Cesme is a village located at the hedge of a peninsula, part of the gulf of Izmir . This fishermen’s village counts abundant thermal springs in its area. The village may owe its name to these springs as “Cesme” means “fountain”. The village is dominated by a 14th century Genoese fortress.
Though it is becoming a popular holiday resort especially for surfers, Cesme has been able to preserve its Turkish characteristics. Cesme, former Kyus, was founded in 196 BC by the Romans. It was both an important sea port and the home to famous wine producers of the Aegean region. Today Cesme counts a population of 65.000 and 250.000 seasonal migrant workers during the wine harvest period.
The history of Cesme is principally bound to the antique cityof “Erytrai”: according to Pausanias, Erytrai was founded by Cretan settlers under the rule of Erytros (“The Red”) who gave his name to the city. Today one can still very well trace the city walls. In 1966, after the discovery of Mycenian ceramics, Erytrai has been subject to archaeological explorations.