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Most people prefer to visit Yalova because of its one of a kind thermal springs that are believed to be healing. Its closeness to major cities allows people to easily travel to Yalova even for a weekend which makes it convenient for those who are looking for some peace and quiet.

It is estimated that the first settlement came about between 8.000 and 5.500 BCE in Yalova. Even though there is no factual information about how the city was founded, there is a strong belief that the city was first founded by the Bithynians. In 74 BCE, the city came under the rule of the Roman Empire. After the Roman Empire was divided, Yalova became a part of the Eastern Roman Empire which then became the Byzantine Empire.

The thermal springs Yalova is famous for is not a new concept but the place has always been important even in 1200 BCE. There have been health and wellbeing related pictures found outside the baths. Especially during the Byzantine Empire era, the thermal springs were a popular place to rest and for healing. After the Byzantine Empire, Yalova came under the rule of the Seljuk Empire. However, the city was destroyed during the Crusades. In 1326, Yalova was taken over by the Ottoman Empire. During the Turkish War of Independence, Yalova was invaded by Greeks but gained its independence in 1921. In 1929, Yalova became a district of Istanbul. In 1995, Yalova was separated from Istanbul and became a city.


    Summer months are perfect for visiting the historical landmarks in Yalova and admiring its natural beauty. However, thermal springs are usually visited during the winter season and it can get pretty crowded than usual. You can choose the time you wish to visit Yalova depending on the purpose of your visit.
    The language spoken in Yalova is Turkish as it is the official language.
    There are no airports to be found in Yalova. The nearest airport is the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul if you wish to fly from abroad and then you can get on a bus or a ferry to reach Yalova.
    Type C
    The currency used is Turkish Lira or TL.
    The time zone of Yalova is GMT +03:00
Essentially, Yalova can be visited in any season. Summers are usually hot and dry in Yalova and winter season is slightly cold and rainy. If you are planning to travel to Yalova only to visit the historical landmarks and admire its natural beauty, then summer would be a great time to visit. However, if you are planning to visit the thermal springs in Yalova, you can visit the city during the winter season as well. However, keep in mind that during the winter season, the thermal springs are much crowded than usual. Winter is also the preferred season for the hunters in the area.
Yalova is a small city that has no airports. Therefore there are alternative ways you can reach the city. If you are traveling from abroad, the only option you have is to fly to Istanbul first. Then you can either get on a bus or get on a ferry that travels to Yalova. If you are traveling from a city in Turkey, depending on which city you are in, you can get on a bus or get on a ferry as well. If you want to travel from Trabzon to Yalova, you can fly to Kocaeli which is a nearby city and then you can reach Yalova. If you have your own vehicle, you can either drive to Yalova as usual or get on a ferry from Istanbul with your own car which makes traveling to Yalova much faster.
In Yalova, there are many transportation options you can choose from. As usual, you can get on buses and minibusses to travel to most of the city and the historical landmarks. However, Yalova also offers rental boats if you wish to travel to somewhere that is located along the coastline. Since Yalova is a small and peaceful city, there are rental bikes that you can use to travel around if you want a cheaper and eco-friendly alternative.
    Lova Hotel & Spa is located in a central area. The hotel is only 2 kilometers away from the city center and 34 kilometers away from the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul. The hotel is only 4,5 kilometers away from the ferry station. Lova Hotel & Spa has two spa centers one of which is special for women and the other one is mixed. There are massage rooms, indoor swimming pools, steam rooms, a sauna, a Turkish bath as well as an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center in the hotel. Each room has a view of the natural beauty of the surrounding area and a balcony where you can enjoy the view from. The hotel offers an open buffet breakfast each morning. You can also have lunch and dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. There is also a nearby shopping mall that is only 700 meters away.
    Uğur Termal Residence is located in the Termal district of Yalova. The hotel has a beautiful forest view to offer to its guests. However, Uğur Termal Residence is different from other hotels as it does not have rooms but small apartments. There are 33 apartments in total and they are in different sizes such as 1+1, 2+1 and 3+1. All the apartments have thermal water in their bathtubs and they all have balconies as well as all the furniture and items you might need in a house. In addition to the apartments, there is a reception, a meeting room that can hold up to 50 people, a lounge area, a breakfast lounge, a spa center, thermal pools for men and women separately, a Turkish bath, jacuzzi and a sauna. If you have kids, the hotel also has a playground for the children to play. If you have pets, Uğur Termal Residence allows pets in the apartments.
    Limak Termal Boutique is a historical hotel. The hotel’s very first visitor was the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Over the years, the hotel was rebuilt in its original plan. There are 48 rooms in total and every room has special bathtubs that have thermal water access. The hotel also has an additional thermal spa center where there are indoor and outdoor thermal pools, a Turkish bath, a sauna, steam rooms and massage centers. The hotel’s restaurant is known as one of the best restaurants in Yalova that offers both Turkish cuisine and World Cuisine.
Üvezpınar is a neighborhood in Yalova located close to the thermal springs. This neighborhood used to be a village in Yalova until 1992. Üvezpınar is a place that attracts attention with its natural beauty. The neighborhood is located at the foothill of the Samanlı Mountains and has a panoramic view of the city. Another famous location Su Düşen Waterfall is also located in Üvezpınar which we will mention further along the guide. Since there are not many places to visit in Yalova, its natural beauty is a must-see for visitors.
