Çeşme is one of the most beautiful districts of Aegean region in general. With its combination of sea, sand and sun, Çeşme is a popular destination for beach holiday lovers. It is also a favorite destination for adventure seekers and health tourism enthusiasts due to its geographical location and natural conditions with its hot springs. It is located 94 km away from Izmir. It is called Çeşme because of the variety of water sources, the mixing and flowing of cold and hot waters. Although most of the fountains that gave the name still exist today, some are used for touristic purposes after restoration. However, compared to the past, a great many fountains have disappeared.
Çeşme was called Cyssus in ancient times. It took its name from the fountains that were a source of drinking water and to the sailors. The remains of Erythrai (Ildırı), which was a water source and port center, can still be found in Çeşme. It has been inhabited under many great empires such as Lydia, Persia, Byzantine, Rome, and the Ottoman Empire. Due to its proximity to Chios Island, Çeşme has always been a popular commercial center throughout history.
It became a part of the Ottoman territories during the reign of Yıldırım Bayezid. In the reign of Abdülaziz, studies were carried out on the region and it became a district center. Like many other Aegean port cities, Çeşme has a dense Greek population. Therefore, viticulture and wine production have developed. After the population exchange, the sources of income in the region began to change.
Due to being a peninsula and the location of the mountains, Çeşme has unique natural beauties. There are many coves, crystal clear sea and shiny sands.
Historical Places in Çeşme
Çeşme is famous for the many fountains from which it takes its name. Studies have shown that settlement has existed since the Neolithic period. Fountains that have survived until today include Mehmet Kethuda Fountain, Maraş Fountain, Ahmetoğlu Hacı Memiş Ağa Fountain (Ömer Ağa), Hacı Memiş Ağa Fountain, Hamaloğlu or Hafize Rabia Hatun Fountain, and Hacı Salihe Fountain. Çeşme Castle is another iconic historical building of Çeşme. The castle was built in 1508 during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II. When it was first built, it was right by the sea, but its position was changed later by filling in the sea. Nowadays, many activities and festivals are held in the castle.
Çeşme Archaeology Museum is where the remains of places like Erythrai Ancient City are displayed. The museum exhibits 477 historical artifacts.
Kervansaray, built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1528, is one of the historical buildings of Çeşme. Nowadays, entertainment and shopping areas have been set up in the caravanserai.
Natural Beauties of Çeşme
Çeşme is more of a seaside town than a historical destination. It has everything related to sea, sun, and sand. It has different and gorgeous beaches along the coast. If you can't swim in the sea due to wind or other reasons on one beach, you can swim on the opposite side of the island. All the beaches are crystal clear. Ilıca serves as a thermal pool with the combination of hot springs and cold Aegean waters. Different accommodation options in the area offer spa options. The shallow feature found in other Çeşme beaches is more common in Ilıca. Ilıca is famous for its shallow waters. You can continue your Çeşme route with Boyalık Cove and Ildırı, which have now become symbols of Çeşme. Ildırı is located where the ancient city of Erythria is and attracts tourists with its almost untouched beaches and camping areas. If you go a little further north, you can visit Sakızlı Bay and Dalyan and spend quality time with the locals. This is a typical fishing village. Pırlanta and Altınkum Beaches are other important beaches in the area. While you are here, we recommend that you experience entertainment and tranquility at Alaçatı beaches.
What to Eat and Drink in Çeşme
The most special and preferred taste of Çeşme is kumru. There are kumrucu (sandwich shops) everywhere you go. Kumrucu Erol, Şevki and many other places claim to make the best kumru. Like everyone else, you will definitely discover your favorite kumrucu. Besides kumru, olive oil dishes, fish, ice cream, sea samphire, and fava are the favorites of Çeşme cuisine. Stuffed zucchini flowers, shakshuka, and Cretan cheese spread are also flavors you must try. We recommend that you taste the ice cream and cookies at Rumeli Pastry, which has been open since 1945. Don't forget to buy mastic jam, artichoke, and melon on your way back.
Sports and Adventure in Çeşme
Çeşme is an ideal region for hunting in addition to well-known sports. It is especially famous for wild boar hunting. If you visit Çeşme between September and December, remember that hunting is allowed during these times.
Camping in places like Büyük Lima and Ildırı attracts the attention of local and foreign tourists every year. For those who are happy in the water rather than on land, Çeşme is a diving paradise. There are alternative diving areas such as Fener Island and Donkey Island. You can experience diving professionally or for the first time in Çeşme.
Alaçatı has become one of the leading wind surfing spots in the world. The left-blowing and regular winds, coordinated with the current, are enough to make Alaçatı a wind surfing center. Similarly, the wind and waves blowing at Pırlanta Beach attract kite surfing enthusiasts. Competitions are organized here for kite surfing and wind surfing enthusiasts.
How to Get to Çeşme
The distance between Izmir and Çeşme is approximately 90 kilometers. Transportation by air and land is quite easy. For those arriving by air, transportation is provided from İzmir-Çeşme road after landing at Adnan Menderes Airport. You arrive in Çeşme in about 1 hour. After the airport, you can use bus, taxi, transfer, or car rental options. The distance between Istanbul and Çeşme is approximately 850 kilometers and takes about 9 hours. The distance between Ankara and Çeşme is 680 km and takes about 9 hours via Afyon, Uşak, and Manisa.