Termal Pool and Hamam. Yalova. 15 pool, 13 hamam, 20 together.
8AM-10PM M-Fri, 8AM-6PM(?) Sa-Su.
On our way to Bursa, early January, we stopped at Termal, an operational
sulfur spring bath since the Roman period. We took
a dolmuş in, my first, from the parking lot just right of the Yalova
ferry terminal (having taken the ferry from Yenikapı
in Istanbul. We stopped on a whim- we knew that
this location was known for its sulfur springs, and it turned
out that it was a tourist destination for those living in
other areas of Turkey. I can't quite remember the prices, and
also, the services for this establishment was a little
different than we had done previously- we decided to pay to be
able to use the outdoor pool/spring and the interior bath.
That day was very cold – I would guess low thirties (F) – and
I was apprehensive as to how enjoyable the outdoor pool would
be. We were given a room for changing (it was outside, they
were lining the pool area) and changed into bathing suits
that we had brought. The outside pool was busy, a “typical”
sized pool with probably 30 people going in and out, swimming,
playing, or lounging (cooling off) on the reclining chairs.
Entry into the pool was difficult – it was so cold outside,
yet, the pool was so hot! Eventually, upon a cautious entry,
the pool had a delightful heat – scalding at first, but one
gets used to the temperature eventually. Your body temperature
would rise so much that it was comfortable to sit outside of
the pool for at least ten minutes before becoming cold. It seemed
that one person overheated and was feeling dizzy. An EMT came and
she checked him out amidst a crowd of concerned bathers. He was covered
in towels but fine.
Eventually, we made our way into the hamam. It was a quite
different style than I had encountered in Turkey thus far. It
was posted for one to shower before entering the bath (we
obliged) and after you passed through the door, you entered
into a room that surrounded a warm-hot pool of water, oblong,
about 25 feet long. This water was very tolerable, not too hot
to be enjoyed, and the ambient temperature caused us to be
sweating nearly the entire time. In the rear there was a smaller
room with a central basin with only a little water and corner
basins that were cold plunge pools. The last room was a (wet)
steam room, with benches on the sides. This room was the
hottest room I have ever been into, in Turkey or elsewhere,
and I could only endure the heat for short turns. (I came back
to the room multiple times.)
Returning to the original room, there was a room to the side for bathing
(seats, basins, etc.). Some young and middle-aged men were scrubbing each others;
everyone seemed to know each other and be in good spirits, joking around, etc.
They were giving each other keses and soapdowns in what was at times a scrub-chain.
It seemed as if they were enjoying getting into the role of "keseci" and
slapping the kese on each other's back in the usual fashion, then imitating
There was another room off of the group scrub room marked for families which we
did not go into.
We returned to the outside pool- apart from the steam room, I
enjoyed that the most. Overall, this was perhaps my favorite,
only because of the pool – It was so nice to be in the heated
water, outside, in the middle of the winter. The sulfur smell
not offensive, in fact it was almost enjoyable. Leaving this
bath/pool I was entirely exhausted and relaxed- my best