Turkey (Türkiye) - spa resorts & hotels
Turkey, bordered by sea on three sides, has natural thermal resources and modern thalasso-therapies to offer for the health and beauty of the entire world.
The use of natural thermal and mineral waters for relaxation and health is as old as the history of mankind. The sources of thermal waters were called “Ilıca” (thermal place) in Turkish. They began to be known as “kapalicarsi” (covered thermal place) as facilities and hammams were established in these areas, and the word “kaplica” (spa) was formed later on. The Turks combined the “Mancu” (steam bath) tradition that they brought to Anatolia with Roman baths and so the “Turkish Bath” arose. The “Turkish Spa Bath” is formed by using thermal waters in pools. The spa tradition maintains its existence today as a socio-cultural concept by means of the richly mineral thermal resources of our country.
The use of spas for maintaining and improving health, treatment and rehabilitation is a continuing tradition in Europe, as well as in Asia, Africa and America, and steadily growing stronger as scientific knowledge accumulates. Spa procedures, far from the stress and tension that contemporary life brings, become the ideal choice not only for physical, bodily health, but also for mental and spiritual health.
Some natural and traditional methods like exercises, massages, diets and nutrition are performed in many spa centres, along with thermal baths, mineral spring cures and steam baths, all applications peculiar to spas.
The use of thalasso-therapy in Turkey dates back to ancient times on the Turkish mainland, i.e. Anatolia (Asia Minor). The specific climatic conditions in the Turkish coastal areas provide the proper thalasso-therapeutic factors. The beneficial effects of solar radiation are available from May to October throughout the daytime. The degree of salinity and the temperature of the sea water are suitable for natural sea bathing.
Recently there has been a growing interest in investing in and establishing thalasso-therapy facilities along the coast, given the favourable climatic characteristics of the coastal areas of Turkey. Resort hotels on the Turkish coast aiming to attract holiday makers with sun, sea and sand, have recently opened thalasso-therapy and spa facilities aimed at the health tourism market. Most of these facilities are located on the Mediterranean coast, especially the so-called Turkish Riviera, Antalya and environs, particularly Kemer, Belek, Side and Manavgat. These are followed by the Aegean coast resorts located in summer holiday towns like Bodrum (near Mugla) and Cesme (near Izmir). Cesme, being a historic and traditional spa town, has the extra advantage of having thermal water springs that can be used in balneo-therapeutic applications as well as thalasso-therapeutic ones. Currently, there is only one thalasso centre, a facility that is part of a seaside resort in Istanbul located in Silivri, 60 km west on the Sea of Marmara coast.
Current thalasso-therapy facilities are mainly focused on wellness, beauty and relaxation treatments for “healthy” individuals, rather than therapy and rehabilitation programmes for patients. At the same time, patients with some dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis and with some rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis might benefit from a thalasso-therapeutic cure in one of these thalasso-therapy centres in the coastal regions of Turkey.