We didn’t actually do much in Kuşadası, which was a coastal resort town, but it was a nice place to a stopover on our way to Bodrum.
HOWEVER, we were offered a chance for a Turkish Bath. April wasn’t interested, but I certainly was!
The first rule of the hamam is that men and women are kept separate–and men had male bathers and women had female bathers. This rule seemed only to be a guideline at our hamam, as we (me and one other female group member) were sent in with the men. The bathers tried to make sure all the men were out of the room before starting on our baths, however, the men in our group chivalrously refused to leave us alone with the male bathers (not that they needed to worry: the bathers were not all that comfortable bathing women).
But let me start from the beginning. When we arrived at the hamam, we were asked to completely disrobe–although we ladies were asked to keep our knickers on–and were given cloth wraps and flip flops to wear from that point on. We were then taken to a sauna where we sat relaxing for about 15 minutes before we were taken into the hot bathing room. The bathing room was all stone with a large circular table, göbek taşı, that had hot water running on it.
Once inside the bathing room, we laid down on this massive stone table, where you were scrubbed from head to foot…sort of. Since we had male bathers, we were scrubbed head to foot only on our backsides! We were then rinsed and given a light massage. I would like to interject here that the men’s massages were much more in depth (read: not as gentle as ours). After the massage we were given a final rinse with cold water. Again, we ladies were gently rinsed, almost apologetically, whereas the bathers seemed to take great delight in dousing the men in cold water! After the final cold rinse, we were lead to the soğukluk, where we got dressed and had a cup of çay (aka black sweetened hot tea) to complete our hamam experience.
Afterward, a fellow group member confessed it was ‘okay’ but the ones in Istanbul were much better. I’m not complaining, as it was a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours…but a little tip? Make sure you bring a spare set of dry knickers!
BTW, in case you were wondering what did April did during this time–she wandered around looking a views of the coastline, for which Kuşadası is known: