In Turkey's eastern Ağrı province, where temperatures hit almost minus 20 degrees Celsius at night, locals prefer thermal springs in the city's Diyadin town on the weekends to stay warm in winter.
Seven kilometers from the town center, the thermal springs of Köprü, Davut and Yılanlı gush out from 300 meters below and reach as much as 80 degrees Celsius. Their water is distributed to pools after it is cooled down in five cooling pools.
Known for their healing properties against skin diseases, depression, gastro-intestinal, respiratory disorders and, especially, rheumatism, the thermal springs provide a warm shelter for locals and visitors.
Ali Demirci, a business operator in Ağrı who has run thermal spring pools for 45 years, said that many locals come to the thermal springs and that the pools get very crowded over the weekends.
Orhan Özden, another pool owner, said that locals do not let the cold weather stop them from coming to the pools.
"The pools are both clean and healing here. Those trying the thermal springs prefer Diyadin in following years," said Erdi Yalçın, one of the visitors enjoying the thermal springs in Ağrı.
For tourists seeking the health benefits of Turkey's natural wonders, spending a holiday enjoying the natural thermal springs - known as "kaplıca" in Turkish - is gaining popularity among locals and foreigners, especially tourists from Arab countries.
The healing qualities of the thermal springs particularly attract the elderly, but they make for a fun vacation for people of all ages.
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