The Çeşme Peninsula, due west of İzmir, and its towns of Çeşme, Alaçatı and Ilıca, is a major regional holiday destination. The port for ferries to Chios, the Greek island, is in the town of Çeşme.
Çeşme (CHESH-meh, “fountain” or “spring,” pop. 100,000) is a pleasant enough, popular sun-and-beach resort town, especially for visitors from İzmir, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
Çeşme’s main strolling and shopping street is lined with nice old Ottoman-style houses.
For a smaller, cozier, less crowded version of Çeşme, make the short trip to nearby Alaçatı.
There are good beaches south of Çeşme, and at nearby Ilıca(UH-luh-jah), easily reachable by minibus (dolmuş).
This distant suburb of İzmir boasts the Urla Şarapçılık winery, making quality wines in an area where winemaking thrived for thousands of years.
—by Tom Brosnahan