Wandering the streets of Cesme in Turkey

The first thing that comes to people’s mind when thinking of Cesme in Turkey is probably its castle. Cesme (or Çeşme in Turkish) is located very close to the Greek island of Chios and has a prominent and restored fortress to testify to its glorious past. It is one of the main attractions of this city popular with day-trippers from both Izmir and Chios. Not to worry if you’re not into fortresses, glorious pasts or anything historical; you’ll have plenty more to see and do during your day in Cesme. And if you don’t mind heading a bit further afield, there’s a stunning hidden beach waiting for you as well. We’ll tell you how to get there in this post.

The Castle's Minaret

The Castle’s Minaret

Çeşme’s renovated fortress

Missing Cesme’s majestic castle is impossible. This landmark dominates the coastline of this small-scale city attractively. Build in 1508 by the Ottoman ruler Beyazit II; it features several courtyards and has a military past. This fortress is not in ruins, it is restored and home to the Archaeology Museum. While the museum is not big, it shows some interesting pieces from excavations carried out in the area such as ceramics, bursts and a collection of coins. There is a small entrance fee to be paid, but the 360° views alone are worth it. So, promise us you won’t leave Cesme without conquering the many steps and stairs of the castle.

Outside The Castle Walls

Outside The Castle Walls

The Inner Castle

The Inner Castle

Çeşme’s old town: Greek houses meet new vibe

From the castle, you’ll walk right into the old town; a maze of buzzing and narrow streets filled with restaurants, ice cream shops, souvenir stalls, and former Greek houses. Amidst the shops is the Ayios Haralambos Church, which is alternately used as a concert venue, handicrafts market, exhibition space, or something of the sort. This part of town is perfect for shopping or having a Turkish tea or coffee in one of the many cafés. It is remarkable how old and new have found a balance here while keeping an authentic feel.

Cesme Old Town

Cesme Old Town

Çeşme’s promenade, marina & beach

The fun part about seaside towns is that they almost always have a promenade, and often a marina and a beach. Now we love boats! So any place where we can sit and look at the waves playing with boats (or the other way around), is a happy place. The marina in Cesme is stylish and welcoming and naturally flows over into the promenade that leads to the cities’ beach. As this is often the case, the whole seaside stretch is packed with eateries and shops. This is where you will find familiar brands such as Starbucks or Burger King, but also Turkish restaurants that cater mainly to tourists. The beach is small, but charming, in a pretty bay.

Cesme Beach

Cesme Beach

The amazing beach at Delikli Köy

Alright, we confess, technically speaking, this isn’t Cesme anymore. And the beach is not really hidden, as it is known among the locals. But there are no road signs to it, and you need to know exactly where you’re going to find it. It is pretty amazing though, with stunning white rock formations that will take your breath away. If you like relatively untouched beaches, you will love this one. Don’t expect any facilities, just expect to be wowed. The question is: how to find it? The answer? Use these coordinates: 38.229267, 26.342922.

Delikli Köy Rock Formations

Delikli Köy Rock Formations

Practical information about Cesme in Turkey

Çeşme lies almost 90km west of Izmir. It’s a popular day-trip for holidaymakers in Chios who pop over on a ferry. Alternatively, you could do things the other way around and visit Chios for a day from Cesme. You can easily get to Cesme from Izmir by public transport. Check the Izmir – Cesme bus timetable here.

The city of Cesme, as well as the entire peninsula, offers a wide range of hotels and boutique pensions to stay the night. Also worth exploring is nearby Alaçatı (or Alacati in English) or the winery in Urla. Don’t forget to check our interactive Turkey travel map for more Turkey travel inspiration, and also visit our resources page for information on all practical aspects our your Turkey trip. Don’t worry, we’ve also marked Delikli Köy beach on our map, where you will also find our other tips for the best beaches in Turkey!

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All pictures © @aegean.images

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