Cesme is a beautiful coastal town on the western coastline of Turkey, right across the Greek island of Chios. It is a well-known holiday resort town that keeps its original traditional character and many visitors choose to travel here in order to spend their time by the sea.
On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about the town: beaches, nightlife, gastronomic delights, and ferries to/from Cesme. Check out all the available routes and book your ferry tickets with just a few clicks!
The imposing Cesme Castle, near the port of Cesme
Vacation in Cesme
Cesme is one of the seaside resort towns in Turkey that has retained its local flavor. Thanks to its stunning sea, pretty architecture and delicious food it is considered a vacationer’s paradise.
The town has a long seafront ideal for promenading, an impressive castle, a bustling commercial area with plenty of shops, as well as lovely beaches. Cesme is known as the windsurfing and kite-surfing capital of Turkey and the third best surfing resort in the world.
Cesme is also the ideal base for exploring the surrounding Izmir peninsula and visiting smaller villages, like Alacati.
How to get to Cesme
You can reach Cesme by bus, plane, car and by ferry!
The main way to travel by ferry from Greece to Cesme is through Chios. Due to the island being only 9 nautical miles to the west, the duration of the ferry ride is only 20-35 minutes. Some vessels can carry cars onboard so you can explore the beauties of the Turkish coast!
Although Cesme doesn’t have its own airport, you can fly to Izmir (ADB), which is located 72km from Cesme and then get to the center of Cesme by bus. Otherwise, you can fly to the airport of Chios (JKH) in Greece and then take the ferry to Cesme, just 15km away from the port of Chios.
Small fishing boats at the port of Cesme
What to do in Cesme
Cesme is a beautiful destination to visit during summer. Here you can find picturesque buildings, beautiful beaches and many options for food and entertainment.
Besides its impeccable seafront and crystal-clear waters, Cesme is also visited by many tourists for its rich history. Between its many popular attractions, you cannot miss the Cesme Castle as well as the nearby village of Alacati, which stands out for its traditional architecture.
Cesme attracts also surfers from all over the world! In fact, this resort town on the Aegean Coast is all about water sports. Even if you are not into adventure, the golden beaches and the soothing scenery will make you feel relaxed!
Beaches in Cesme
Cesme offers some of the Aegean’s best stretches of sand and water. Most of its beaches are well-organized with several beach bars while there are some secluded beaches as well.
Here are 7 of the best beaches in Cesme:
- Ilica Plaji: a two-kilometer stretch of white sand and blue water, which has become famous for its thermal springs. It is also an ideal windsurfing spot.
- Pirlanta Plaji: Pirlanta Plaji (Diamond Beach) is a windy beach, located approximately 10km from Cesme center. Its name is inspired by its glistening sand and it is also a well-known destination for kitesurfing.
- Altinkum Plaji: located approximately 10km from Cesme center, this beautiful beach faces the open sea.
- Mavi Koy: a perfect place for nature lovers, who want to explore the underwater sea life. Do not miss the turquoise cove that is accessible by boat tours.
- Boyalik Plaji: the calm winds and quiet surroundings of this beach make it a perfect getaway from Cesme’s vibrant beach life.
- Delikli Koy: is located in the Alacatı district of Izmir. This secluded beach is ideal for those seeking a peaceful holiday. In the Delikli Bay, there is also a camping area, which attracts many visitors.
- Ayayorgi Koyu: in the vicinity of Boyalik Plaji, this beach is ideal for beach party lovers. Here you can find numerous beach clubs and enjoy a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Ilika Beach in Cesme on a windy day
Sightseeing and Activities in Cesme
Cesme is an ancient city of great interest as it has many archaeological attractions. Moreover, visitors choose Cesme as a starting point in order to explore more Turkish cities like Izmir, Alacati or even the archaeological site of Ephesus.
Here are some of the most famous attractions in Cesme:
- Cesme Castle
- Archaeological Museum
- Thermal Baths of Cesme
- Ruins of Ephesus
- The ancient city of Erythrai (or Ildiri)
Tip: if you choose to visit Alacati while in Cesme, don’t miss the chance to stroll around the Alacati Market, a large open-market where you can find local Turkish products, spices and textiles.
The picturesque sea-side village Ildiri
Nightlife in Cesme
Cesme becomes more vibrant when the sun goes down. People drive from all over Turkey for a night out at one of the beachfront restaurants and dance clubs of Cesme.
If you are looking for a vacation full of late nights, great bars on the beach and music festivals, then you are in the right place. Cesme has the best nightlife in Turkey and the entertainment options are endless: from lounge bars to clubs with live performances, you can pick the right one for you.
It is also worth heading to a beach club to soak up the sun by day and the party atmosphere in the evening. Of all the neighborhoods around Cesme, Alacati is probably the most vibrant and attracts attention with its festivals, events, nightlife, and chic restaurants.
