The claw-like mass of land that extends west from İzmir, the Çeşme peninsula, terminates near Çeşme itself, the least touristed and most relaxing of the central Aegean’s main coastal resorts. A one-hour bus ride from İzmir, it makes a decent base for the few attractions within shouting distance of town – most notably ancient Erythrae, the hip town of Alaçatı and Altınkum beach.

The immediate environs of Çeşme are green and hilly, with added colour from the deeply aquamarine sea and the white of the wind turbines on the approach to the peninsula. The climate here is noticeably drier, cooler and healthier than anywhere nearby on the Turkish coast, especially in comparison with occasionally hellish İzmir or muggy Kuşadası. These conditions, combined with the presence of several thermal springs, have made the peninsula a popular resort for over a century.

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