Port town on Sea of Marmara                 Population: 100,000

yal1Of the two main ferry ports on the south side of the Sea of Marmara that are accessible from İstanbul, the market-gardening town of Yalova is a much more inviting place than Bandırma, besides which the crossing is much quicker. 

For most people Yalova is just somewhere to transit en route to somewhere else, if only to the thermal baths at nearby Termal. However, recently efforts have been made to tidy the town up and prettify it so that you might want to linger for an hour or so to explore.

Around town

Out east on the waterfront near the Adalet Sarayı (Palace of Justice) stands the Yürüyen Köşkü, a two-storey wooden house painted in brown and white that stands beside a magnificent plane tree. The house had been built at Atatürk's behest but when the tree started to impinge on the view he had it slowly moved along the coast instead of taking an axe to the tree; pictures hanging on the railings show the process. 

You can visit the house although there's not much to see inside. It's probably better to amble along the pier in front and look back at the view, then pop into the adjacent waterside cafe for a drink and a leaf through the books in the small adjoining Atatürk library.yal2

Yalova has its own archaeology museum but it's in the middle of nowhere and was closed for restoration on my last visit.

The large covered market immediately across the road from the otogar is good for filling in the time just before a ferry departure. Alternatively you could gaze down on the new Setur Marina beside the bus terminal from one of the hillside tea gardens. 

Note that many İstanbullus talk about going to Yalova when what they really mean is Termal.

yal3Transport info

High-speed İDO car ferries carry passengers here from Yenikapı in İstanbul. Tickets can be booked on line via www.ido.com.tr.

The newly reorganised otogar right beside the ferry terminal offers frequent dolmuşes to Termal and along the coast to Karamürsel, transiting Topçular where ferries cross to Eskihisar in the eastern outskirts of İstanbul. 

If you want to get to Mudanya from Yalova you may need to transit Gemlik, changing buses in the main bus terminal.



Day trip destinations




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