Çeşme / Ilıca

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Cesme is a coastal town and the administrative centre of the district of the same name in Turkey's westernmost end, on a promontory on the tip of the peninsula which also carries the same name and which extends inland to form a whole with the wider Karaburun Peninsula.

It is a popular holiday resort and the district center, where two thirds of the district population is concentrated. Cesme is located 85 km west of Izmir, the largest metropolitan center in Turkey's Aegean Region. There is a six-lane highway connecting the two cities. Cesme district has two neighboring districts, Karaburun to the north and Urla to the east, both of which are also part of Izmir Province. The name "Cesme" means "fountain" and possibly draws reference from the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city.


Ilıca is a large resort area near Cesme in the extreme western tip of Turkey, in Izmir Province. A township apart in practically all its aspects, Ilıca administratively depends the municipality of the district center of Cesme, at a distance of 5 km to the west.

Ilica started out as a settlement towards the end of the 19th century, initially as a retreat for wealthy people, especially from Izmir, during summer holidays. Today, it is a popular destination for many. Its name makes reference to its famed thermal springs, some of which are in the sea. As the thermal waters come out of the sea bed and mix with the sea water adding minerals very close to the Ilica Beach, swimming at Ilica Beach is ideal for the skin. Ilica is also home to mud baths which is known to cure many illnesses such as rheumatism, metabolism illnesses and gynaecological diseases.

Mentioned by Pausanias and Charles Texier, Ilıca thermal springs are also notable in Turkey for having been the subject of the first scientifically based analysis in Turkish language of a thermal spring, published in 1909 by Yusuf Cemal. By his time the thermal springs were well-known both internationally, scientific and journalistic literature having been published in French and in Greek, and across Ottoman lands, since the construction here of a still-standing yalı associated with Muhammad Ali of Egypt's son Tosun Pasha who had sought a cure in Ilıca before his premature death.

Ilica also has a fine beach, about 1.5 km long, as well as favorable wind conditions which make Ilıca, together with the neighboring Alacati, an internationally prized location for windsurfing.