Cesme BeachCesme - Party Rock Anthem
A place where the way of life is “No Yacht, No Service,” the Turkish Aegean beach town of Cesme is the land of beautiful people and champagne problems. Packed with the Istanbul elite answering the call of club culture, this is “Party Rock Anthem” territory. So drop anchor and get the party rocking in the yacht tonight.
Good For: A large group of friends – and anyone who knows how to have a good time. Hopefully for you that includes your significant other.
- Yachting along the 90 kilometers of coastline and beach clubs that make up Cesme.
- Dropping anchor and taking your dinghy into the Marrakech nightclub. The music will own you.
- Shopping and cafe-hopping on Inkilap Caddesi, which has somehow retained its provincial charm amidst the party around it.
- Lunching on fresh seafood at Tuval with the beautiful people.
- Hitting the waves to go kitesurfing and windsurfing.
What to Know: We semi-jokingly imply that a yacht is necessary to enjoy Cesme, but the water and beaches are its essence. It is possible to drive between beaches, but the experience won’t be the same. Unless you can swim like Michael Phelps – and if you don’t have the fortune of a yacht connection – rent a boat with a group of friends.
Suggested Stay: 2–3 days
Living La Vida Leisure
Cesme epitomizes living the life of leisure, only broken up by sets of kitesurfing and thermal spa treatments. A destination on the jet-set down-low, Cesme is the more exclusive Bodrum. There are a few architectural sites like Cesme Castle and the charming main street of Inkilap Caddesi for shopping and cafes, but the main attractions are the beach clubs covering the 90-plus kilometers of prime Aegean real estate.
You’ll find numerous hotels on the island, but the real hitters stay on their boats and dinghy in for activities. Hotels are boutique-y and bed and breakfast; if you’re looking for the Four Seasons, you won’t find it here. A standout is Nars Ilici, a whitewashed Miami-style hotel, where service is king. Generally, hotel prices are gentle in Cesme, ranging from 100 to 400 euros. The reason to come is to have a good time; hotels are secondary.
Lunches are champagne- and rosé-fueled affairs, where you’ll sit for hours eating seafood that was just fished out of the water. Two standout restaurants are Tuval, set right on the marina, and Dalyan Cevatin Yeri for Turkish spa cuisine, with a focus on whole grilled fish. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for food, though you’ll pay up on the liquor bill, which is subject to the sin tax in Turkey.
Cesme has the best insider beaches in Turkey. It’s a beach-club culture, where a yacht serves as the natural velvet rope, as well as your entree to explore the sunny shores. These aren’t the rocky European beaches either; this is white, soft sand. Once you go Turkish beach, you never go back. By day, the beach clubs like Marrakech, Sole Mare, and Paparazzi are chilled-out scenes, where you can spend the day under an umbrella and chaise lounge, alternating between dips in the water, breaks for food and beverage, and naps. People-watching is the sport of Cesme; unlike other European destinations overrun by tourists, the crowds here are the local elite.
Party Rock Anthem
The lazy days turn into raucous evenings. Already hit by Diddy’s White Party epidemic, Kafe Pi has happy hour, where the club music gets pumping. Cesme is the kind of place where the music will own you, especially at the Marrakech club. Here, it’s not just girls, but animal prints, gone wild. This is Eastern wealth, and they are no shy crowd. They’re sexy and they know it. No shoes, no shirt, and they still get serviced. But no yacht? Not a chance.