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Still a summer retreat for Izmir's wealthy, Ilıca fronts one of the peninsula's most popular beaches, with many hotels lined up along the seafront and unusually warm, crystal clear water and white sand—the name means "hot spring" or "spa" in Turkish. The public beach here is large but gets crowded on weekends. There are lots of waves, but few amenities like lounge chairs or umbrellas. The town has plenty of shops and eateries and is particularly known for its kumru (literally translated as "dove"), a Turkish-style panini sandwich prepared with kaşar cheese (similar to mild cheddar), sucuk (a spicy, Turkish beef sausage), salami, sliced tomatoes, and pickles stuffed inside sesame-seed bread and served piping hot. There's no kite-surfing in summer, but it's allowed in winter if you bring your own gear. Jet skis and banana boats are available. Amenities: food and drink; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: swimming, walking.
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