A Turkish Bath in Turkey

When Charles and I decided we were going to Turkey, one of the first things I knew I HAD to do was to get a Turkish Bath!

When in Turkey, do as the Turkish do!

A Turkish Bath is called a Hamam – it is a water therapy massage session meant to purify the body and soul. The Turks had been using Hamam’s for over 600 years, so I knew I had to get one and try it out for myself!

I was told to check out Çemberlitaş Hamami, which was only about 2 blocks from our hotel.

I was so excited to be in such a historic building. This hamam has been around since 1584! After I got over the awesomeness of the historic appeal it wasn’t a hard choice for me to decide what service I wanted for my Turkish bath experience – I was on my honeymoon so obviously I wanted the WORKS!

This meant I would get the Luxury Style!

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For 99 Turklish Lira, which is about $60 – the Luxury style treatment includes a 15 minute body scrub and bubble wash, 30 minute oil massage and unlimited time on the marble platform or in the pools.

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I didn’t really know what to expect when I walked in the doors, but I was quickly ushered into the Women’s section of the Hamam.

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I was taken upstairs and given a locker and a key.

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I was also given a cloth towel, my scrubber and a pair of black panties. You were given the option to go completely nude or just topless. There were people in the bath that wore nothing, some wore only bottoms and others wore bathing suits.

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After I decided what I was going to wear (or not wear) I made my way into the steam room. The focal point of the room is this giant marble heated hot stone – you lay on your towel on this stone for about 10 –15 minutes and embrace the steam and relax. This is where you sweat out the impurities. 

 

When I was properly steamed an attendant or  “bath lady” came over to me and tossed a bucket of water on me. This was a bit unexpected but I just went with it. She covered me with water and then covered me with bubbles before she started to scrub me down with my scrubber mitt – it looked a little something like this:

After scrubbing me down she tossed more water on me and gave me a bit of a massage. Since this happened so soon after my wedding, the attendant managed to scrub off all of my spray tan from the Big Day, it ALL came off. She didn’t speak a lick of English and when I tried to explain to her it was just my spray tan, I am pretty sure she just thought my skin was falling off and I was dying!

Either way, I am pretty sure I had never been as clean as I was after this scrub down! My “bath lady” may have hit me in the face with her exposed breasts, but she gave an amazing Turkish bath!

After my scrub down I hit the pools. They were heated and delightful – I could have stayed in there forever, but before I knew it, it was time for my oil massage!

It was a 30 minute massage and it was one of the best I have had in my life! So relaxing and amazing! It was pretty much the perfect honeymoon treat!

When I was finished I started talking to a local in the locker room. She told me she comes here once a month because taking a traditional bath is still a very much alive part of their culture! I am so glad I got to experience it myself!

So there you have it – My Turkish Bath experience!

Would you or have you ever had a Turkish Bath?

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7 Comments

  • Reply Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) June 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I LOVE following your adventures! Turkey has been on my to-visit list for years now and these posts are putting it back on top of the list. Gorgeous photos!

  • Reply Hope June 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I have heard of a Turkish Bath before but I had no clue what it was. I think you are brave! I don’t know if I would be able to do that. It seems like it would be very relaxing though 🙂

  • Reply Katherine June 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Wow, that sounds awesome! I have never had a Turkish Bath but I would totally be down for that.

    One creepy question- are the women topless for the men’s baths too? I would love to do this with my fiance (we are planning on going to Greece , and possibly Turkey, for our honeymoon, too!) but I have to say- I’m not sure I’d be down with him getting bathed by a nude woman that isn’t me!

    • Reply Leslie June 23, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Hey Katherine – The women bathe women and men bathe men 🙂

  • Reply Kelley June 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    This is so cool! What a neat experience!

  • Reply Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    That’s so awesome you were daring enough to do this. I couldn’t help but laugh when you said the lady hit you in the face with her boob. Hilarious!
    Thank you for sharing all of your awesome experiences!

  • Reply Patty O July 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    It looks like it would be really relaxing and I think I would try it. If I ever get to Turkey, I’ll think about treating myself. Loved reading about your experience!

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