We ended our Euro-Journey in Cesme, which is a gorgeous beach town in Turkey. It was about an hour flight from Istanbul and probably my favorite new city we discovered.
Cesme is ridiculously charming and the waters of the Aegean sea are unlike any waters I have swam in. They were warm and crystal clear. There was something about the air, the water and the food there that really lifted my spirits. After less than a week in Cesme, my skin was glowing, tanned and plump. Usually I come back from vacation and my skin in sun drenched and in need of some love, but that sea water worked like a charm for me. Maybe not for my keratin treatment in my hair, but who cares. For those who do not know, salt water is not good for keratin treatments!
A little insight on how to get to this beach town the best possible way is via a plane to Izmir. Once you get to Izmir, take a group bus to town or take a direct taxi there. It is about 1-2 hours from the Izmir airport, so I do suggest the bus to be sensitive to cost. The bus will drop you off at the port and from there you can take a taxi to your hotel.
You can stay beachside or even stay in a boutique hotel the downtown area, called Alacati. We personally stayed at the beachside Sheraton hotel. The resort pool is gorgeous, but who cares about the pool when the Aegean Sea is at your disposal. The Sheraton has a private dock that plays european house music all day. It has a bar situated right in the middle for mid day refreshing! I laid out on the dock in one of their comfy lounge chairs for hours and periodically would do a canon ball off the dock into the waters. Not suggested as there are signs prohibiting you to do that.
During the day there are plenty of beach side day parties. The people of Cesme, who let me tell you are absolutely STUNNING, love to party. I later found out that Cesme is the Hamptons of the wealthy Turkish youth. It was filled with lovely young couples from Greece and Turkey who were all there for a fun weekend getaway. People barely spoke English there, but it was not a big deal. All I wanted to do was lay out, eat delicious Mediterranean food and drink wine.
Some of my favorite places in Cesme:
Dayclubs: Before Sunset
Dinner: Fava in Alacati. Get the sea bass and the squash blossoms! Incredible!
Shopping: Nightime in Alacati. The Alacati alleys are filled with street vendors. I brought back so many silk and bamboo scarves, jewelry, and miscellaneous items for friends and family.
Disco: After Sunset
One thing you should know about Cesme is that it is really a vacation town that is buzzing from late Spring until September. After that, the city practically closes down. I am so grateful we went during the time that we did because it was absolutely magical. I will never forget the memories made during this time in Cesme. More importantly, during this whole journey through Europe together. It opened my eyes in so many ways and made me realize there is so much beauty in this world and I am continuously going to keep searching for this feeling the rest of my life.