We need to talk about Cesme, Turkey. Before our trip, Ilhan had told me about the beautiful beaches in Turkey…but I was so excited for Istanbul, the culture, the food, the ancient sites, that I forgot that we’d be beaching it up while in Izmir. Maybe it was also due to the fact that I live in Southern California so going to the beach isn’t that special of an activity. But I was very wrong to not be pumped up, because it was the most magical beach experience of my life.
Cesme is about a one hour bus ride outside of Izmir, and to access the beach you have to pay entry to a beach club. Here in California, you just go to the sand and lay out a towel, so it was a bit unusual for me to have to pay to go to the beach. It wasn’t expensive with the exchange rate (less than $10), and the fee got you a bed to lay out on all day. There wasn’t a sandy beach…rather the beds were set up on top of a deck built over the water, so you could literally get out of your bed and dive straight into the sea. Did I mention this was paradise?
The water was so so so so clear and warm and stunning…it felt like swimming in a salt water pool. You could easily float on your back and swim around lazily and even bring a drink into the water if you wanted to. Compare that to the water here in SoCal…literally freezing cold year round with waves so huge you have to constantly be on your toes so you don’t get pulled underwater. I was in heaven. I love swimming and I love the beach, so having the chance to actually swim around in the ocean water was a dream. We stayed in the water for the majority of the day every single time we were there, only taking a break when we got really tired or hungry. Speaking of which, you got served food and drinks right to your bed! It felt like staying at a resort and again…it cost less than $10.
The only negative experience there: I got stung by a f-ing jellyfish :[ It was the strangest thing…I was swimming above a patch of seaweed with my head above water when I heard something like electricity and my forearm starting burning. Swimming back to the deck, it felt like my skin was peeling off and I was gushing blood, so imagine my surprise when I got out of the water and there wasn’t even a visible mark! After a few minutes the burns started to show up red my forearm and they made a really awesome scar that lasted most of the summer. I was kinda sad to see my battle wounds go haha.
Seriously…if I have the opportunity to visit Turkey again, Cesme would ABSOLUTELY be on my “visit again” list. It was beyond beautiful and relaxing, and it felt luxurious without breaking the bank. Someone take me back right now!