Where to Visit in Yalova
Yalova is a market-gardening town located in northwestern Turkey on the eastern coast of the Sea of Marmara. The town has a population of 156,838, while the population of the surrounding The City Province is 291,001 as of 2021. A largely modern town, it is best known for the spa resort at nearby Termal, a popular summer retreat for residents of Istanbul. Regular ferries connect The City with Istanbul via the Sea of Marmara. They are operated by İDO. The name Yalova is assumed to be a contraction of Yalıova. Yalı means ‘house at the coast’ and ova means ‘plain’ in Turkish.
The City Town
In the town itself the only significant attraction is the so-called Yürüyen Köşkü (Walking Pavilon), a pretty waterside villa which was used by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkey, during his visits. It takes its name from the fact that Atatürk preferred to have it dismantled and moved slightly rather than cut down a tree that was impeding the view as its grew.
The Yalova Earthquake Monument in the 17 August Park on the coast of Marmara Sea commemorates the thousands of lives lost in August 1999 when a huge earthquake devastated the north-west corner of Turkey which included Yalova.
The City is best known for the hot springs in the Termal district, which gets its name from the Greek word thermae ‘warm’. There appears to have been some sort of spa resort here since Byzantine times and the 17th-century travel writer Evliya Çelebi reported the existence of the Kurşunlu Banyo (Leaded Bath) at the time of his visit. The resort was expanded during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II and again during Atatürk’s day. Also in Termal is the Atatürk Arboretum which is said to contain 1800 different species of plant. It was commissioned by Atatürk in 1929 and was the first arboretum in the country. A summer-house used by Atatürk is also open to the public in the grounds.