Foreign travellers tend to bypass Yalova in Turkey, but for many years, locals of Istanbul who want to escape city life for a few days, have favoured it as the ideal destination. Summer weekends when the children are off school are a traditional time for them to go.
Like most small Turkish cities, Yalova has a dolmuş (mini-bus) system. Yalova’s dolmuşes are light blue and run from the most important sites in the city, primarily along Atatürk Caddesi and Fatih Caddesi. Noteworthy stops include: Yalova Otogar (bus station), İDO (ferry terminal), Heykel (merkez/city center), and Termal. Stops can be requested at any time directly from the driver. Dolmuş-riding costs 1.50 TL (in Turkish bir buçuk, “one and a half”) to most destinations, although from the city center it costs 2.50 TL (iki buçuk) to ride to Termal. Yalova is a small city and for the most part very walkable. In the warm months, Gazi Paşa Caddesi is very popular for strolling with tourists and locals alike. To get to Gazi Paşa Cad. from the İDO terminal, go straight along Atatürk Cad. towards town, and cross directly over the large intersection at Heykel. Taxis are also readily available, especially from the İDO station.
For city dwellers, Yalova offers everything including thermal springs, hiking, gorgeous landscapes, trekking and biking routes, and numerous campsites. So in this article by Bayram Tekce, a Turkish national, he talks about his reasons on why he loves it so much.
Termal District :
From Yalova city centre, the termal district is twelve kilometres, and what the region is most famous for. Four hotels in the area offer access to healing thermal waters that scientists say ease symptoms of various ailments including skin, mental diseases, orthopaedic, and functional disorders. It is not a new trend because, throughout Turkey, soldiers from different empires over time used spa waters to heal after battle. The spa springs of Pamukkale are one such example as is the Balcova springs of Izmir.
Now let’s talk about trekking, hiking, biking and camping in Yalova.
Sudesen waterfall is among one of the top attractions, but trekking, hiking, and biking routes through the scenic landscapes are ideal pursuits. A famous slogan that springs to mind when talking about is Yalova is to be at one with nature.
Many tree species including oak, pine, and chestnut surround the 400-acre landscape in the Delmece plateaus, whereas Erikli Plateau, near Tesvikiye Village, is a favourite destination for campers but photography enthusiasts also love it. Picnic lovers head to the Hasan Baba area, a protected habitat for deer.
Do you know the beach distance from the Yalova centre ? Armutlu, a seaside location 50 kilometres from Yalova centre, has the distinct advantage of hot thermal springs as well as beach, sunbathing , swimming and water sports leisure activities. Cinarcik is also a seaside location, but it has something that Armutlu doesn’t and that is a lively night-time scene. Shopping facilities are not as extensive as other locations, but the main cities of Bursa and Istanbul are close by.
To drive from Istanbul to Yalova is a long, drawn out journey so many people instead use the sea ferry buses departing from the Yenikapi Port in the Fatih district of Istanbul. Their website shows updated schedules and timetables, should you wish to visit for the day or weekend.
You can also visit Horticulture.
Horticulture is big business in Yalova with approximately 20% of the country’s trade happening there. Cut flowers and landscaping shrubbery are taken seriously with many producers also exporting their goods abroad. Hence, the flower is a symbol of Yalova, and annual fairs promote local expertise. The Karaca Arboretum also greatly reflects Yalova’s expertise and interest. Open to the public, it covers 13.5 hectares of land holding roughly 7000 different species of plants, trees, and flowers.
Journey By Boat :
The easiest and quickest way to get to Yalova from Istanbul is to take a fast ferry . Fast ferries operate from Yenikapı (south of Sultanahmet), the voyage takes 70 minutes and costs 14 TL per person, in vehicles 12 TL per person , 67 TL for cars and 5 TL for bicycles . Concessions of about 1-2 TL is available for students and for those who buy their tickets online through İDO’s (the ferry operator) website, as are early booking discounts. Fast ferries also operate from Pendik, a suburb of Istanbul on the Asian Side, with a shorter voyage duration of 40 minutes. Sea-buses run from Kartal also on the Asian Side and similarly take about 40 minutes.
Journey By Bus :
Busses connect Istanbul, Bursa, and most other cities to Yalova. Kamil Koç and Yalova Lines have the most frequent and reliable service.
Journey By Car :
Take the roads numbered: D130 from Izmit (east) and D575/E881 from Bursa (south). There are also car-ferries from various points in or near Istanbul.
The telephone code of Yalova is 226 (+90 226 when calling from out of Turkey). It used to be 216 prior to late 1990s, so old guidebooks may say so, which is not useful any more.
Now you know many good reasons to visit Yalova in Turkey. So, come here with your family or friends to enjoy the awesome place. Thank you.