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Hammam on the Turquoise Coast

  • Turkey

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

The hamam – the Turkish Bath – is one of Turkey’s quintessential experiences: a deep cleanse, sweat-out, relax and (optional) heavy-duty massage all in one. Additional services include a massage and a rub-down with a kese (an abrasive glove), to remove layers of dead skin.

For the authentic experience, head to the local hamam. Most towns have one, many occupying historic buildings with elegant vestibules and changing cubicles where, swathed in towels, you can recover with a glass of tea. Many luxury hotels will also have a hamam, and offer a more personalised, private experience.

In the more touristy towns, hamams tend to be unisex, or at least include unisex times in their schedules. Elsewhere, there are separate exits, or schedules, for men and women.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Bodrum Hamam

  • Bodrum, Aegean Region, Turkey

Marble sink with metal jug in a traditional Turkish bath

Experience

Go for the full package – hamam, sauna, exfoliation, oil massage and water massage at this simple hammam opposite Bodrum’s bus station.

Adult price: 1

Good for age: 18+

Efes Selcuk Hamam

  • Selcuk, Aegean Region, Turkey

Professional hamam worker touching the back of young lady while covering her with soap foam

Experience

Re-opened in 2020 after a full re-modelling, this traditional working hammam offers an authentic, restorative experience.

Adult price: 1

Good for age: 18+

Website >

Kusadasi Belediye Hamam

  • Kusadasi, Aegean Region, Turkey

Dark marble bathroom with multiple sinks

Experience

An original 15th-century Ottoman hammam, offering a unique grape-seed exfoliation treatment, located close to the nightlife district of the town.

Adult price: 4

Good for age: 18+

Website >

Old Turkish Bath Boutique Hamam

  • Fethiye, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Interior of Turkish bath hamam

Experience

An atmospheric and historic old town hammam, located in a warren of domes tucked away in the central Paspatur district.

Adult price: 3

Good for age: 18+

Website >

Sefa Hamam

  • Antalya, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Exterior of a 600 year old bath

Experience

A unisex hamam in Antalya’s picturesque old city, dating back to the 15th century offering rejuvenating massage and steam.

Adult price: 3

Good for age: 18+

Website >

Logistics

Price from: £10
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ hours

Getting there & doing it

The hamam tends to intimidate first-time visitors to Turkey; and the way it works takes a little familiarisation. But hamam attendants are used to foreign visitors and will direct them through the process.

You’ll be given your own soap and allotted a cubicle, with key, for dressing and wrapping yourself in pestemel (towel) before you proceed, on wooden clogs provided, to the domed sweat room. Lie on the hot marble platform beneath the dome, then soap and sluice yourself down at the surrounding basins. Massages and kese glove rub-downs will be available on request, and at extra charge. When you’re done, an attendant will swathe you in fresh towels and leave you to recover in your cubicle.

Hamams, like Fethiye’s atmospheric Old Turkish Bath Boutique Hamam, tend to be located in town centres. Hours, prices and access for men and women vary.

When to do it

The hamam works regardless of the season, but optimally at day’s end, either in summer as a sweat cleanse or in winter as a warm-up.

It may pay to check with more touristy hamams whether a tour group is expected.