Yalova Turkey

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Description: Open source travel guide to Yalova, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.

The quickest and easiest way to get to Yalova from Istanbul is to take a fast ferry [1]. Fast ferries operate from Yenikapı (south of Sultanahmet ), the voyage takes 70 minutes and costs 14 TL per person, 12 TL per person in vehicles, 67 TL for cars and 5 TL for bicycles. Concessions of about 1-2 TL is available for students and for those who buy their tickets online through İDO' s (the ferry operator) website, as are early booking discounts.

Fast ferries also operate from Pendik, a suburb of Istanbul on the Asian Side. with a shorter voyage duration of 40 minutes. Sea-buses run from Kartal also on the Asian Side and similarly take about 40 minutes.

There is a cheaper ferry line between Eskihisar just east of Istanbul and Topçular. about 30 km to east of Yalova. These ferries take about 45 minutes to cross the Gulf of Izmit and in 2010 it costs 45 TL for a car and 55 TL for a minibus, free for passengers within the car. Passengers without a vehicle pay 2.80 TL per person. You cannot book this service, you just turn up and pay when you get there. In Topçular, it’s possible to find minibuses heading for Yalova running on the highway lying just next to the harbour.

Take the roads numbered: D130 from Izmit (east) and D575/E881 from Bursa (south). There are also car-ferries from various points in or near Istanbul.

Busses connect Istanbul. Bursa. and most other cities to Yalova. Kamil Koç and Yalova Lines have the most frequent and reliable service.

Yalova is a small city and for the most part very walkable. In the warm months, Gazi Paşa Caddesi is very popular for strolling with tourists and locals alike. To get to Gazi Paşa Cad. from the İDO terminal, go straight along Atatürk Cad. towards town, and cross directly over the large intersection at Heykel.

Like most small Turkish cities, Yalova has a dolmuş (mini-bus) system. Yalova's dolmuş es are light blue and run from the most important sites in the city, primarily along Atatürk Caddesi and Fatih Caddesi. Noteworthy stops include: Yalova Otogar (bus station), İDO (ferry terminal), Heykel (merkez /city center), and Termal. Stops can be requested at any time directly from the driver. Dolmuş-riding costs 1.50 TL (in Turkish bir buçuk. "one and a half") to most destinations, although from the city center it costs 2.50 TL (iki buçuk ) to ride to Termal.

Yalova has a few tourist attractions, including the Köşk . an Ottoman-Turkish style mansion that was used by Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkey, during his visits to the city. This mansion has a legend connected to it. It is often referred to as the 'walking house' because, as the legend goes, Atatürk believed the mansion was too close to a beautiful tree, so he ordered the mansion to walk. The house did just that, and moved 3 km down the waterfront to its current resting place (of course, with the help of rail system built underneath the building, not metaphysically).

Termal is a beautiful area in the hills outside of Yalova. There are (as the name suggests) thermal hotsprings here—accompanied by hammams, a large public swimming pool and hotels galore.

To get the best produce, and have an authentic Turkish bazaar experience, visit Yalova's bazaar. The bazaar is opposite the ferry terminal on the seafront. (Take dolmuş to İDO.) Though a permanent structure, the bazaar is only open on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. A huge and superb selection of very fresh, mainly locally grown fruit and vegetables, plus a good selection of other stalls selling everything from kitchen utensils to underwear, can be found here. Surrounding the bazaar, is a maze of stalls specializing in such things as clothing, housewares, linens, shoes, lingere, and cheeses. These stalls are open daily.

There are some tea gardens by the shore where you can also eat balık ekmek (a fish sandwiched inside half a bread).

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