme town itself is a "compact" and "bustling" collection of Souvenir, Leather, Carpet, Clothing, Footwear and Jewelry stores punctuated by Bars, Disco's Bistro's, Restaurants, Coffeehouse's and Ice Cream stalls. There are also a fair number of Pharmacies (Eczani) around so you can take on extra supplies of Sun Tan oils or After Sun Balm in case you happen to "overdo it" in the first few days of your vacation.
The central waterfront of Cesme stretches from the yacht harbor to the south and a public beach to the north with the Castle taking center stage. It is mainly a collection of hostelries and Travel Agencies but you also find there the PTT, the Tourist Information Center, the Ferry Port for day trips to the island of Chios and in case of Emergency a Tourist Police Station.
A casual visitor should have little trouble finding accommodation, Cesme boasts over 10,000 Tourist Hotel beds, ranging from small and friendly Pensions to 5 Star Luxury Hotels or Holiday Villages, something to match every budget. One good starting point for accommodation is the Tourist Information Center another is to surf inside this site and work out your own arrangements. There are plenty of Travel Agencies in Cesme who are ready and willing to help. Another option is of course the ubiquitous Taxi drivers who always "Have a friend." Finally for the really adventurous ones amongst you, the, walk the streets and ask, method works well too.
The Cesme Peninsula, lapped by the waters of the Aegean Sea, lies west of Izmir. Cesme, meaning fountain, derives from the many sources of water found in the area. It is one of Turkey's most beautiful stretches -- surrounded by clear blue seas, with landscapes of cultivated fields of aniseed, sesame and artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees. In the unspoilt bays you can swim in absolute peace. Visitors will find excellent holiday accommodations, restaurants and sports and entertainment facilities.
A 14th century Genoese fortress, restored and enlarged by the Ottomans in the 16th century, dominates the small port of Cesme, 80 km from Izmir. Today, the town is a popular holiday resort with excellent accommodations and restaurants; the 16th century caravanserai near the fortress, built by Suleyman the Magnificent, has been converted into a hotel while the Church of Agios Haralambos has been restored as an art gallery. Thermal baths offer a health centered escape from modern life. Excellent shopping -- the finest quality carpets, leather goods, as well as souvenir items -- is available; at night a lively, fun atmosphere pervades, especially in the restaurants, cafes, bars and discos along the promenade. Yachts can be hired to explore the peninsula's splendid coastline. Cesme hosts an annual Internadonal Song Contest in July.
The very popular holiday center of Ilica boasts an excellent white sand beach and the outstanding facilities of the Altin Yunus Marina and Holiday Complex. The bay here is ideal for water sports, especially windsurfing and sailing. The thermal baths around Ilica are very popular; the best being located on Sifne Bay. Pasa Limani has a camp site which offers campers comfortable facilities. Every July on Ilica Bay, the colorful International Cakabey Optimist Yacht race is held.
Ildiri, a quiet seaside village 20 km. northeast of Cesme, was ancient Erythrai. Those who climb up to the Acropolis at dusk are rewarded with beautiful views as the sun sinks over the bay and islands. Nearby is Gerence Gulf, a pristine inlet on the northeast Cesme peninsula which can be reached by yacht or car. The natural surroundings offer relaxation while the bay is ideal for water sports.
Dalyan, a fishing village, built on a sheltered deep water inlet just north of Cesme, has some of the region's best fish restaurants which border the quay of the lively marina.
Tourist are attracted by Ciftlik's many accommodations and by a long, sandy beach (Pirlanta Plaj) just outside of town to the southwest. Camping facilities are available to the south and nearby stretches one of the area's best beaches, the Altinkum Plaj (Golden Beach).
Windmills, some of which have been converted into attractive restaurants, dot the hill above Alacati, a delightful and typical Aegean town. Alacati lies to the south inland from Ilica and the coast; a couple of kilometers to the south is a good beach. Many lovely bays, accessible only by yacht, stretch along the coast southeast of the town and ensure peaceful and relaxing anchorages in this popular sailing region.
Known in ancient times as Clazomenae, Urla Iskelesi offers a marina as well as plentiful accommodations in all price ranges. Restaurants on the top of Guvendik hill afford a marvellous view of the bay and its islands.
The prosperous little fishing village of Cesmealti is notable for its simple yet excellent fish restaurants.
As you drive along the panoramic Karaburun peninsula coast road, you pass several peaceful bays and quaint fishing villages Balikliova, Mordogan and Karaburun. At Karaburun, pleasant hotels, tea gardens and fish restaurants sit between the beautiful mountain backdrop and the clear, clean water. From Manastir Mountain you can enjoy an unforgettable view of the Karaburun coast, the Foca coastline opposite and the entrance of the Gulf of Izmir.
On the southern side of the Cesme peninsula near the town of Seferihisar is the small picturesque marina of Sigacik. This important yachting center is surrounded by fortifications dating from the Genoese period and is a good point from which to visit the Temple of Dionysus at the antique site of Teos as well as the lovely Akkum beach.
Gumuldur has excellent tourist facilities -- beautiful beaches, restaurants and hotels. Nearby at Ahmetbeyli (Claros) to the east, stand the Apollon Temple and the remains of the colossal statue of Apollo; here you can also enjoy a good fish meal or a swim at the town's wide beach. A winding panoramic coastal road leads from Ahmetbeyli south to Pamucak beach.