Çeşme is a charming convergence of healing mineral springs, excellent beaches, crystal clear waters and sun are perfect for vacationers. It is located 94 km in west of İzmir, on the very tip of the peninsula that bears its name. It was called as the little harbor by sailors, but in the course of time, the area became known as Çeşme (Fountain) due to the increasing number of fountains with ice – cold waters. The Erythrai Ancient City excavated in (the village of) Çeşme-Ildırı, the Castle, Caravanserai and many fountains from Ottoman Period and the other examples of civil architecture in the historical texture of the city compose the historical and archaeological remains of the area.
Today the remains of the Acropolis can be seen on the top of the hill which is in the city centre. Small statuettes offered to the Temple of Athena Pallas were found during the excavations in the Acropolis. One of the most important finds is the statue of a woman belonging to Archaic Age. It is on display in the İzmir Museum of Archaeology.
Çeşme is a port of Erythrai Ancient City, was called as Cyssus in Ancient Times. It was an important settlement area in the 6th century BC. The city developed its trade by establishing relations with Egypt, Cyprus and Western Countries.
The Mediterranean Climate is dominant in Çeşme. It is quite hot and exposed to the winds blowing from the north.
How to Get
By Road: İzmir is 77 km away and is the regions transportation hub. There are two roads to Çeşme. One is a narrow asphalted (77 km); the other one is a modern superhighway (80 km). No matter what mode of transportation is used to get to Izmir, the tourist will find it easy to get the necessary transportation to Çeşme and Ildırı even on the busiest days of the tourist season. The Çeşme city center is the last stop on the bus and minibus routes. There are city buses and minibuses that provide transportation to Çiftlik, Dalyan, Alaçatı, Reisdere, Ovacık and the other beaches.
By Sea:There are ferryboats between Çeşme and Sakız Island. There are also the Turkish and Greek boats providing passenger service for those tourists who want to land in Çeşme coming from Sakız Island. The journey takes about an hour. For those tourists who want to depart from Turkey, there are passenger services to the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi. Ferryboats traveling between İzmir-Çeşme-Kuşadası-Greece and Italy stop over in the Çeşme port.
Where to Visit
Çesme Castle:The Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II built the castle in 1508. It bears all the characteristics of Ottoman architecture.There is a museum in the Castle. The finds unearthed in the village of Çeşme-Ildırı, are on display in this museum. This historical structure is used for the International Çeşme Music Festival which is held between July 2-7 every year. In front of the castle is the statue of Kaptan-ı Derya Gazi Hasan Pasha from Algeria with a lion.
Çesme Museum:A total of 477 items are displayed in the Archeological Museum of Çeşme Castle. They were discovered in the district center of Alaçatı and the Kalemburnu region and consist of 320 archeological pieces, 126 ethnographic pieces and 31 coins.
Caravanserai: The caravanserai, built in 1529 by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, consists of two storeys.The rectangular structure has a central courtyard with shops, storage depots and other rooms around the perimeter. This historical building is now being used as a hotel and provides excellent shopping for those interested in gift items, leather clothing or high-quality Turkish rugs. At night the restaurants, bars and discos surrounding the inn make for a lively atmosphere.
The Mastic Trees: Having been discovered 6000 years ago, the mastic trees of Çeşme are definitely worth to be seen. Rakı (alcoholic drink) is being flavoured with mastic.Also Mastic Jelly is made of these trees.
