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Hot Spring & Spa

A visit to Turkey would not be complete without a stop at one of the country's better known spas, whether to treat a health -problem or simply to luxuriate in the soothing waters of natural mineral baths.

A stop at one of the spas described here can easily be added to a tour of Turkey's most famous destinations.

The health-giving properties of Turkey's natural hot springs have been renowned since antiquity.


The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on the site of the rich mineral waters of Pamukkale, where the steaming water has hollowed enormous circular basins in the earth as it flowed down the mountainside, coating the slopes in a smooth layer of dazzlingly white calcareous rock.

No doubt, the residents of the ancient Lycian city of Caunos bathed in the mineral-rich mud of nearby Koycegiz Lake.

The- Balcova/Izmir hot springs are located on the site of the Baths of Agamemnon, known and used in Roman times for their therapeutic qualities.

Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, is nestled against Uludag (Mt. Olympos). There the natural hot springs of Cekirge prompted the Ottomans to build a large complex of domed baths during the reign of Murat 1 (1359-1389) on the site of an earlier Roman and Byzantine bath complex.

On the shores of the Aegean, Cesme is famous for its natural mineral springs and the therapeutic qualities of the sea.

And amidst the verdant forests of the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara, Yalova hot springs pour out mineral-rich water, thought to cure a variety of ailments.

The thermal waters of spas described in this brochure have been tested by the Turkish Ministry of Health, and thermal waters which are also safe for drinking have been noted. The most popular spas are concentrated in the Marmara and Aegean regions of western Turkey and are easily accessible from Turkey's major cities, Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara.

But while touring through Turkey's Central Anatolian Region there is one thermal spa well worth mentioning here, a spa of such an extraordinary character that it is unique in the world. It is visited by people from everywhere who are searching for cures. This healing spa is called "Kangal Hot Springs with Fish" and it is only 13 km from the town of Kangal in the province of Sivas. The beneficial waters contain myriad small fish (2-10 cm long), which play a vital part in curing various skin diseases. Thermal spas in the Black Sea region include Sarnsunladik and Rize-Ayder. Another thermal complex, known for maintaining international standards in its thermal therapy center is located in Yoncali near Kutahya.

Highly recommended for their thermal spring facilities are the following spas listed by province:

Adana: Haruniye
Afyon: Omer Gecek (Sandikli)
Ankara: Kizilcahamam, Ayas, Haymana
Balikesir: Gonen
Bingol: Kos
Bolu: Buyuk Kaplica
Bursa: Cekirge, Oylat
Canakkale: Kestanbol
Cankiri: Cavundur
Denizli: Pamukkale, Karahayit
Diyarbakir: Cermik
Erzurum: Pasinler
Izmir: Balcova, Cesme, Sifne
Konya: Ilgin
Kutahya: Yoncali, Harlek
Manisa: Salihli
Mugla: Sultaniye
Rize: Ayder
Sakarya: KuzuIuk
Samsun: Ladik, Havza
Siirt: Billoris
Sivas: Kangal
Van: Hasanabdal
Yalova: Yalova Termal, Armutlu

Although some of these particular spas are not luxurious, the main advantage is being able to enjoy their therapeutic benefits in natural surroundings. Take a lesson from the ancients and treat yourself to a natural health cure during your visit to Turkey.

BURSA (Altitude: 109 m)

This first capital of the Ottoman Empire has been famous for centuries for the therapeutic qualities of its natural hot springs.

One of the earliest recorded visitors who came to Bursa to enjoy the waters was Byzantine Empress Theodora. Today, the Ottoman baths, known as Eski Kaplica, continue to function as part of the Kervansaray Termal in the Cekirge district of Bursa. The five-star Celik Palas Termal Hotel also has luxurious facilities with natural hot springs and baths offering various treatments. The domed baths run by the Kervansaray Termal are an excellent example of early Ottoman architecture.

Capacity

The Cekirge hot springs flow at the rate of 5 liters per second. The Kervansaray baths can accommodate 600 people per day, while the Celik Palas can provide curative baths to 400 people per day.

Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

The thermal waters of the Cekirge springs are composed of calcium, magnesium sulfate and bicarbonate; the water temperature ranges from 39-58 C with a pH ranging from 6.6 to 7.2, and a total mineral content of 1,164 mg/It. These hot springs are good for rheumatic diseases, hepatic and gall bladder diseases, metabolic disorders, gynecological diseases and post- operative problems.


Celik Palas Termal Hotel

Treatments

Eski Kaplica, run by the Kervansaray Termal features hot mineral pools, baths and a Turkish bath with natural hot springs. Treatments in hot mineral pools and baths, as well as massage, underwater massage and electro-physical therapy are available at the Celik Palas Hotel. Oylat Thermal Center is 27 km from Inegol in a forest at the foot of Uludag Mountain. The hot spring has been used for 2000 years. The temperature is 40.5 C, the pH is 7.3, and the mineral content 3000 mg/lt.

