What happens in a Hamam?
Well, the ritual is simple. You will find yourself in the Hot Room which is called Sicaklik. Sicaklik (also known as Hararet in traditional language), a room filled with the sound of splashing water, the scent of soap, and wafting steam through which daily concerns and worries cannot penetrate. In the gentle moist heat your body relaxes, and your nerves are soothed. You sit down at one of the marble wash basins which line the walls, and adjusting the temperature of the water to a delicious warmth, dip the copper bathing bowl into the basin and tip the water over your head and body. Waves of relaxation seem to pour right through you as the water envelops your body. The marble-covered hot room consists of several washing sections, kurna (water basins) set around the wall, and a göbek taşı (heated marble platform) in the center under the dome. Get wet by pouring water all over your body. Then, lay down on the göbek taşı for a few minutes. While relaxing and gently sweating, do not forget to appreciate the architecture around you. If you are visiting during the daytime, look up and watch the sunlight enter the room through the dome. After 10-15 minutes in the heat and moisture, your skin has softened enough for exfoliation. Your attendant—natır for women or tellak for men—will come with kese, the special mitten used to scrub off the dead cells of your skin. Relax, it is not as painful as you might have heard, but it is important to tell the attendant if you feel overwhelmed or there are parts of the body that you do not want them to scrub. Do not worry if you don’t speak Turkish, because some basic English words and body language are all you need to communicate. After the scrubbing is complete, close your eyes and prepare for bowls of cold water to be poured over your head. Now it is time for bubbles (*köpük), the long-awaited, dreamy bubble wash and massage—just as fun and pleasant as it sounds. Using a special cloth lathered with soap, your attendant will squeeze a mountain of puffy, smooth bubbles all over your body. As you are amazed by how good it feels, your hammam ritual is almost done and generally should take one hour. However, if you feel like staying longer, lay back on the göbek taşı and make the most of it. When you are ready, the attendant will give you a clean towel to dry your body before you exit the hot room.
Q: Do i need to change inside?
A: Yes, and remember to walk with slippers. Otherwise, you might slip on the steamy wet marble floor easily.
Q: Can i take photo inside?
A: No photos inside. The marble interior is surely very photogenic, but people will not appreciate their bathing photos appearing on others’ phones and cameras. Besides, this is a time for rejuvenation and relaxation, and no one wants to ruin their device in the water and bubbles.
Q: How about shopping?
A: We do not include any shopping stops unless you wish to visit one of the traditional workshops of handmade rugs, tiles, jewelry.
Q: How do I book this tour?
A: Easy! All you need to do is;
Fill the ‘Booking’ form where you will put your full details such as personal information, date, hotel or cruise name, arrival and departure times. Once you complete your booking we will get back to you with a confirmation email within 24 hours.
Q: How do I pay?
A: After filling the Booking form and secure the booking, the payment will be in cash directly to the tour guide during the tour. You can choose to pay in Usd, Euro, RMB, Turkish Lira or English Sterling.