Karaca Arboretum is known as a tree museum as it has around 7000 different plants. Karaca Arboretum is Turkey’s first private arboretum that was built by Hayrettin Karaca. This arboretum has many important plant families such as Quercus, Betula, Acer, Malas, Prunus, Magnolia, Picea and Pinus, if you are interested in the field. Karaca Arboretum is open to the public every day from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 01:00 pm to 05:00 pm. Group visits are only possible by reservation. The guided tour of the arboretum lasts about one and a half hours. Instead of paying a typical entrance fee, Karaca Arboterum requires you to donate to the TEMA foundation which is a foundation working for nature. Each year, Karaca Arboretum receives 15.000 Turkish and foreigner visitors.
There is an old church in Yalova called the Black church which is believed to be built as a bath in the 6th century. Later on, it is said to be turned into a church however, there is no detailed information about the structure itself as well as its history. It is known that the architectural design of the building is like the Roman architectural style. According to one legend, there were tunnels built underneath the church leading behind the mountains. It is said that many people escaped through the tunnels during the time of war.
Delmece Pletea is one of the most famous locations in Yalova. It is mostly visited by those who want to camp. Delmece Platea is a great place to go on trekking. The Delmece Platea National Park has many different types of trees, waterfalls and a deep lake. There is also a water source known to have a healing effect. It is a great place to visit if you are a nature lover.
Su Düşen Waterfall has become a part of the city of Bursa rather than Yalova as it was before. In the surrounding area of the Su Düşen Waterfall, you can go on walks, swim or go on a picnic as a family.
Armutlu Thermal Springs is one of the most famous thermal springs in Turkey, mostly visited by those who live in Istanbul due to the city’s closeness to the area. Armutlu Thermal Springs is the only thermal springs and the second one in the world that has the most radioactivity. Thermal springs are especially beneficial for skin conditions, pain, rheumatism and many other diseases. It also helps eliminate the toxins in the body. If you are planning to visit Armutlu Thermal Springs, make sure to talk to your doctor to see if you are suitable for benefitting from it as thermal springs can be harmful for some people. Also, check the specific thermal spring that you want to visit to see which diseases and health problems it has a healing effect on and try to find the right one for your specific condition.
Erikli is one of the most famous waterfalls in Turkey and especially in the Marmara region. Erikli Waterfall is sometimes referred to as “Çifte Şelale” which means “double waterfall” due to having two waterfalls in the same place. It is the perfect place to enjoy long nature walks or picnics with your friends and family. You will definitely fall in love with the beauty of this place.
Yalova Open Air museum also known as the Archeopark is a place where you can see the artifacts belonging to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The Open Air Museum was opened in 2003 and it is still functioning if you would like to visit it to learn more about the history of the city.
Walking Pavilion is a famous place due to an event happened in the past. One day, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk went to the farm and saw a gardener trying to cut the branches of a plane tree. Atatürk asked him what he was doing and he said that the branches were touching the walls of the pavilion which is why he was going to cut the branches. Atatürk was not satisfied with the answer the gardener gave him and ordered the tree not to be cut, instead, he ordered the pavilion to be moved away. After detailed planning, the pavilion was moved about 4.80 meters away from the tree.
    As every city has its own kebab, Yalova has one too. The meat mixed with spices, onions, tomatoes and peppers is placed on a puff dough shaped like a plate. As a final touch cheese is put on top and melted to tie everything together. The look of Yalova kebabı is somewhat similar to a pizza but a small and puffy one. It is one of the first meals that come to mind when Yalova is mentioned. So we would recommend that you do not leave Yalova without tasting its kebab.
    To make termal sarma, steaks are thinned out and then a mixture of onions and mushrooms is put on the steak and then the steak is rolled. The rolled steaks are fried with some butter in a pan. A special sauce is poured on top of the steaks as well. It is an interesting yet delicious recipe that is specially prepared in the Termal district of Yalova which is where the name of the food comes from.
    Pavli is rather an interesting food. It is prepared with boiled cabbage leaves. It is one of the most famous foods in Yalova. You should give it a try if you visit Yalova.
    Yalova sütlüsü is a dessert that is prepared with thin sheets of dough. After the milk is boiled with some sugar, thin sheets of dough are placed on a baking pan. The walnuts are added on top and more dough is added on top. Then it is baked in the oven. After it is baked, the milk that is now cooled down is poured on top and the dough is let to soak up the milk.
    Eggs are boiled and then the egg yolk is separated from the egg whites. Stale bread is wet and egg yolk, dill, salt and pepper are added to make a mixture. This mixture is put inside the boiled egg whites. These eggs then are covered with whipped eggs and then fried. It is a must-have food during picnics. If you like desserts prepared with milk and/or have stomach issues, it is a good option to try out while you are in the city.
    Yalova is quite famous for its small yet sweet apples. If you want to taste one of the best apples you can ever taste, we highly recommend you try a few while you are in Yalova. Some say they cannot forget the taste of the apples they have tried in Yalova.
Yalova is a fairly small city. There are not as many historical landmarks to be visited compared to other cities in Turkey. Therefore, if you want to wander around the city and see some of the landmarks, it would only take a couple of days to do so. However, you might choose to stay in a thermal hotel to find a cure for a condition you might have or simply relax and get away from the chaotic and fast-paced life. In this case, it is completely up to you to decide how many days you want to spend in the thermal springs of Yalova. You can either stay for 3 days just to relax or you can stay for about 10 days to be healed.
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