 


YALOVA (Altitude: 10 m)

The Yalova hot springs are located to the south of the Sea of Marmara, 13 km southwest of the provincial center of Yalova in a wonderfully green setting.


Capacity

The Yalova hot springs have a natural water outlet, flowing at a rate of 15 liters per second. With 1,651 total beds, this amounts to 600 liters of water/person/day.

Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

Yalova hot springs have a composition of sodium chloride, calcium sulfate and fluoride. With a temperature of 60-65 C, a pH of 7.8, and 1,435 mg/It total mineral content, the waters are suitable for both bathing and drinking. Yalova hot springs are known for their therapeutic qualities, especially for rheumatic diseases, digestive maladies, neurological and urological disorders and metabolic problems. The Armutlu hot spring is 4 Ian northeast of Yalova. The water is 57-73 C with a pH of 6.2 to 6.5. It flows at a rate of 10 lit/sec.


Yalova Termal

Treatments

Yalova spa has both indoor and outdoor pools and baths, and offers massage, underwater massage and drinking cures. With a treatment capacity of nearly 2,000 people per day, the spa includes a first-class restaurant, a cafe, a very attractive park and a forest.

 


BOLU (Altitude: 786 m)

The Bolu hot springs are 5 km south of Bolu in the western Black Sea region in the foothills of the Ala Mountains.


Bolu Termal

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The waters contain bicarbonate, sulphate, calcium, magnesium, and carbon dioxide. The pH is 5.82-6.36 and the temperature 42-44 C. The thermal waters are beneficial for the treatment of liver, gall bladder, kidney, and urinary problems. Treatment The thermal waters and steam are good for bathing, drinking and inhaling. Near by is the privately operated Kucuk Kaplica.

 


BALIKESIR - GONEN (Altitude: 36 m)

 

This hot spring is located next to the Gonen Stream in Gonen County in the province of Balikesir in the Marmara Region.


 

Pyshio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The thermal water is 730C with a pH of 7.36. It is classified as hypothermal, hypotonic mineral water which is good for drinking and bathing. The water contains 0.590 mg/lt ammonia, 528.770 mg/lt sodium, 29.325 mg/lt potassium, and 278.637 mg/It chlorine.


Turkish Bath (Hamam)


IZMIR - BALCOVA (Altitude: 25 m)

 

The Balcova hot springs are located on the site of the Baths of Agamemnon, known in antiquity for the therapeutic qualities of its waters.


Balcova Treatment Center

According to one legend, Agamemnon was advised by an oracle to bring soldiers who had been wounded during the campaign against Troy to the sulfur-rich waters of these natural hot springs. Balcova is situated to the west of the Aegean port of Izmir.

Capacity

The Balcova hot, springs flow from two exploratory wells at a rate of 28 liters per second. The facilities can accommodate 3,456 bath-days on the basis of 600 liters per person per day, per bath.


 

Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications:

The Balcova hot springs contain sodium chloride and calcium bicarbonate. The springs have a water temperature ranging from 62 to 80 C, a pH of 6.4, and a mineral content of 1,369 mg/It.

These hot springs are recommended for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, digestive maladies, post-injury healing and post- operative problems, along with calcification and metabolic disorders.

Treatments

The Balcova hot spring complex, with a total capacity of 3,000 people per day, provides hot mineral pools and baths, offers a patient therapy pool, sauna , massage, underwater massage, ultrasound, physical exercise, electro-therapy and physical therapy. The complex also has a new park.


IZMIR - CESME (Altitude: 5 m)

 

Cesme ("fountain") is abundantly endowed with natural hot springs.

Located on the Aegean coast, 80 km west of Izmir, the holiday resort has excellent hotels with complete spas. Some use mineral waters from natural hot springs, while the facilities at the Altin Taunus Holiday Resort utilize mineralrich seawater.

Capacity

The hot springs on the long sandy beach flow at a rate of 15 liters per second and can accommodate 500 people a day. The Altin Taunus Holiday Resort, situated in a cove along the seaside, has a Natural Sea Spa which can also handle 500 people per day.

Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

Cesme hot springs contain a high level of sodium chloride, magnesium sulphate, and calcium bicarbonate. The water temperature is 55 C with a pH of 6.5, and the mineral content is 2,720 mg/lt. The sea water used in the Altin Taunus spa has a similar composition. These waters are heated and used for treating rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases. They are also recommended for neurological exhaustion and to help strengthen muscles after surgery. The Sifne-Ilica hot springs have 42 C water with a pH of 6.76.

Treatments

Cesme has hot mineral pools and baths, and offers underwater massage, physical and electrotherapy. The Altin Taunus spas incorporate similar facilities along with physical exercise and geriatric units.


