Do something good for your body.
Spas, Thermals and Hamams
As much as Turkey is a country that feeds your senses, it is a place you can turn to when you are suffering from sensory overload, having been blessed by a geology that gifted it nearly 1,500 natural and thermal springs.
Splendid examples representing the height of Ottoman architecture can be admired
while succumbing, contented, to the pleasure of a warm massage in Istanbul’s Ayasofya Haseki Hamam, under the domed oculus of the heat room in the Çemberlitas Hamam near the city’s Grand Bazaar, or while sipping herbal tea in the Süleymaniye Hamam, an adjunct to the mosque complex built by Sinan for the Sultan.
The lap of luxury is waiting for you to come take a seat, if only for an hour, in deluxe hotels offering soothing experiences. Up and down the Gulf of Antalya are outstanding retreats offering restorative treatments (and golf outings for those less inclined to steep in a kelp body masque).
The bays of Göltürkbükü, Yaliçiftlik and Turgut Reis and all along the spectacularly serene shores of Bodrum are irresistible wellness centers attached to secluded resorts.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Istanbul city life, luxurious havens such as the Çiragan Palace, Four Seasons Bosphorus, Ritz Carlton, Radisson Blu, Park Hyatt and Richmond Nua spas provide sumptuously indulgent experiences
Yet there’s still nothing like seeking out a plume of geothermal bubbly at its source.
Ancients flocked to Hierapolis, atop Pamukkale’s renowned Cotton Castle, where the calcium and sulfurous healing waters run through the veins of the surrounding countryside and end up in thermal pools offering a variety of delicious ways to relax. Swim amidst ancient fallen columns in the Sacred Pool, be spoiled soaking in a five star thermal retreat, and watch the sunset as you wade through the magical terraced creation of nature at sunset.
Bursa, the original capital of the Ottoman Empire before its victory over Constantinople, remains a popular destination for Turks and foreigners alike seeking the curative benefits of the mineral rich thermals of Çekirge. The area’s six springs all have their origins atop the nearby Mt. Olympus, finding outlets in the 700-year old Eski and Yeni Kaplicalar, both built using repurposed Byzantine stones, and the Çelik Palas Hotel’s thermal pool, among others.
A retreat for the body and soul bubbles up from the Ilica Spring lying beneath Izmir’s peninsular suburb of Çesme. This geothermal bubbly is one of the main attractions, after enjoying the stunning seashores, charming villages and historic castle, of sublime spa retreats located within the cocoon of resort hotels like the Sheraton Çesme, the Radisson Blu and the Altin Yunus.
Turkey is endowed with enough sumptuous spas and wellness centers to salve any soul, and centers of wellness are designed to accommodate modern sensibilities with treatments fit for a Sultan.