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The best thermal spas in Turkey

When you think of holidays, do summer, sea, sand, and the sun come to mind? There's no use staying at home all winter long. Winter holidays usually entail skiing but there is another alternative: thermal centers, thermal springs. The hot, mineralized waters of these spas will relieve your stress, soothe your soul and nourish your body. Before making any plans, take a look at our piece on the best thermal centers in Turkey.

1. Escape from chaotic city life at the relaxing hot springs of Ankara

Ankara has been hiding a secret treasure underground for centuries. These are the precious waters that extend from the Roman and Seljuk times to the present day, that are said to rise from beneath the Earth and distribute healing properties. This city offers 37 alternative thermal centers. The thermal centers lie in the most important regions of Kızılcahamam, Haymana and Ayaş Karakaya. It is said that spa waters, with an average of 47 degrees temperature, are good for the liver, kidney, stomach, intestines, respiratory tract, skin, heart and blood circulation disorders. The common feature shared by these three spas is that the drinkable water can cure the stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, kidney, and gallbladder.

If you are living in Ankara and need a city getaway, then thermal spas might be a good holiday option for you. If you are not a citizen of Ankara and prefer to visit the thermal springs, make sure to explore Ankara. Our Ankara city guide can help you to discover places for sight-seeing and to eat.

2. The warmest waters at Afyon

Another hotspot for thermal springs in Turkey is Afyon. Afyon, boasts the warmest waters in Turkey that are above 60 degrees. In the regions of Sandıklı, Gazlıgöl and Heybeli you can find up to 22 thermal hotels. The waters are said to be effective in relieving rheumatic diseases, calcification, issues in the heart and circulatory systems, skin, bone and gynecological diseases, kidney and liver disorders. Sandıklı differs slightly with its world-famous mud bath, that has a distinct feature of mud that is obtained by mixing a special soil with healing water that is 68 degrees warm. The mud bath is said to be good for respiratory infections, psychological disorders, and skin diseases. Reach Afyon by booking a flight to Kütahya and enjoy the hot springs.

3. Springs of Bursa that will soothe your soul

Healing waters that were believed to heal queens and sultans in Rome, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman times, Bursa is another city rich in thermal centers. It is known that the healing waters of Bursa, with 27 thermal centers, aid in the treatment of many physical ailments, especially mental illnesses. The disorders include rheumatic syndromes, painful diseases of the locomotor system, chronic inflammatory, painful gynecological diseases, and vascular blockages. The Oylat thermal springs are the oldest most favored spa area in the city. The water of this spa, close to İnegöl, is drinkable and also known to be effective in the treatment of obesity. The oylat spa waters are also believed to be good for the stiffening, calcification and severe pains in the kneecaps.

If you visit the thermal springs during the winter in Bursa, then make sure to visit Uludağ, the most famous skiing center in Turkey. Uludağ is home to some nice places to visit and tasty cuisine. It’s time to discover Bursa.

4. The healing properties of Pamukkale that date back 2,800 years

One of Turkey’s most famous tourist centers, Pamukkale, is renowned for its pristine white thermal waters. The travertine that creates the special formula miracle, results in cascades of white water. The water and its distinct healing properties date back 2,800 years, to the ancient city Hierapolis. Travertines and Hieropolis are favored by people that struggle with heart, vascular, stroke and nerve diseases. Denizli is also home to the Karahayıt thermal spa. Karahayıt is famous for its unique red-colored healing thermal waters that are beneficial for orthopedic, neurologic, rheumatic, stomach and dermatological illnesses. To visit these thermal spas, book a flight to Denizli.

5. Yalova, the closest thermal spas to Istanbul

There aren’t as many thermal center options in Yalova, but two great thermal centers in Yalova that stand out. The first is Armutlu, where the water temperature is 55-60 degrees. Due to its high radioactivity, this spa is thought to be effective in the elimination of heavy metals from the body, nerve diseases, the healing of wounds and the regulation of hormones. Another great spot is 12 km from the city center of Yalova in the Thermal region, as the name suggests. The thermal springs here aid as an alternative method in the treatment of muscles, bones, the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, kidney, urinary tract, skin, and gynecological diseases. To reach Yalova, book a flight to Istanbul, then take a ferry.

6. Healing fishes in Sivas

Sivas has an unusual healing practice at thermal spas, distinct from the other places we have listed – special healing fish. These toothless fish at Çermik spa, are 2-10 long and treat skin diseases in 36-37 degrees heat. They also treat skin wounds, eczema, acne, and psoriasis. It takes around 20 days to see effective results from this treatment. Meanwhile, discover the natural beauty and historical places in Sivas.

7. The centuries-old healing waters of Bolu

The bounteousness of the geothermal springs is a result of the fault structure of Bolu and its geological positioning. Bathe and drink the 42-degree warm Bolu spring waters at Evliya Çelebi, Seyahatnamesi, which has healing properties for rheumatism, dermatological, nervous system, kidney, blood, gallbladder, respiratory and gynecological illnesses.

8. Thermal Springs and more at Balıkesir

The thermal springs of Balıkesir with its drinking water, mud, and sand pools are one of the richest thermal springs in Turkey in terms of healthy natural spring waters. The modern thermal spas are located in the Edremit, Bale, Bigadiç, Gönen, Manyas, and Susurluk districts. It is said that these hot spring waters provide effective results in the treatment of many diseases ranging from diabetes, stomach, kidney and rheumatic diseases to skin, waist, neck and back ailments.

9. Sultaniye Thermal Springs of Muğla

Sultaniye Thermal Springs draws in plenty of visitors due to its 2 thousand-year history, mineral values, and ideal water temperature. Situated within the Köyceğiz district of Muğla, the Sultaniye Thermal Springs have been in use for thousands of years and attract tourists with the healing waters and mud baths. The thermal springs are beneficial for rheumatism, kidney, urinary tract, metabolism disorders, exhaustion, dermatological and gynecological illnesses. Book a flight to Dalaman to explore the thermal springs like the Sultaniye Thermal Springs in districts like Dalaman and Milas.

10. Plateaus and thermal springs at Rize

The lush natural splendor of the Black Sea region is famous for its picturesque plateaus and natural springs. Rize is home to a fertile underground water source hence its importance in thermal tourism that is used for bathing and drinking, particularly the Ayder Plateau and İkizdere Valley. The waters of İkizdere Valley are 72 degrees below the ground are considered to be the world’s highest quality waters containing 4515 minerals and used as a complementary treatment for chronic back pain, joint disorders, neurological and stress disorders, sports injuries and those that remain sedentary after brain and nerve surgery. The Ayder Plateau is favored as a treatment for diseases such as rheumatic and joint pains. Book a flight to Artvin or book a flight to Trabzon to explore the Thermal Springs of Rize.