This lively little resort town features a Genoese castle, an attractive seafront promenade, lots of reasonably priced dining options and nearby beaches.
A much-loved seaside getaway resort for Izmirians and Europeans, Çeşme possesses an attractive harbor area, several historic landmarks and a lively town center filled with shops and restaurants. Learn about the port’s Bronze Age, Roman and Ottoman history in its landmark Genoese castle and relax on secluded bays and in hot springs.
Get acquainted with local history at Çeşme Museum, housed inside a landmark 16th-century fortress. Explore the exhibits inside, which feature fascinating archaeological finds, including tools from the nearby Bağlararası Bronze Age settlement as well as Roman-era objects. Displays in the museum’s tower house focus on the pivotal Battle of Çeşme naval confrontation, which took place here during the Russo-Turkish War and resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman fleet. Outside the fortress stands the Statue of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa, a former slave who rose through the ranks to become an admiral after the Battle of Çeşme.
Explore the newer side of Çeşme with a walk around the modern Çeşme Marina. Marvel at the sleek yachts parked here. During summer, the marina buzzes with life as travelers fill its many restaurants and cafés.
Key to Çeşme’s appeal is its proximity to beautiful beaches. Head to lively Ayayorgi Koyu to party in beach clubs or rent snorkeling gear and charter a boat out to Mavi Koy, a serene cove with crystal clear waters. The area cannot be accessed by land. Try surfing with the wind and waves of Pırlanta Plajı. Ilıca Plajı, meanwhile, has thermal springs and mud baths and good conditions for windsurfers too.
To get to Çeşme, fly into the airport in İzmir, located about 60 miles (90 kilometers) away. Turkish minibuses, known as dolmuş, run regularly between İzmir and Çeşme. Ferries also run between Çeşme and the Greek island of Chios. The town itself is compact and easily walkable. Visit during the Çeşme Marina Wine Festival in August, when you can taste locally made wines from regional producers.