During the balmy, summer months, the pretty coastal town of Cesme on Turkey’s Izmir Peninsula buzzes with life. Look forward to an elegant boutique village experience – and every amenity imaginable – within the newly built, award-winning marina.
And a myriad of pleasures in charming Cesme, its chic neighbour Alaçatı– and every other fabulous destination just a short sail or flight away.
- Relax in the marina
Cesme Marina’s, winner of the 2014 PIANC Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award that recognises outstanding design of modern recreational boating facilities around the world; with its sensational design and world-class facilities this marina is a unique holiday destination in its own right.
Blending harmoniously with the town’s traditional style, it offers everything you could ever wish for. When you’re not wining, dining or partying just a stone’s throw away from your yacht, you can shop at its modern retail complex, relax by the hotel’s swimming pool or take a treatment at the health centre.
There’s also a yacht rental and brokerage, car rental, Carrefour supermarket, opticians, art gallery, crafts, music and bookstore, technology centre and children’s entertainment centre all within the premises.
- Dine to your heart’s content
The beautiful shoreside marina village is lined with numerous chic cafés and fine restaurants. Don’t miss the fish menu – the finest in Cesme – at Ferdi Baba restaurant or the sumptuous steaks and outstanding wine at Tuval Restaurant.
In nearby Alaçatı, its sensational slow-food scene has earned it a place on the Med’s culinary map. Dine at Mitu Café Bar Bistro for tantalising, authentic Turkish menu. Barbun for elegantly prepared seafood and a modern take on classic regional dishes. And Agrilia Café for a magical atmosphere and fantastic Italian-inspired food.
- Listen to live music
If you’re looking for excellent live performances, you won’t get much better than Hayal Kahvesi yacht club. With music every night of the week throughout the summer, and famous Turkish singers performing on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s the best spot to kick back and soak up one of the finest views over the marina.
15 Eylül Kıraathanesi jazz lounge is another great option within the marina for live concerts.
- Drink and dance the night away
You’ll be spoiled for choice at Cesme Marina. At night it bursts into life and a vibrant, fun atmosphere pervades the restaurants, cafes and bars along the promenade.
Beyond the marina, there’s Cesme’s Aya Yorgi Bay. With its lemon groves and crystal blue seas, it’s a popular daytime anchorage. But by night it draws in Turkey’s party elite, especially at the famous Babylon bar, restaurant and club. There are several other glamorous options in the bay, too, including Marrakech, Sole Mare, Paparazzi and Kafe Pi. They’re all so close together, so you can flit from place to place and see where the night takes you.
A little further away in Ciftlikkoy, Fun Beach and Fly Inn are both also well worth a visit.
- Visit Alaçatı
This chic seaside town has long been a favourite for Istanbul’s and Izmir’s rich and famous. But today its fine boutique hotels, galleries and beach clubs attract moneyed holidaymakers from all around the world.
Since it’s just 15 minutes away from Cesme, you’ll want to come here again and again. With its narrow cobbled streets, pretty whitewashed houses and laid-back vibe, it’s a great place to just wile away the hours. Simply break up your day at its many street-side cafés watching the world go by sipping espressos, or shopping at its impressive choice of boutiques.
Alacati is also the heart of Turkey’s windsurfing and kitesurfing scene. So take your pick from one of the ten professional centres and whizz over the flat, turquoise waters of the Aegean.
- Cruise to Chios
From Cesme Marina, you’re perfectly placed to explore the many gems of the Aegean, with its many islands and epic coastline. But one magical place you mustn’t miss is the Greek isle of Chios – just 8km away.
It’s a starkly beautiful island, largely unspoilt by mass tourism despite having some of the Aegean’s best beaches – ranging from cosmopolitan, fully serviced sandy beaches, like Karfas Bay, to isolated lagoons. And some of the most fascinating medieval villages in the whole of Greece.
Head to the village of Pyrgi to see the wonderful buildings adorned with striking geometric patterns. And to Mesta, one of Greece’s most unusual, medieval villages. There’s also Nea Moni monastery –a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which houses many intriguing Byzantine artifacts.
- Fly to Istanbul
Catch one of 40 daily flights from Izmir – an hour’s drive away – and you’ll be in the magnificent city of Istanbul in no time. With its glittering mosques, historic hammams, atmospheric tea gardens, chic hotels and ‘Golden Mile’ nightlife, it’s a magical place to witness the collision of ancient and modern worlds.