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Located on the Karaburun Peninsula, Cesme sits right on the sea in Turkey’s Aegean Region and is a popular destination for a holiday of any length. The name literally means “fountain” and there are a number of Ottoman fountains to see that are scattered about the city. If you’re planning a stop to this city that has been associated with Homer and the Trojan War, then you’re likely planning to enjoy the lengthy beach space and emerald waters that are available to you.
If the weather isn’t cooperating with you, however, or you feel the itch to explore, then you’re going to need some options! We’ve put together some ideas to help you explore all of what Cesme has to offer. What could your journey through Cesme look like?
It Isn’t Just the Beach That Dominates Cesme
At first glance, you’ll notice that there is one very dominant feature inland from the beach in Cesme. That would be the castle that bears the same name as the community. Although the building of the castle itself has some debate about who actually built it and then fortified it, what is known is that it was done during the reign of Bayezid II.
What you’ll find inside the castle is absolutely breathtaking. Large gardens and groves are found in abundance along the walls and outside of the main castle gate sits a statue of Hasan Pasha. He was a naval commander who fought in front of the castle and the statue shows him with his favorite pet lion as he faces the Cesme’s town square. The battle was a defeat, but he did manage to sink one of the Russian attackers during the battle.
Just a few paces to the south of the castle sits an authentic caravanserai, which was built in the 15th century. You can actually stay there if you wish during your stay in Cesme since it has been converted into a boutique hotel. If you continue on toward the back streets of the city, you’ll also be able to find some traditional Ottoman homes that are still standing in their splendid glory.
While at the castle, you’ll want to take an hour or two to tour through the Cesme Museum. It’s housed in the Umur Bey tower and displays many of the different finds that have come from the region. Most of the permanent collection is coins, but there are some tools and some interesting stone items that date from the Bronze Age that make the stop worthwhile.
Watersports Are One of the Best Features of a Cesme Stay
Although there is plenty of beach space in Cesme, there are some days that an afternoon at the beach isn’t so comfortable. The winds come across the area quite dramatically sometimes and this makes it the perfect time to do some windsurfing or kitesurfing. All of the surfing schools in Turkey that teach this skill are located in Cesme, so even if you’ve never gone surfing before, you’ll have the chance to enjoy this water sport.
The Alacati area is the best place to go windsurfing if this is your plan. The water is only about 1 meter deep for about 700 meters off of the shore and the area receives particularly heavy winds throughout much of the year, which means anyone of almost any age can get out onto the waves and enjoy the sport that defines this resort area.
Attached to Cesme is the resort of Ilica, which is just 5 kilometers to the east. There are some pretty incredible thermal springs to be found in Ilica and it has become a popular destination on its own. There’s a 1.5 kilometer beach that is smooth and clean there and you can do some extra windsurfing if you’ve managed to find your sea legs for the experience.
For a Taste of Norway, Fly to Cesme!
Even a long afternoon on the beach can make one hungry, so what are your options while you stay in Cesme? One of the best choices is the Star Restaurant, which features a number of unique offerings that range from Norwegian items to a Hawaiian pizza if you want. There are many different steak options on the menu if you’re looking for a hearty option and you can’t go wrong with their pasta carbonara at all.
If you’re looking for some local flavors during your trip to Cesme, then we highly recommend trying Tiko’s Care. From the first moment, you’ll get an Ottoman ambience that is perfect for a mid-day meal. It’s just off the coast on Sokak and there numerous grilled seafood and meat choices available – not to mention a good party until the middle of the night some evenings!
For a taste of home, there’s a pretty good ex-pat place in town as well called the No Problem Bar. It’s got a wonderful traditional English breakfast and it does the pub quiz thing if you enjoy answering trivia questions. There’s a regular book exchange going on as well in this friendly little hangout. You just might want to avoid the numerous souvenier towels that are offered for your time at the beach.
Are You Ready to Explore Cesme?
From the castle on the top of the hill to the beaches that line the waterfront, there is always something to see and do in this beautiful community that will relax you. Whether you just want to be the typical tourist and see the museums and other cultural offerings or you just want to have a few drinks and some excellent food, Cesme is going to be able to meet all of your needs so that you can relax in style.
If you’re tired of visiting resort locations that just don’t seem to satisfy, then it’s time to plan a trip to Cesme. It’s got everything you could ever need to help you relax and as an extra benefit, you can get out on the waves and have a good time. Sun, wind, and the beach – what more could you ask for in a great holiday getaway?
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