Tip: if you prefer a little more beat, don't miss the Electronica Festival in Cesme. For those that like softer tunes, the Cesme Jazz Festival is held at the Marina of Cesme every summer.
Food in Cesme
The local flavors of Cesme include Mediterranean dishes, lots of mastic flavors and a wide variety of herbs. Of course, you cannot leave Cesme without trying various mezes, combined with a glass of raki (a local alcoholic spirit).
Here are some local dishes and delicacies you absolutely must try during your holiday in Cesme:
- kumru (toasted sandwich prepared with an artisanal bread and filled with cheese, tomato and sausage)
- boyoz (breakfast pastry made with flour, sunflower oil and tahini)
- greens in olive oil (okra, green beans, artichokes)
- lokma (fried dough soaked in syrup)
- mastic-gum jam
- gummy ice cream
- turkish coffee with mastic gum
Villages in Cesme
Cesme is surrounded by smaller towns and villages that are worth a visit.
Here are top villages to visit if you find yourself staying in Cesme:
- Alacatı: Alacati has always been a popular destination for windsurfers and recently has become more known among those who search for beautiful boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants. Its turquoise crystal-clear waters and pastel coloured buildings will make your instagram feed stand out.
- Ildiri: originally known as Erythrai, Ildiri is a small coastal village prominent as the site of the ancient Greek city ruins of Erythrai. Ildiri was declared as an archaeological area in 1985 and it attracts many visitors thanks to its antiquities.
- Urla: this lovely fishing town is 40 minutes away from the Cesme city center. Urla is famous for the wineries of the Urla Vineyard Route. Do not leave Urla without visiting the family-owned vineyard houses and trying the local wines.
- Dalyan: a fishing village just north of Cesme that has some of the region's best fish restaurants. During summer, you can enjoy restaurants serving fresh fish and mezes.
Strolling around the old stone houses in Alacati
Tips for Cesme
Here are 4 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Cesme:
- For the best shopping experience in Cesme, Cesme Bazaar offers you a relaxing atmosphere. There you can find many cafes where you can relax after a hot day.
- The town square is Cesme’s lively heart. When the sun goes down locals gather here to meet friends and family.
- A traditional Turkish hammam is a must-do during your trip to Cesme.
- Do not miss Cesme’s main shopping street, Inkilap Caddesi, which accommodates plenty of shops and boutiques.
Useful information about Cesme
Cesme is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Turkey and offers many services to travelers.
If you want to spend some time shopping during your trip to Cesme, you will find all kinds of shops, from markets to big shopping malls. Don’t miss the chance to visit one of the most vibrant markets that are held on Sundays.
As for accommodation, Cesme offers a variety of options, depending on your budget. Cesme is slightly lower in price regarding the nearby Alacati and is closer to the region’s best beaches.
In Cesme there is also a wide range of medical services available. The Cesme Alper Çizgenakat State Hospital provides healthcare services for both residents of Cesme and tourists.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Cesme
Here are some useful numbers during your holiday in Cesme:
- Tourist Information Office: +902327126653
- Cesme State Hospital: +902327120777
- Cesme Bus Station: +902322742276
- Cesme emergency: 155
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Cesme
For visitors to Cesme without a car, the network of dolmus (minibus) represents a convenient and economical means of transport to reach most of the beaches and neighborhoods.
Most tourists visiting Cesme for a day or two are comfortable walking around. The city has a lovely pedestrian shopping street, and all the main attractions are near the center. However, if you plan to spend a few days more, go ahead and rent a car or a scooter and then you can drive around exploring other gems on the peninsula.
Ports in Cesme
The port of Cesme is within walking distance from the city center (approximately 5 minutes on foot). The port features a dock, which can accommodate ferries and sailing boats.
In the area where the port is situated there are basic amenities and you need to travel a short distance to the city center for shopping and food. In case you need extra tips, we suggest that you visit the Tourism Information Office, which is located near the cruise terminal.
You can easily reach the port by taxi or by bus from several parts of the city.
Cesme ferry, schedules and tickets
Are you thinking of visiting Cesme this year? The coastal city can be reached by ferry from the Greek island of Chios!
The ferry company that usually operates on the route from Chios to Cesme is Sunrise Lines.
On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes to Cesme, so that you can easily and conveniently plan your ferry trip.
Here are some more details on the ferry connection to Cesme:
- Ferry Chios - Cesme: the route from the port of Chios to Cesme is seasonal and available 2 times per day during summer with sailing durations from around 30 minutes.
Tip: visit our relevant blog post to find out all the latest updates on Turkey - Greece ferry routes.
The busy port of Cesme in Turkey
Where to book ferry tickets to Cesme?
Do you fancy summer holidays by the sea? Do you want to relax in a beautiful resort town overlooking the Aegean?
Find all the information you need about ferries to Cesme on Ferryhopper. Book cheap ferry tickets to Cesme with no extra fees, compare companies and trip duration, and organize your holidays in Cesme in just a few clicks.