Take this story serious because this year Wooden Wisdom (the actor at The Lord of the Rings) spent his holiday at Cesme, Izmir beaches…:) and Naomi Campbell were also at Bodrum, Turkey this year…This is just a coincidence for this year or it is always the same?
They have already discovered the beauties and what about us? You may never imagined westcoast of Turkey like that before or you may only heard about the Mediterrenean side….Let me leave you alone with the whole story which I guarantee will make you jump to book a flight for the upcoming summer in Turkey!
Arrival: You can book a flight to Istanbul (and you may spend some day too) and then it is better for you to rent a car since you really need it at Cesme too. If you would like to drive directly it takes about 7 hour to arrive Cesme. However what I propose for you is using ferry with car. By passing through the Marmara Sea with Ferry you will save time (2 hours) and effort. After the ferry transportation, 5-6 hours road remains to Cesme. Ferry price is nearly 100 TL per person. You can also fly directly to Izmir and Cesme is only 1 hour away from Izmir airport.
The most popular and expensive one is of course Sheraton Cesme and Boyalik Beach Resort, Altin Yunus Hotel are in the same category as well. These hotels are generally breakfast included or half board. If you ask for my opinion, it is never worth paying to this kind of hotels. Another category is the boutique ones inside Cesme. Rooms decorated with Cesme stones, small but characteristic styles may take your attention. I highly recommend you to pick one of them instead of luxury family style hotels. In Cesme, there are different kind of beaches and you wanna enjoy every of them instead of sticked up at one hotel and its own private beach. and these boutique hotels are generally located in famous Cesme living areas such as Alacati, Cesme Marina and the city center or old town city. If you pay the same amount for breakfast and room and you will enjoy different beaches during your holiday and if you wanna be close night clubs, restaurants, cafe then search for a boutique hotel.
Here are some pictures from famous ones:
Apart from its boutique style one historic and luxury recommendation for you is Kanuni Kervansaray Hotel…
Kanuni Kervansaray Hotel at Cesme, Izmir which was built in 1528 by Suleiman the Magnificent.
This place is a real Kervansaray (caravanserai) which was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Kervansaray supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and southeastern Europe, especially along the Silk Road. This Kervansaray has 29 different rooms for Padisah, his family, his servants and others from the government.
This picture is from 1700s. Onions hanging on top of the entrance still mean abundance, richness, sending away evil and curse in Turkish people beliefs.
Today the view of entrance is just as follows..Building was restorated yet colours and everything were kept as the same.
We stayed at Mabeyn Suit (Mabeyn has many meanings where state officials stayed and controlled government issues and mostly worked as secretary for Ottoman dynasty.)
The room is not big enough yet you will love the atmosphere, the light and bathroom covered with wardrobe 😉 and the handmade penwork on the wall is air conditioner ! They even do not forget to put candles like in those old days.
There are sofas and wooden tables in front of each room…You may enjoy your Turkish coffee and smoking here…
Like in every Ottoman style building, actually the architecture in 1500s was serving us huge, cool courtyard (garden). Living areas, kitchen, dining rooms, bedrooms are built around this huge garden. Generally there is fountain or fancy pool in the middle of this garden. Today, in purpose, they constructed a swimming pool and they can close the pool with the sliding doors at evenings.
Steps going through the Padisah’s terrace
Dinner experience in the courtyard (avlu in Turkish)
After dinner you can nip your Turkish Coffee at the corner with the portrait of Suleiman the Magnificent.
One modern and newly featured hotel Ege Tulip…
Entrance Fee: 35 TL (weekend)- 30 TL (weekdays)
Food: Menu is rich enough to enjoy pizza, meat, pasta, salad, juices, limonates, beers and cocktails…
Prices: For the meal varies from 25-40 TL
For the beverages 10-20 TL for the drinks with alcohol 25-40 TL.
Especially at weekend, there is a buffet corner including many special Turkish foods (like kisir, patates salatasi/potatoe salad, patlican yemegi, barbunya, Turkish snacks/meze, chicken&vegetable mixed foods/ türlü) and its price is 50 TL with unlimited food.
Music: Chill out (ambient, easy listening lounge music)
Water: crystal clear, light blue nearly turquoise and calm (fair wave) water
My opinion: Best beach in Cesme in terms of clear blue water full of with fish, relaxing lounge music, shower places and toilets (they are just like in a restaurant), chaise longue with pillows are impressive, price is favaroble compare to other beaches when those beauties are taken into consideration.
HACETTEPELILER KOYU/ SERA BEACH
Entrance Fee: no entrance fee available, you may enjoy the beach and rest on the ground without chaise longue and you only pay the food you may eat. If you would like to use chaise longue. each is 20 TL.
Beach: Another stunning one in terms of water as you can understand from the boats that anchored.
Entrance Fee: 35 TL (weekend)- 30 TL (weekdays)
Food: Menu is not rich enough like at Propaganda…Yet, you can of course enjoy pizza, toasts, pasta, salad, juices, limonates and beers
For the beverages 10-20 TL
Music: Popular local and foreign pop music and their remix display
Water: crystal clear, light blue nearly turquoise and calm (fair wave) water
My opinion: it is worth spending a day with beautiful water here if you do not choose to be picky about service and foods..
Entrance Fee: 40 TL (They will check your bag before entry..do not bring water or food with you)
Beach: Actually after enjoying other bays like Propaganda and Alacati, I definitely give up going Aya Yorgi..
But ! keep that point in mind especially Babylon is really popular with DJ Performances and
you should try this at least one night! Do not forget to check Cesme Agenda before booking any hotel
Food: Pizzas, Hamburgers, Salad, Pastas are all available..
