The Turkish bath (Hamam) is said to be cleansing, refreshing and quite social.
The steam bath actually was brought to Turkey from the Romans via the Byzantines. However, the Turks took it to another level building grand, elaborate baths and have kept the tradition going even until today. The Hamam was also adopted from the Turks by the Syrians.
The old school hamams cater only to men. However, modern times and tourism has changed this tradition and now many hamams allow women, although usually at a different time than the men. You may be asking, “What happens in a Turkish bath?” Well, an attendant leads you into a “hot room” and pours hot water on you. He then scrubs your body with a course cloth, removing dead skin and dirt. After that, you are cleaned up with soap and shampoo and given the choice of a massage which is sometimes painful, but said to be well worth the pain. After this, you are brought to the “cold room” to rest, drink tea and socialize with the other hamamers.
Visit Lady Egypt Tours for details on our Turkey Tours where you can have the opportunity to visit one of these transitional bath houses.