This small town (pronounced chesh-me), located 85km from İzmir, is a popular holiday resort and dominated by Çeşme Castle. It lies on the extreme western tip of Turkey, opposite the Greek island of Chios.
Çeşme otogar is about 10 minutes walk to the Çeşme Castle, which is facing the promenade. Just follow the signs of “şehir merkezi” (city center). Once you reach the center, you cannot miss the castle, which can be seen from any part of the town.
The Genoese fortress, whose dramatic walls dominate the town center, was built in 1508 and repaired by Sultan Beyazıt, son of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror (Mehmet Fatih), to defend the coast from attack by pirates. Later, the Rhodes-based Knights of St John of Jerusalem also made use of it. The battlements offer excellent views of Çeşme, and it’s good to walk around inside – under arches, up and down steps, and through towers with exhibits on subjects including the area’s naval history.
With an admission fee of TL 5, this is not the best sights to see, unless you want excellent views of the town. A museum is situated inside the Çeşme Castle and has a total of 477 items on display, consisting 320 archaeological pieces, 126 ethnographic pieces and 31 coins.
Other than the castle, head to the springs of Çeşme, just 5 km from the heart of town. Luxuriate in the comforting waters of natural mineral baths that has a high level of sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate, and calcium bicarbonate. These waters are heated and used for treating rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases.
After returning to the city center, I stopped by Cafe Mado at the promenade for lunch. I ordered a beef sandwich, which is awful!
A walk back to the otogar and a ride to Izmir, I was in the Izmir city center by around 4pm and though of going for a run from the hotel to the Konak bay area, then along the promenade and back to the hotel.
How to reach Çesme:
There are several ways to reach Çesme, with bus companies from Izmir on any time of the day. Costing TL 7, it takes about an hour and 15 minutes from Izmir to Çeşme. The problem is reaching Izmir Otogar (bus station) – which lies 6km north east of town and although there are plenty of dolmuş that make the journey there from the center, just inquire at one of the bus companies’ offices for free rides to the bus station. I stayed near the Basmane metro station and right outside the station, Metro bus company runs free Metro shuttle buses to the Izmir Otogar every 30 minutes. Just get in that free shuttle!
Return to Izmir center from the bus station in the same free Metro shuttle or ask for a dolmuş.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. The exchange rate at the time of publishing is assumed to be USD 1 = TRY 1.80.
|Bus from Izmir to Çesme & back||TL 14 or $7.80||One way is TL 7.|
|Çesme Castle||TL 5 or $2.80||Entrance fees|
|Snacks & water||TL 5 or $2.80|
|Lunch at Mado cafe||TL 16 or $8.90|
|Toilets||TL 2 or $1.10|
|Total Costs||$23.40||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,772.80||Per person|
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Exploring the coastal city of İzmir.
Coastal town featuring thermal baths & castle.
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Traveling from İzmir to Kuşadası & spending day there.