The history of Yalova dates back to 3000 B.C. in the prehistoric period. It is possible to see the effects of the Kimmer invasion in 700 B.C. and then the Bithynian influence in the city. After the reign of the Byzantines, the Ottoman period had begun. Yalova, with its old name Helenepolis, is on the south shore of the Marmara Sea. It became a holiday resort with the famous spas built in the Roman period and when Helene, mother of Emperor Great Konstantin liked the city a lot, it got the Helenepolis name.
Before talking about the most important spas of Turkey, we can mention other features of Yalova. There is the Ataturk Pavilion among the forests. This pavilion had been built in 1929 and had served as a resort residence to the founder of the Republic of Turkey who liked Yalova very much. This structure preserves its originality and it is open to visit every day except Monday and Thursday. Carpet-weaving is a very important income source. The silk carpets weaved here are greatly demanded in Istanbul and Europe. One of the major properties of Yalova is the prevalence of the ornamental plants production.
Altinova is a district of Yalova founded on the shores. It is 27 km. away from Yalova and it is a district worth to see with its bathhouses, water arches, fountains and castle from different periods. Cinarcik is a tourism center with its beaches, camps. Karaca Arboretum is one of the places that should be seen. In the arboretum located on the Yalova-Thermal highway, about 5 km. from the city center in the village of Samanli; there are rock gardens, plant gardens, iris gardens, rose gardens, miniature plants and plant collections like bonsai plants cultivated in Turkey. Besides plant specimens from Asia, Europe, Africa, America, Australia, New Zealand and mainly Turkey, there are also endemic specimens of Turkish plants. The arboretum approximately contains 5 thousand ligneous plants and a similar number of herbaceous, seed and bulb type plants.
There are facilities between the villages of Gokcedere and Uvezpinar in Termal which has the spas. Again, in this region the Panorama Hill of 120 m. height is a spectacular hill with its green flora in every season and amazing landscape. Yedi Havuzlar is a waterfall at the entrance of the thermal facilities. Yedi Havuzlar in the thermal, which is famous for its hydrangeas in different colours, is full of rare and precious trees and flowers. Sudusen Waterfall is 8 km. from the village of Uvezpinar. The road towards the waterfall of unique beauty is an excellent route for trekking. The route is highly preferred by local and foreign tourists in summer months. In the route towards the waterfall, there is a magnificent landscape of dam lake, sea and nature and if you do not take your camera with you, you can regret afterwards. The region is used as photo, safari, nature walks and picnic area. The significant plateaus of Yalova are the Erikli and Delmece Plataeus on the south of the Kocadere and Tesvikiye towns. In the Delmece Plateau, there is the only natural lake of Yalova, a crater lake known as “Dipsiz Lake”. The plateaus can be reached via an earth road leading off from the town of Tesvikiye.
Yalova is especially known with its world-renowned Thermal spas and Armutlu spas. The thermal facilities are 12 km. from the city center. In the spa facilities, there are historical baths like Sultan bath – Valide bath – Kursunlu bath and Villager bathhouse. Armutlu Spas are 50 km. from Yalova. In the spa region, there are hotel, restaurant, Turkish bath, Massage Rooms, Whirlpool Bath and Indoor Swimming Pool. www.yalova.bel.tr www.yalova.gov.tr