DENIZLI-PAMUKKALE (Altitude: 384 m)

At Pamukkale ("Cotton Castle") nature has produced a sight of spectacular beauty. For thousands of years a deep underground spring has been pouring out streams of hot, mineral-saturated water. As it has flowed down the mountainside the steaming water has hollowed enormous circular basins in the earth, and the water's rich mineral content has coated them in a smooth layer of dazzlingly-white calcareous rock. To the ancients such beauty could only mean that the place was sacred to the gods. Built near the natural hot springs, the grand city of Hierapolis attracted a steady stream of pilgrims, who came to bathe in the curative waters. Pamukkale is located 250 km from Izmir and 20 km from Denizli. Most of the hotels are in Karahayit, 5 Ian north of Pamukkale. The water is 42-56 C, the pH is 5.98, similar to Pamukkale, but the water has more iron content.

Capacity

The Pamukkale hot springs flow at a rate of 400 liters per second. The various facilities can accommodate about 6,000 people/day total which amounts to 600 liters of water/person/day.


 

Physio-chemical Characteristics and indications

The mineral-rich Pamukkale hot spring waters are rich in calcium, magnesium sulfate and bicarbonate. They also contain carbon dioxide and have a radioactive content of 1,537 picokuri/liter (or 56 bekerel/liter). Water temperature is 36 to 38 C with a pH of 6. Total mineral content is 2,430 mg/It. The waters are used both for drinking and bathing. They are recommended for the treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases, neurological and physical exhaustion, digestive maladies and nutritional disorders.

Treatments and accommodations

Throughout history, Pamukkale has been a famous spa, with both baths and open pools set into the snow-white cliffs. Bath treatments take place in natural pools developed around the main hot springs. Hot mineral water spas have been opened at a number of new and very comfortable hotels in the area.


MUGLA - KOYCEGIZ - DALYANKOY (Altitude: 24 m)

 

Scenic Koycegiz Lake, located near Dalaman International Airport and within a convenient distance of both Fethiye and Marmaris, is well known for its natural hot springs and mud baths.

The lake narrows into a channel, flowing into the Dalyan River which empties into the Mediterranean at one of Turkey's most spectacular beaches, lztuzu, which is also the breeding ground of the Caretta caretta sea turtle. The reed-lined river meanders toward the sea, overlooked by 4th-century B.C. Lycian rock tombs. Nearby are the ruins of the ancient city of Caunos. On the asphalt road to Velibey is the ancient settlement now at Sultaniye, also a thermal center used for centuries, and site of numerous ruins.

Capacity

Situated next to a natural channel between Koycegiz Lake and the Mediterranean Sea, the Riza Cavus Thermal Baths form a water pool and a mud pond, with a flow rate of about 8 liters per second. The mud and mineral baths can accommodate 1,000 people per day. At a second spring is Velibey Thermal Baths, 1.5 km north of Riza Cavus that has similar qualities and a flow rate of 20 liters per second. The waters of Sultaniye are good for both bathing and drinking. They flow at a rate of 42 liters per second, resulting in a bath capacity of 10,000
baths per day.


Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

The Riza Cavus natural hot springs contain sodium chloride, hydrogen, sulfur, bromide, fluoride, and are naturally radioactive (3,770 picokuri/liter, or 139 bekerel/liter), with a total salt and mineral content of 2,800 mg/It. The temperature of the mud and water is 30' to 38 C, and the pH is about 6.5. These hot springs are good for the treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases, as well as neurological and physical exhaustion.

Treatments and Accommodations

The Koycegiz baths do not offer overnight accommodations so visitors stay at small hotels and pensions in nearby Dalyan. The baths can be reached from Dalyan by small boats. The treatment consists of covering the body with a layer of mud and then soaking in the hot mineral water. At Sultaniye it is possible to find accommodation in village houses for up to 400 persons.


KUTAHYA (Altitude: 969 m)

 

Kutahya is in western Anatolia and has been a thermal center for numerous civilizations for more than 5,000 years.

Kutahya is an important city for thermal centers and the only one in the country to have 6 in the same area. The most important of these are Ilica Harlek and Yoncali. The thermal center at Yoncali has been in use since A.D. 762. The city of Kutahya is also known for the beauty of its ceramics and tiles.

Capacity

The thermal waters at Ilica Harlek flow at 41 literstsecond. At Yoncali. the capacity is 36-51 lit/sec.


 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The waters of Ilica. Harlek vary in temperature from 25 to 43 C, and at Yoncali. from 32-36 C. The waters of Ilica Harlek and Yoncali contain magnesium, calcium and bicarbonate. The waters are useful to those suffering from rheumatism, dermatological problems, neurological disorders, gynecological problems, liver disorders, insomnia, and gall bladder and backbone complaints. The waters at Yoncali are particularly beneficial for gout, lumbago and fractures.

Other hot springs in the Kutahya Province include:

Ilica Kaplica (Altitude: 710 m)
Located 13 km from Gediz. The thermal waters flow at 217 lit/sec and are 78-79 C with a pH of 6.5-7.9.

Murat Dag Kaplica (Altitude: 1450 m)
Located 30 km from Gediz. The thermal waters flow at 23 lit/sec and are 31-420C with a pH of 5.3.

Eynal (Altitude: 850 m)
Located 4 Ian from Simav (between Kutahya and Balikesir). This geyser with a pH of 9.7 emits steam at 163 C.

 


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