Besides its use in the kitchen, it is also used in the manufacture of medicine and paint. The doctors of ancient Greece made a variety of medicines from this plant for rabies, snake-bites, stomach, liver and intestinal conditions. After the 10th century, the fame of the mastic tree spread beyond Sakız Island to the wholeworld. The plant is now used for a variety of purposes in 25 different national pharmaceutical firms. It has has a very pleasant fragrance. Galinos says, “This is excellent for chronic bouts of coughing.” Today six different products are made from the plant and it is a superior ulcer medicine, in addition to being good for high blood-pressure. It is also used for diabetes and high cholesterol. It is important in the treatment of cancer and cirrhosis. The importance and benefits of this plant originating on Sakız Island and spreading from here to the entire world is better understood day by day. ;
Thermal Springs: Çesme Hot Springs: It is one of the most interesting and rare places in the world, the springs are right on the coast near the Çesme Hot Springs beach on the İzmir – Çeşme road 5 km from Çeşme. The water temperature is around 58ºC and contains sodium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride.
The waters are good for those suffering from chronic rheumatism, problems arising from poor metabolism, such as gout and obesity, as well as rickets, skin conditions, gynecological disorders, and liver and urinary tract conditions. There are modern facilities in the vicinity of the Hot Springs, which even have thermal pools and baths inside them. Transportation to the springs is provided by the Çeşme buses which leave from Üçkuyular.
Şifne (Reisdere) Thermal Spring and Mud Baths: Located 5 km northeast of the Çeşme Hot Springs on a small peninsula in the Şifne bay, the thermal springs have accommodations and restaurants nearby.There is a large common pool with benches in the water. The water contains sodium, chlorine and calcium and the 38ºC waters are radioactive (5.3 eman). The waters are good for people with rheumatism, rickets, gynecological disorders,urinary tract infections, stomach and intestinal conditions and skin conditions like eczema and boils.
The Yacht Harbors:The province of Izmir, especially the southern tip of the Çeşme peninsula is one of the primary yacht circuits in the country. The route from Çeşme to Kuşadası has the most developed yachting infrastructure. The harbor at Çeşme can be used by both yachts and commercial vessels and has docking space for two small cargo vessels. The yacht section of the harbor was designed to accommodate 150 yachts. In the winter many fishing boats use the harbor while yachts predominate in the summer.
Alaçatı Harbor: Located in south of Alaçatı, it is paradise for yachting enthusiasts with its rows of small coves. The dock can hold up to 80 boats and offers a variety of services for yachts.
Ceşme-Altınyunus Yacht Harbor: Having a capacity for up to 70 big boats and 40 small ones, this harbor offers every type of yacht maintenance. The harbor is able to provide water, electricity, telephones, maintenance, repair and wintering services.
Camp – Caravan: The Grand (Büyük Liman) and Paşa Harbor coves are excellent places to camp for summer residences. The natural beaches and camping areas in the region of Ildırı, the ancient city of Erythrai, are perfect for those wanting a touch of history and nature.
Hunting: Çeşme is an excellent place for those who like hunting. The most interesting and exciting hunt is without a doubt of wild hogs. After a permission is obtained from the authorities, everyone can participate in this thrilling venture. There are also quite a few partridges and rabbits in Çeşme. These animals are most plentiful in the hunting season between September and December, which is the hunting season. Those interested in hunting can visit Çeşme during the winter as well.
Wind Surfing: Alaçatı is one of the most interesting surfing areas in Europe and offers a variety, that not found in many places. It is located in a V-shaped cove with crystal clear water and is surrounded with lush vegetation. The changing winds and perfect conditions make it one of the best surfing areas in Europe. The best thing about Alaçatı is that the winds blow from the land to the sea , and no matter how hard the wind blows the waves in the sea stay about the same. Therefore Alaçatı is a safe place for wind surfing.
What to Eat
The local cuisine is made up of mostly seafood. You should try the sea bass, bream, octopus and oysters while there. Other Çeşme delicacies include “şeker işi” served with a special fig jam, “kuru sıkma” (a flat wrappedbread), goose drumsticks, almond milk and a grilled sandwich called “kumru.” The delicious melons and artichokes raised here are exported throughout the world.
Don t Leave Without
-Seeing the International Çeşme Music Festival,
-Bathing in the thermal springs of Çeşme,
-Tasting the olives, and the wine made from the grapes of Çeşme.