Hotsprings in Turkey

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NATURE’S HEALTH CURE

 

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 Köyceğiz Lake.

 

The Balçova/İzmir 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 Uludağ (Mt. Olympos). There the natural hot springs of Çekirge prompted the Ottomans to build a large complex of domed baths during the reign of Murat I (1359-1389) on the site of an earlier Roman and Byzantine bath complex.

 

On the shores of the Aegean, Çeşme 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 Samsun- Ladik and Rize-Ayder. Another thermal complex, known for maintaining international standards in its thermal therapy center is located in Yoncalı near Kütahya. Highly recommended for their thermal spring facilities are the following spas listed by province:

 

Adana: Haruniye

Afyonkarahisar: Ömer-Gecek, Hüdai (Sandıklı)

Ankara: Kızılcahamam, Ayaş, Haymana

Balıkesir: Gönen

Bingöl: Kös

Bolu: Büyük Kaplıca

Bursa: Çekirge, Oylat

Çanakkale: Kestanbol

Çankırı: Çavundur

Denizli: Pamukkale, Karahayıt

Diyarbakır: Çermik

Erzurum: Pasinler

İzmir: Balçova, Çeşme, Şifne

Konya: Ilgın

Kütahya: Yoncalı, Harlek

Manisa: Salihli

Muğla: Sultaniye

Rize: Ayder

Sakarya: Kuzuluk

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 Kaplıca, continue to function as part of the Kervansaray Termal in the Çekirge district of Bursa. The five-star Çelik 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 Çekirge hot springs flow at the rate of 5 liters per second. The Kervansaray baths can accommodate 600 people per day, while the Çelik Palas can provide curative baths to 400 people per day.

 

Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

The thermal waters of the Çekirge springs arc 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/lt. These hot springs are good for rheumatic dis­eases, hepatic and gall bladder diseases, meta­bolic disorders, gynecological diseases and post-operative problems.

 

Treatments

Eski Kaplıca, 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 Çelik Palas Hotel. Oylat Thermal Center is 27 km from İnegöl in a forest at the foot of Uludağ 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/lt 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 km 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.

 

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: 725 m)

 

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

 

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 Küçük Kaplıca.

 

BALIKESİR – GÖNEN (Altitude: 36 m)

 

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

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The thermal water is 73°C 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/lt chlorine.

 

İZMİR – BALÇOVA (Altitude: 25 m)

 

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

 

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. Balçova is situated to the west of the Aegean port of Izmir.

 

Capacity

The Balçova 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 Balçova 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/lt.

 

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 Balçova 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.

İZMİR – ÇEŞME (Altitude: 5 m)

 

Çeşme (“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 Altın Yunus Holiday Resort utilize mineral- rich 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 Altın Yunus Holiday Resort, situated in a cove along the seaside, has a Natural Sea Spa which can also handle 500 people per day.

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Physio-chemical Characteristics and Indications

Çeşme 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 Altın Yunus 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 Şifne-Ilıca hot springs have 42°C water with a pH of 6.76.

 

Treatments

Çeşme has hot mineral pools and baths, and offers underwater massage, physical and elec­trotherapy. The Altm Yunus spas incorporate similar facilities along with physical exercise and geriatric units.

 

DENİZLİ-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 Karahayıt, 5 km 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.

 

The 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/lt. 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.

 

MUĞLA – KÖYCEĞİZ – DALYANKÖY (Altitude: 24 m)

 

Scenic Köyceğiz 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, Iztuzu, 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 Köyceğiz Lake and the Mediterranean Sea, the Rıza Çavuş 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 Rıza Çavuş, 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 Rıza Çavuş 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/lt. 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 Köyceğiz Mud Baths and the Sultaniye Natural Hot Springs and Mud Baths both offer overnight accommodations, and these facilities can be reached from Köyceğiz and Dalyan via boats. Meanwhile Sultaniye Hot Springs is linked by asphalt road to Köyceğiz.

 

KÜTAHYA (Altitude: 969 m)

 

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

 

Kütahya 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 Ilıca Harlek and Yoncalı. The thermal cen­ter at Yoncalı has been in use since A.D. 762. The city of Kütahya is also known for the beau­ty of its ceramics and tiles.

 

Capacity

The thermal waters at Ilıca Harlek flow at 41 liters/second. At Yoncalı, the capacity is 36-51 lit/sec.

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

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

 

Other hot springs in the Kütahya Province include:

 

llıcasu Kaplıca (Altitude: 710 m)

Located 18 km from Gediz. The thermal water flow at 23 lit/sec and is 78 – 79 °C with a pH of 6.5 – 7.9.

 

Murat Dağ Kaplıca (Altitude: 1450 m)

Located 30 km from Gediz. The thermal water flow at 23 lit/sec and is 31 – 42 °C with a pH of 5.3.

 

Simav Eynal (Altitude: 850 m)

Located 4 km from Simav (between Kütahya and Manisa). This geyser with a pH of 9.7 emits steam at 163 °C.

 

Emet Yeşil Kaplıca (Altitude: 853 m)

Located 200 m from Emet. The thermal water flow at 5 It and is 43 °C.

