While the coastal ports of Yalova and Zeytindağı like to call themselves resorts, they hold few compelling attractions. The coastline here is mostly rocky, with inland contours softened by the ubiquitous olive groves and conifer forest.
Although patronized by Byzantine and Roman emperors, the hot springs at TERMAL only became fashionable again in the 1890s, and most of the spa’s Ottoman belle époque buildings date from that era. The village itself, 12km southwest of Yalova, has unfortunately sprawled in recent years, and now holds several so-called luxury hotels, all offering spa treatments and wellness sessions. You can also get here on a short dolmuş ride inland from Çınarcık, served by a summer sea-bus service from İstanbul.
The most popular of Termal’s many bathing centres is the Kurşunlu Banyo. The water is supposedly beneficial for rheumatism and skin diseases, but temperatures reach 65°C, so the best time to take the plunge is in winter. Otherwise, there’s an open-air pool nearby at a more manageable 38°C.