Unique Culture

Enjoy a traditional bath as part of your sailing Turkey experience

By MedSailors Crew
on  September 03, 2014

Experiencing a hammam is a great way to learn more about the culture whilst sailing Turkey, as well as being extremely relaxing.

The experience can seem intimidating if you do not know what to expect, but it is an experience that shouldn’t be missed if you want a true taste of Turkish life. This guide will give you an idea of what will happen, meaning you can spend your time looking forward to this part of your Turkey sailing trip rather than worrying about what will happen.

Hammam, hamam, or the Turkish bath is still a part of regular life for many Turks. Most people shower at home but many still head to their local bath for the cleansing and relaxing experience it offers.

What to wear

It is perfectly acceptable to wear your swimwear but if you want to experience an authentic Turkish bath you need to be naked. You will most likely be provided with a thin towel, known as a peshtemal, to wrap yourself in and a normal towel to use to dry yourself.

What is a hammam all about?

Most hammams will offer a range of different services. A traditional package will normally include body scrubbing using a kese, which is a hand-woven cloth; a foam wash and a massage.

The ritual is normally the same for men and women, although the sexes will be separated in authentic hammams. The idea behind the experience is that you allow yourself to be looked after by your attendant, known as a tellak or natir. The bathing experience involves moving through progressively warmer bathing sections.

What will happen?

Your attendant will take you to the warm section, where you will sweat and relax next to a kurna. The attendant will then scrub you before you move onto the gobektasi, a warm marble slab. This is where you will experience a sudsy massage using a foam-filled lacy cloth in what is known as the hot section.

You will then return to the cold section where you are usually given a drink as you allow your body to return to its normal temperature. This is the perfect time to give your attendant the traditional tip.

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