Çeşme (pronounced chaysh-may) is a sea-side resort town on the Aegean, west of Izmir, favoured by international travellers. It lies on the extreme western tip of Turkey, opposite the Greek island of Chios.
There are several ways to get to Çeşme, it's a half an hour drive from Izmir by car, and there are several bus companies that will drive you to Çeşme from Izmir on any time of the day. Buses from Çeşme to Izmir at the time of writing are around TL 10, ie around €5.
There is one, possibly two, daily ferry(ies) to Çeşme from the Greek island of Chios, the boat ride takes slightly over an hour and costs the whopping sum (for such a short ride) of €23 one-way or €40 return.
Bus services are also available from Istanbul, the route lasts approximately 8 hours.
- Çeşme Castle (Çeşme Kalesi) (at the town centre). A well-preserved citadel by the shore.
- Old town. Old part of the town (virtually all of downtown) has lots of neo-classical buildings from late 1800s/early 1900s that wouldn't be out of place in, say, Symi, which are well preserved and are quite elegant.
- Kiteboarding — the beaches around Çeşme (e.g., Pırlanta-Çiftlikköy) offer good kiteboarding.
- Do not miss a trip to one of the thermal baths in nearby Ilıca.... either in the hotels (Altın Yunus is a good one) or at one of the stand alone pools.
- Kumru — a kind of local warm sandwich. Tasty, it is made with a special bread originally stuffed with salami, Turkish garlic-flavoured sausage (sucuk), grilled cheese and tomatoes; nowadays a vegetarian version is also available if you ask for it, prepared without the sausage and with the addition of green pepper. Most famous eatery specialized in kumru is Kumrucu Sevki at downtown.
- Ice cream (dondurma) — Veli Usta is a great place to have an ice-cream. There are lots of flavors available, including very local balbadem (honey and almond) and black currant, which are the most favorite flavors.
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Altınyunus Mah. 3435 Sok. No. 25, ☎ +90 232 455-45-00, fax: +90 232 455-45-01, e-mail: email@example.com. Beachfront hotel offering rooms with a seaview, TV, free internet access. Two swimming pools (both indoor and outdoor) and an on-site spa available. Note that the hotel lies far away (5 km) from the old town, though. € 165-278.
- Rıdvan Hotel (at the centre of old town).
- Central Park Otel, Çiftlikköy Mevkii (3 km from the old town), ☎ +90 232 234-11-01. Free wi-fi and clean rooms. There is also a small pool in the hotel and 5 mins to the beach. €45/double room.
- Sheraton Çeşme.
Town's telephone code is (+90) 232.
- Alaçatı — a historical town on the southern leeward side of the peninsula—and thus is perfect for wind-surfing!—noted for its Greek houses, ancient windmills with modern electricity-generating wind turbines side by side on the hill overlooking it. About 8 km east of Çeşme.
- Ilıca — a town noted for its thermal springs, located 5 km east of Çeşme, on the northern coast of peninsula.
- The Greek island of Chios is just opposite Çeşme, about an hour away by ferry, and thanks to quite frequent ferries can be done as a day-trip from Çeşme. The ferry departs at 09:30 AM from Çeşme and the return trip is at 5PM from Chios (4PM on Sundays).