The Aegean region has some of the most beautiful coastline in Turkey. The beaches are spectacular (however, a little too stony for my liking, some of the ones in Çesme at least) and the high end beaches are made of wood flooring and big fluffy cushions (also I can only speak for Çesme here too). (Real beaches with crystal sugar sand are what I want!!) Putting this aside there is something for everyone in this area.
Places of interest in this region are Urla, Çesmealti (for fish restaurants), Balikliova, Mordogan and Karaburun (for peaceful bays and quaint fishing villages). Karaburun faces the Foça coastline at the entrance to the Gulf of Izmir. On the southern side of the peninsula is the town of Seferihisar and the small and picturesque marina of Sigacik. Nearby is the Temple of Dionysus at Teos and beautiful Akkum beach. Gumuldur also has beautiful beaches, restaurants and hotels and close to these scenic areas Ahmetbeyli there is the Apollon Temple and remnants of the colossal statue of Apollo.
Çesme and Ilica resorts
The Çesme Peninsula, is to the West of Izmir. You can catch one of many buses from Uçkuyollar to this location as well as other locations on the peninsula (about every half hour in summer).
The word Çesme, means tap or fountain, this name comes from the many sources of water around the area. It is one of the Izmirians’ favourite holiday spots. If peace and quiet or liveliness is what you are after and a great selection of man made and natural unspoilt beaches as well as superb restaurants, then this is the place to be.
Çesme has a large 14th century Genoese fortress right in the middle of town and at one end of the main strip is a large marina and port for the ships to Chios, at the other end, a small but beautiful beach with clear water for swimming. Many of Çesme’s best beaches lie elsewhere and not in Çesme’s centre itself. Çesme has many shops, bars and clubs as well as boat trips for taking you to secluded bays and beaches around this beautiful coastline.
Ciftlikkoy has to have the best sandy beach in my opinion and fairly quiet compared to some of the others. It is called Pirlanta Plaj just outside of the town to the southwest, and unlike some of the beaches in Çesme (very stony) will not slash your precious toes on entering the sea. Also a little further on you can find equally beautiful sandy beaches, if not occasionally a little windy sometimes, Altinkum Plaj and Kum Beach.
Approximately 5km away from Çesme are the popular beaches of Ilica (see below).
Ilica dolphin fountain
Ilica main street - come here for Kumru
View of the other side of Ilica - Sheraton
View of Ilica bay
Dining in Ilica and Alaçati
Other places to mention are listed below (click here to view all of the pictures below on one page alternatively you can view them one by one from the links below):
* Ayiyorgi Bay (secret of the locals)
* Alaçati’s Tropicano restaurant
* Port Hotel Alaçati
* Port Hotel + private housing
* Seaside Beach Club
* Miko’s Siesta Café
* Antika Café Restaurant
* Alacaat Restaurant
* One of the many restaurants
* Begonville Café/Restaurant
* Sisarka Restaurant
* Alaçati Home (for beautiful furniture)
* Artura Gallery (for surreal paintings & leather art pieces)
* Feslegin butik hotel
* Bedri Baykam
* Most famous Tuval
* Keyfi Bar Tuval
* Beautiful local hanging baskets
* Alaçati street scene
* A nice shop for all your presents for family members
* OEV Hotel (another Butik Hotel)
* The original tea house for ogling men
* One of only 2 places I know of for Mexican food Picante
* Very nice place but couldn’t find the name.
* Alaçati Café Bar (Also good for watching football)
* A beautiful jewellery store “KS Toke”
* Another very colourful restaurant - maybe Kyo
* Al la Carte Restaurant
* Sailor’s Hotel & Orta Kahve Café
* Gizem Café (Tasty Coffee served here)
* Kose Café – Also meaning corner Café
* Rasim Babanin Cicek Bahcesi
* Guverte and Sabanci Kumru Café
* Alaçati famous old 3 Greek windmills
* Sardunaki Café Restaurant & Bar
Wireless Internet Connections
There is a Internet café in Altin Yunus which charges 3 YTL/hour and an Internet café in Alaçati that charges 1.50 YTL/hour. The Internet café in Altin Yunus is faster and has far less screaming kids playing Doom 3 and shouting about Hepsi or some other Turkish band. The vital thing for me about the Altin Yunus Internet café is they do not restrict access to Java and other strangely coded sites whereas in Alaçati I only managed to send one hotmail and view 3 or 4 sites in one hour. Not good enough!