Karahayıt which is a nice winter vacation spot with its healing waters in red color, ancient cities and caves, is a sweet town in Denizli.  Karahayıt is also close to the Pamukkale travertine, and it is a nice alternative to take an entertaining, cultural holiday in cold winter days…

karahayıt 2In our day, where alternative holiday options increased, number of those who want to both travel and to rest in a healthy environment also increases especially in winter months. This increase also brings along increase in the investments made to thermal tourism.  In our country that is rich in underground waters; some of these resources catch the eye with their facilities where people can easily accommodate, and some others bide their time to be discovered.

Denizli that has a reputation for its dust, girls and roosters has improved its fame that it attained with Pamukkale travertine, together with the increasing interest shown to Karahayıt. Nowadays, Karahayıt town and health resorts located 5 km north of Pamukkale travertine are definitely visited by those who came to visit Pamukkale travertine.


Karahayıt hot springs, located in the region included in the world cultural heritage list of UNESCO, has a structure similar to the hot spring in Pamukkale. However, hot waters in Pamukkale ensure creation of famous snow white travertine, on the other hand healing waters in Karahayıt gives a reddish tint to the travertine.  Special healing thermal water in red color and obtained at 56 degrees from the main source in every season of the year and thermal mud of Karahayıt are unique means of health with their rich minerals according to the report issued by Aegean University Hydroclimatology Institution.  Thus, those who are staying in touristic facilities in Karahayıt have the chance to have a cultural holiday by traveling around the region that has a past starting from ancient times, and they also find solution for many health problems by means of red water and thermal mud.

karahayıt 8Name of Karahayıt comes from abundance of a plant named hayıt (chasteberry) in the region, and from the color of this plant.  Chasteberry that has a hard, odorous, slightly bitterish structure and ball-shaped small fruits is utilized as diuretic purposes, anti-gas agent and as tranquilizers; and its branches are used for pleaching. 

All locals depending on agriculture turned to tourism sector together with the increase in the tourism activities for about 20 years.  Today there are 12 hotels with stars, 110 family-run thermal guesthouses and total bed amount of 7 thousand in Karahayıt; and most of the hotels are member of association of thermal hotels with sanitary (SPA) conformity certificate. There are thermal water baths at 56 degrees water temperature in all of the guesthouses.  Also most of the many-star hotels in Pamukkale are located in Karahayıt.


karahayıt 4When thermal water obtained from springs is used as bath, it is especially good for diseases related with circulatory system. Blood pressure decreases in the vessels that enlarged by means of the bath, and relieves activity of the heart.  On the other hand, it creates a positive effect on respiratory system for disorders like asthma, bronchitis.  Also, it is good for arthritis, hemorrhoid, varicosity, gout that have completed acute stage and are stabilized; and dermatologic diseases like pustules, itching, and gynecological diseases.  When thermal mud in black color is applied to the face, it is efficient in eliminating wrinkles on the face, removing slough and obtaining smooth skin. When mud bath is applied with thermal mud, body gains stability and resistance. Karahayıt draws intensive attention because of these features and hot springs became an attractive vacation spot as a result of easy transportation and with its accommodation options suitable for all budgets and comfort, starting from 5-star hotels, to family-run guesthouses and apart hotels. Karahayıt, which was a small, quiet town years ago, is today one of the most known thermal springs that is preferred most in Turkey.  Guests spent only 15-30 minutes in the healing baths in one day, and they have the chance to make touristic visits to immediate environment.  And, this opportunity causes Karahayıt to be one of the hot springs that is preferred most.  Also Hierapolis and Laodicea ruins next to Karahayıt and Pamukkale travertine make this place more attractive.


Hierapolis ancient city, which means ‘holy city’ was karahayıt 7established by II. Eumenes in B.C. 190.  City entered into the domination of Romans in B.C. 2nd century, and had its golden age in this period, and embellished with Roman architecture completely after it was destroyed by earthquakes.  Murder of Saint Philippus, one of the apostles of Jesus, in this city, added a religious importance to the city.  City was within the borders of Byzantine in A.D. 395, and Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate in A.D. 1210.  City has always attracted tourists throughout history by means of underground waters in Pamukkale that were used for treatment.   Public bath is constructed outside of the city to ensure that travelers enter the city after they take a bath.  It is understood from the design of city theatre with a capacity of 9 thousand 500 persons, gladiator fights are made in the theatre. Medusa figure on the entrance door of the city, is made to be protected from goddess Medusa.  It is accepted that this belief is transferred to the Turkish culture as blue bead worn against the evil eye.

karahayıt 5Laodicea, which is the biggest and most important ancient city in Anatolia after ancient Ephesus in Izmir, is located 6 km in the east of Denizli, and in the Lycos (Çürüksu) Valley within the borders of Eskihisar, Goncalı, Bozburun villages.  City was established by king of Syria II. Antiochos on behalf of his wife Queen Laodike in the middle of B.C. 3rd century.  According to the legends, king decided to build a city on behalf of his wife when he heard advice of chief god Zeus with the aid of announcer of Apollo.

According to another legend, king of Seleucids I. Antiochos saw three beautiful women he defined as his mother, sister and his wife.  Three women all wanted from the king to build a city on behalf of them.  Therefore, king I. Antiochos built Nysa (Sultanhisar) and Antiocheia (Başaran VillageKaracasu) for his wife and mother; and Laodicea ancient city for his sister.  However, since names of king I. Antiochos and his sister Laodicea are not mentioned in the ancient sources, it can be expressed that city is built by II. Antiochos for his beautiful wife Laodicea.  Ceramics found by excavation team in the researches realized in the west of the Ancient City and going back to the Classical Period show that city was built earlier. 


Besides these two ancient cities; Kaklık and Keloğlan caves that are located outside but close to Karahayıt, highlands, Güney, Sakızcılar Asmaaltı and Homa Waterfalls, churches and mosques, Museum of Atatürk’s house, old Denizli houses, Aphrodisias ancient city in Geyve village, Salda Lake which is the second deepest crater lake in the world and Sandras Mountains are all worth-seeing…  Must-see places in Karahayıt are countless: Incilipınar Park that is one of the most beautiful places in Denizli, Adalet Park, Çamlık Mesirliği which is the unique picnic site in Çamlık district and hidden lake in this site…

Additionally traditional tastes of Denizli are very attractive.  Soups like cat bean soup, cowpea soup and ovmaç soup are the most popular tastes.  Aubergine dishes, meat stew, stuffed sheep sausages, meat flavored with vinegar, meat with chick-peas, tandouri, wrapped lamp liver burger, tripe on steel plate are also very famous.  Those who do not eat in the night experience another famous food in Denizli: “Yat geber (Sleep deeply) bread”.

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