Parking: 15 TL
Prices: expensive compare to other beaches
Drinks starts from 25 TL (lemonade) and for alcoholic ones 35-50 TL
Foods nearly the same with others…Pizzas for 25-35 TL Salad 20-30 TL Hamburgers 20-30 TL
Music: Lounge relaxing music at morning hours, then the music starts to kick your ear and you have Happy hours between 17.00-19.00 by DJ performance or orchestra especially playing popular Turkish songs..
Water: calm, blue water
My opinion: go there as early as possible and enjoy beautiful clear water…after hours because of the crowd water turns into be a lake;) yet I went there many times so do not take me serious you should probably try and see this popular place at your first visit !
This was the place where I met many foreign tourist! They discovered it before Turkish guys! Honestly, things sticking in my mind here are clear beautiful water and the fried Sardinia (Sardunya)..and one little thing too..First holiday selfie was taken here responsibly…Pink hooded girl 😉
Entrance Fee: 25 TL
Beach: really good! fairly cold, clear beautiful water..you want to drink it!
Food: Sardinia..Sardinia…Sardinia I propose ;))) of course there are other alternatives too…Pizzas, Salad, Pastas…
Prices: nearly the same..you can eat at 25 TL averagely and drink 10-15 TL
Music: really slow relaxing music at every hour.
Water: calm, really blue, clean, rarely cold water
My opinion: I finished my book here! Best place to rest and get away from Cesme crowd…You enjoy the crowd every night at the city center why don’t you spend at least one day here to relax…do not leave the place before sunset..it is the same for every beach!
To summarize, main bays which are including popular beaches are
Aya Yorgi (Paparazzi, KafePi, Sole&Mare, Babylon, Marrakech),
Altinkum (Fly Inn Beach Cesme),
Alacati (Alacati Beach Resort, Propaganda Beach)
Pirlanta (Pirlanta Beach it means Pearl in Turkish)
Distances may vary according the hotel you will stay..Yet, Cesme is like a circle and mainly hostels are on the Musalla road so you can go any beach by car…From Aya Yorgi to Alacati (one edge to other) will take your max. 30-40 minutes.It seems renting a car is essential…
You can also eat boiled corn and fresh mussel filled with Turkish pilav in every beach!
FOR ONE WEEK/person
Hotel accommodation/daily: 200$
Beach & Food & Drink/daily: 40-50 $
Flight: 500 $
I know each part depends on your choice yet approxiamately for one week in Cesme or (Cesme + Bodrum) with a nice boutique hotel room and food at the beach and dinner at restaurants (not Burger King, Starbucks…) starts from 2400 $ to 3000 $ per person…
ILICA PUBLIC BEACH
This public beach is also Sheraton Hotel’s beach…you can understand the beauty of water from the reason why Sheraton has choosen here. There are beautiful summer houses here. You can get fresh here without paying anything or you can rent a chaise lounge for 10$.
Before walking here you will see ‘Dost Pide’ restaurant where you can taste amazing Turkish pide or doner. Here is the menu and the prices for you…
Food corners, boutiques, night clubs and anything about Cesme night is at Alacati ! The place is beautiful enough to just walking around and take pictures…streets, shops and foods seem to be as Greece island…I do not know who created this style first; Turkish or Greek..it is a kind of debate.
Let me leave you alone with the photos please don’t miss the specific recommendations about food and drink…
MUST SEE AND EAT:
BEST PLACE TO EAT FISH IN CESME AT SUNSET
ADA BALIK FETHI’NIN YERI ILDIRI-SIFNE
Delicious salad (green and cheesy), octopus, Turkish appetizers (Meze), calamari , sand mussel and of course Raki will be your unforgettable food ever…sound of waves makes the music for you all night long
CESME CENTER, CESME CASTLE AND CESME MARINA
You should spend one night at Cesme Center. Walking down the streets with the smell of gum flavoured Turkish Coffee..(do not forget to buy to take home)
at the end we are here! one of my weakness ICE-CREAM! Turkish ice cream is really number one in its class and this place is the awarded one…gum , goat milk, fresh fruits
are the main items in the receipt!
The Cesme Castle was ordered built in 1508 by the Ottoman ruler Beyazit II. The castle was built on the waterfront and it was not a coincidence that Suleiman the Magnificent decided to build the Kervansaray just in front of the castle for security issues.
just walk the all way down and watch every wall, take picture and when you will get hungry stop by Kumrucu Sevki;) Kumru is a specialty in Izmir…it is a kind of sandwich fullfilled with sausage, salami, stager, cheese, mayonnaise and tomatoe sauce. Try it with Turkish pickle like in the picture…
The menu and the prices..it is possible to taste this flavour for 5$
‘Beauty will survive the earth and it starts with loving a person…’ popular quote from one of famous Turkish poet
I also want to carry you Bodrum which is just 3 hours away from Cesme and you wanna spend some day at Bodrum too. One specific recommendation for you…5 Star all inclusive hotels are everywhere…Yet, you like this unique one so much as I believe. I want to take your attention to this place.
Aspat Tatil Koyu (Aspat Holiday Village)
Another corner of an heaven. Historical and spiritual hill in the Bodrum,Turkey…Aspat Harbour city of Byzantium…
The Byzantine Bath near port, old observation castle which keep an eye on pirates at the top of the hill and beautiful clear blue beach full of with modern sculptures nearby the hill made our day.
The bath backs to the 13th century..Three different dome of the bath, each has different high levels called as cold room, warm room and hot room which helped people to getting used to staying long at high temperatures:) As always, we were again impressed of people’s mind and work at those old years….All rooms are like bungalows…there is no TV inside…you may not find luxury here yet, you do not need it here.
The story ends here…:)