Turkish Mud Baths – What are they really like?

When I visited Turkey in 2013, one thing I did not want to miss out on was experiencing the mud baths. We took a small, open boat along the River Danube and it was actually a really pleasant ride. The waters were blue and there was plenty of countryside, cliffs and long reeds, and we got to see some interesting things along the way, including a number of grave-like monuments built into the rocky walls by the river. It’s all stuff we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, which is always a huge bonus. Finally, we arrived at the mud bath.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure what I expected from this experience, but it wasn’t what I got. The pools are only thigh deep and a murky, grey colour; in other words, not very inviting. I know this probably sounds silly as water is a liquid, but it was a lot runnier than I thought it would be, and we didn’t get very muddy just from being in it. It was also kind of cramped too. The mud tended to sit on the bottom of the pool, so instead we found ourselves reaching in and digging it up, before proceeding to manually wipe it across our bodies, where it would eventually harden and begin to tighten the skin beneath it. It was a bizarre soak, that’s for sure, but something new that I felt almost obligated to try at least once.

It’s still a good half day trip out, but it just wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it would be in my head. Your skin does feel rejuvenated afterwards and the site provides showers where you can rinse off excess dirt before you get dressed again, but it’s messy, awkward and very wet.

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