OUT&ABOUT: An unforgettable time in Turkey

Friday October 18 2019

A street carnivore oin Gonen town, Balikesir Province. PHOTO| LINDA KEYA

Thousands of olive trees welcome me to Turkey, my destination of choice to fix my itch to travel.

I’m in Balikesir, the capital city of Balikesir Province. Balikesir is undoubtedly the capital of holiday resorts with 291 kilometres of coastline, golden sand, dazzling deep blue water and hot springs which have healing properties.


Mount Ida, located in the province, is a source of the area’s fresh, uncontaminated air. The mountain holds a wealth of flora, which makes it an oxygen heaven, ranking the second in the world for high oxygen density.

Because of this oxygen abundance, people with breathing problems travel from all over the world to experience healing.


The area is a a source fresh, uncontaminated air, ranking the second in the world for a high oxygen density. PHOTO| LINDA KEYA


One of the hotels I stayed in was nestled between Mount Ida and the shores of Aegean Sea. You could feel the heavy air of mix of mountain and sea air when you breathed.

The tourist facilities simultaneously provide numerous health services and idyllic holidays.

This was the perfect opportunity for me to experience this magnificent city surrounded by nature, serenity and tranquility.

Of particular interest to me was the Manyas National Park, a bird’s paradise, sheltering 239 species.


But when I started to dig deeper into what was in store for me, I discovered and experienced the healing nature of Turkey. They have used hot springs for healing since ancient times.

Thermal waters from the hot springs of Balikesir are used for treatments for various conditions.


A tourist enjoys a thermal pool. PHOTO| LINDA KEYA

These thermal resources are among the top quality in terms of their physical and chemical composition. They are high in mineral values, rich in Sulphur, radon and salts.  

Different regions have their unique and alternative sources with specific characteristics to treat different ailments.

As much as these facilities provide healing therapy, guests take alternative breaks that provide the opportunities for rest and rejuvenation.

Most establishments comprise of outdoor and indoor swimming pools, optimum temperature therapy pools and luxury spas, offering massages, facials, and various skin treatments.

These sophisticated health facilities provide global standard healthcare – there is clean air and micro climate energising and revitalising.

As if that is not enough, Turkey’s conventional healthcare industry is robust.


The author ( middle) poses with fellow tourists. PHOTO| LINDA KEYA

It is ranked third in medical tourism by the International Medical Travel Journal. According to the Turkey Ambassador Ahmet Cemil Miroglu, their hospitals currently play host to 850,000 patients from 165 countries – treated from diverse ailments – combining with a holiday or business.

This is attributed to the high number of accredited hospitals in ophthalmic surgery, bariatric and metabolic surgery, plastic surgery, organ transplantation, and oncology and fertility treatment as well as its affordable prices, and is a leading tourism destination with historical, cultural and natural attractions.

Turkey also boasts of a distinctive food culture.  Every meal is cooked and served with olives. I had no idea how delicious olives could be until I tried them in Balekesir.

The olives grown in Balikesir are amongst the highest quality in the world.