 

AFYONKARAHISAR: OMER-GECEK (Altitude: 1,050m)

 

Oruçoglu / Ömer Thermal Resort

The Oruçoğlu Thermal Resort is 14 km northwest of Afyonkarahisar on the Afyonkarahisar-Kutahya Highway.

 

Capacity

The Oruçoglu Thermal Resort, next to the Ömer Kaplicasi, has hot springs that flow at a rate of 90 liters per second. These facilities can accommodate 12,960 baths/day.

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The springs have a pH of 6.4 at temperatures between 42° and 53°C and contain sodium chloride, bicarbonate, iron, and carbon diox­ide. They are especially beneficial for rheuma­tism, dermatological problems, stomach and intestinal disorders, gynecologic, urologie, neurological, and metabolic problems. Treatment and Accommodations At this resort there is a hydrotherapy unit, physical therapy and rehabilitation, saunas, private baths, and indoor and outdoor thermal pools. In the Akronium, there are indoor and outdoor pools and water sports. The hotel has specialist doctors, therapists and health per­sonnel at your service.

 

Gazlıgöl

Located 22km from Afyonkarahisar in Ihsaniye Village on the Afyonkarahisar – Eskişehir highway. There are a total of 1500 beds in the hotels and pensions there.

Tel: (272) 273 61 31 -32 -33

 

Hüdai

The Hüdai Hot Springs are 66 km from the city of Afyonkarahisar, 8 km from Sandıklı and 6 km off the Afyonkarahisar-Antalya highway. The average temper­ature of the water from the exploratory wells is 70°C. The pH is 6.3-6.9, and total mineraliza­tion 1,952-2,458 mg/lt. The waters contain sodium, calcium sulphate, bicarbonate, 4mg/lt flouride, 332 mg/lt carbon dioxide, and radioactivity. The waters are beneficial for rheumatism, aches and pains, heart and circu­lation problems, painful joints, tired nerves and muscles, nervous system disorders, and gynecological diseases. There are a total of 2100 beds in the various facilities there.

Tel: (272) 535 73 27-28, Fax: (272) 535 73 19

 

Gecek

Located 18 km from Afyonkarahisar on the Afyonkarahisar – Kütahya highway. There are 45 villas.

Tel: (272) 251 52 75 -76 -77

 

Heybeli

Located 30km from Afyonkarahisar on the Afyonkarahisar – Kütahya highway in Bolvadin Country. There are 500 beds total.

Tel:-Fax: (272) 248 35 14

 

ANKARA (Altitude: 890 m)

 

Ankara, the capital of the country, is not merely a city given over to administrative affairs, but is also an important cultural and artistic center.

 

The city is perfect for shoppers and museums, too. Crisscrossed by numerous civilizations, the thermal centers have been known and used for centuries. The climate in Ankara is snowy and cold in the winter and hot and dry in the summer. The waters you will want to try are in Kızılcahamam, Ayaş and Haymana.

 

Capacity

The waters at Kızılcahamam flow at a rate of 2.8 liters per second, resulting in a bath capac­ity of 3,500 persons per day (altitude: 975 m). At Ayaş the waters flow at 15 liters per second and those at Haymana at 4.8 liters per second.

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The temperature of the waters at Kızılcahamam is 50-51°C, at Haymana, 44.5°C, and at Ayaş, 31° C. In the waters at Kızılcahamam there is bicarbonate, chloride, sodium and carbon dioxide; at Ayaş, bicarbonate, sodium and cal­cium and at Haymana, calcium, magnesium, sodium and bicarbonate. The waters are bene­ficial to those suffering from rheumatism, neu­ralgia, infantile paralysis, gynecological prob­lems, circulation difficulties, hypertension, or respiratory troubles. Drinkable water in Ayaş is good for kidney and gall bladder stones.

 

KONYA – ILGIN (Altitude: 1016 m)

 

The Ilgın hot springs are located on the Ilgın-Akşehir highway 90 km from Konya.

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The 42°C thermal waters contain bicarbonate, calcium, sodium, carbon dioxide, and radioac­tivity. They are beneficial for rheumatism, liver, gall bladder, and metabolic complaints.

 

Treatment

Therapy includes bathing, drinking, and breathing the hot water and steam.

 

SİVAS – KANGAL (Altitude: 1405 m)

 

This famous Kangal Hot Springs are 96 km from Sivas via the town of Kangal or 13 km from the center of Kangal itself.

 

Capacity

These thermal springs come from five different sources and the fish come directly from the springs into two large pools. The thermal water flows at a rate of 40 liters per second with a daily capacity of 5,760 people.

 

Physio-Chemical Characteristics and Indications

The thermal water is 36 °C with a pH of 7.3 and contains bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium sulfate, chlorine, sodium and magnesium. Carbon dioxide gas is also present and is crucial in curing skin diseases, rheumatism, and neurological disorders. The fish present in the water simply draw out the diseased areas in a curettagelike fashion. Many doctors and clinics throughout Turkey have recommended that their patients try the Kangal thermal waters as a cure.

 

Sıcak Çermik (Hot Spring)

The thermal water is 46-54 °C with a pH of 6.8 and flows at a rate of 70 lit/sec. The spring water is beneficial to those suffering from rheumatism, nervous and respiratory disorders, digestive and metabolism complaints, liver, urinary, heart and blood circulatory problems. There are a total of 1 52 rooms with 361 bed capacity.

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