The Çesme Peninsula on the Turkish Aegean coast is a popular second home location and an increasingly important destination for foreign visitors. Policies are needed to balance the needs of tourism and conservation on the Peninsula. This study was designed to gather opinions of beach users to contribute to policy formulation for the Peninsula. Opinions of beach users (n = 300) were obtained at five beaches (Altýnkum, Tekke, West Ilýca, East Ilýca and Altýn Yunus) on the Peninsula, via a questionnaire survey in summer 1997. Beach users rated the importance of 11 beach aspects on a scale ranging from 1 (extremely important) to 5 (not important). Users were also asked to assess the quality of the beach with regard to 11 key aspects using a scale from »very good« to »very bad«. Refreshment provision satisfied the requirements of the (mostly young: over half under 30 years old) visitors. Altýnkum was perceived to have the cleanest bathing water, while Tekke and West Ilýca were considered worst. The perceived level of sand and beach cleanliness was considerably lower than for bathing water at all beaches. Air quality, scenery, access and safety were given similar, fairly high ratings at all beaches. Clean bathing water was given the highest priority of aspects investigated, followed by cleanliness of toilet facilities. Actual cleanliness of toilets was perceived to be poor. Similarly, beach/sand cleanliness was considered highly important but actual cleanliness was perceived to be moderate. Beach access and parking were accorded low priorities. Zoning of watersports was preferred by most beach users, especially at the small pocket beach at Tekke. Visitors were satisfied with the level of commercial service provision and there was no evidence that users wanted increased commercialisation of the beaches. Management action is necessary to keep beaches free of litter. Beach management needs to be strengthened to control watersports activities and ensure the cleanliness of toilets and other facilities.