By Yavuz Emrah Sever, Seyit Ahmet Aytac
Yalova, a centuries-old center of healing with its thermal spas, is one of the most prominent thermal tourism destinations of Anatolia.
Located in northwestern Turkey to the southeast of Istanbul, Yalova is particularly popular with Arab tourists. It has a total of 18 thermal facilities with a bed capacity of over 13,000. Five more facilities that are to be opened in the near future will mean 2,800 extra beds.
A center of healing for several civilizations since the Roman Empire, Yalova’s thermal spas attracted nearly one million local and foreign tourists in 2017.
Locals call the hot springs “an elixir of youth and life” due to their healing powers. Believed to be good for many ailments, the hot springs have been used to treat rheumatism, muscle and joint pain as well as a number of internal diseases.
Seref Tali, the provincial director of Culture and Tourism of Yalova, told Anadolu Agency that hot springs were the first choice of hundreds of thousands of people with rheumatism, gastrointestinal problems, and liver, kidney, and urinary tract disorders.
“They are also good for skin and gynecological diseases. Five new facilities will be opened in the near future with an investment of about 50 million Turkish liras ($13 million). With a bed capacity that will soon exceed 15,000, our hot springs host local and foreign tourists from Middle Eastern, Turkic and European countries. We hosted about one million tourists in 2017,” he said.
Mud baths, salt rooms, beauty salons, sports centers, and aqua parks are among the facilities Yalova offers to its visitors.