The closest we got to our “Greek beach vacation” just happened to be in Turkey. We opted to spend a few days in a lovely little resort town in Western Turkey called Cesme. Technically it is in Asia, but it seemed more European than Greece we experienced. Our hotel was right next to the beach. Cesme, at least the center, was tidy, clean and full of well behaved drivers.
Walking around, I fell in love with the urban texture of the place. All over you can see the patina of faded paint, the old ironwork, the old water fountains with Arabic writing where men still came and collected water. The castle was the main historical feature, followed by a Greek church that now serves as a community hall.