Turkey’s thermal springs await those seeking ultimate relaxation
by Sena Alkan
Oct 11, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Sena Alkan
Oct 11, 2014 12:00 am
With more than 1,000 thermal springs that are renowned for their healing, relaxation and wellness properties, Turkey calls for those who are looking for the ultimate relaxation holiday
Health tourism is rapidly developing around the world and Turkey is one of the countries that is often considered by tourists travelling to find a cure for their ailments. As part of Turkey's health tourism, spending a holiday at natural thermal springs – known as kaplıca in Turkish – is gaining popularity for both local tourists and people coming from abroad, especially Arab countries. Many believe these thermal springs have healing properties, which is why the elderly are particularly attracted to them, although they can provide a fun holiday for any age group.
The ancient Romans were the first to discover the therapeutic effects of these springs in Turkey. With more than 1,000 thermal springs reflecting the country's geological and historical beauty, Turkey provides a rich experience for those who are looking for some centuries-old relaxation and health benefits at the many thermal springs scattered across western Anatolia.
When the season changes and the weather turns cold, you may feel that all your choices for a relaxing holiday are over until spring. But with Turkey's thermal spring resorts, unrivaled in Europe in terms of number and curing facilities, a warming holiday continues to call out for you. With one of the best climates in the world, a unique variety of nature and one of the healthiest diets, Turkey is the ideal destination for psychological and physical rejuvenation. If you're looking for the best spots to spend a holiday at a thermal spring resort. This article has fantastic destination suggestions for travels of all ages and budgets.
Pamukkale Hot Springs in the western city of Denizli
Known as Hierapolis in Greek, Pamukkale – cotton castle in Turkish – is seen as a gift of nature by those who visit. Pamukkale was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1988 based on its natural and cultural wonders. Famous for its hot springs and travertines – terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing waters – Pamukkale is located in western Turkey and calls for those who are looking for a relaxing experience. There are dozens of remains from the ancient city of Hierapolis as well as Greek monuments around the city. With remains from different civilizations, natural wonders and pure white travertines formed from hot calcium-filled mineral waters, Pamukkale has three different thermal regions – Sarayköy, Karahayıt and Gölemezli – that contain hot springs and mud baths. In Pamukkale, visiters can spend a day or just a few hours experiencing an organic treatment for skin problems as well as seeing the amazing travertines that enable one to witness the kind of beauty that nature is able to create.
Where to stay: Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Hotel is a perfect choice for those who want to experience the thermal springs and luxury at the same time.
Çeşme Thermal Springs in the western city of İzmir
Accepted as one of the most tourist-friendly cities of Turkey, Çeşme is also renowned for its thermal springs mostly in the Ilıca and Sifne districts. The town is easily reachable and offers thermal springs, vivid blue Aegean waters and a mild climate. You can visit its thermal resorts during the summer and winter due to the climate, so after swimming in the picturesque Aegean Sea, you can go to your hotel's thermal pool for a relaxing dip. According to research conducted by the Çeşme Hotels Union, the thermal springs in Çeşme have healing effects for diseases such as rheumatism, joint diseases, tissue rheumatism, psoriasis, acne, eczema, varicose veins, genital infections and high or low blood pressure. Pausanias, a Greek geographer from the second century A.D., wrote about thermal spring waters, and since then hundreds of articles have been written continuing to praise the thermal waters. Considering its location, Çeşme is a more popular thermal spring holiday destination compared to other cities in western Anatolia.
Where to stay: The newly established Boyalık Beach & Thermal Spa is a perfect destination to experience a summer holiday and thermal spring holiday at the same time. If you visit during other seasons, you can enjoy the tranquility and mild weather of İzmir while experiencing its thermal springs.
Termal Thermal Springs in the northern city of Yalova
Yalova is the closest destination to Turkey's commerce capital of Istanbul and that is why it is generally preferred for weekend getaways. A one hour ferry ride on the Sea of Marmara and a short taxi ride will take you to Yalova. Among all thermal resorts in the city, the most well-known is Armutlu Thermal Hotel. This city's thermal springs are rich in minerals such as calcium, sulphates and fluorine and it won the "Best Hot Spring with Beneficial Water" award at a competition held in Rome. The offered facilities include drinking from mineral water springs, an open-air hot thermal swimming pool and Turkish saunas. Like other thermal facilities, Yalova's hot springs are good for rheumatic diseases and arthritis. It is said that by drinking the water one can prevent teeth decay and stomach and intestinal diseases. The healing elements of the springs has also been analyzed and endorsed by Istanbul University.
Where to stay: Thermalium Wellness Park Hotel & Spa is located in the Uvezpinar district in Termal/Yalova with one main hotel building and three separate villas. The main hotel building consists of 80 luxurious rooms and there are four private thermal pools, two outdoors pools – one with cold water and two with hot spring water.