It was a surreal experience to say the least, to stand on a busy Turkish street amongst the roar of car horns and hubbub of city life, and realise that this was the most relaxed I’d been in a long time. It may have had something to do with the three spa treatments I’d already had whilst staying in Afyon, a central region of Turkey brimming with hidden gems.
This quirky city is a perfect example of the modern life alongside ancient living. Century old wooden houses stand amongst modern clothes shops and traditional Turkish carpets are weaved by hand under the shadow of the mountain top castle that looks over the entire city.
Famous for it’s natural hot springs and healing thermal waters, Afyon is also the perfect place for an incredible spa experiences. Undoubtedly the best in the area, Hotel Gural’s spa is the ultimate combination of relaxation and luxury. Treatments range extensively, from an exclusive ‘Cleopatra Treatment’ that involves bathing in milk to individual bathing pools, with controlled temperatures and healing waters.
I felt instantly tranquil when I entered the candlelit reception, where tinkling music and trickling rock waterfalls puts my mind at rest, before the body had even been thought of. I was here for an aromatherapy massage, a gloriously soothing, lavender scented session that last around 40 minutes. The treatment was blissful and I felt completely relaxed. My only thoughts being whether to have a quick dip in the thermal pool or go all out and get a deep cleansing facial afterwards. Spoiler alert – I went for both.
Feeling the upmost level of zen, I travelled over to neighbouring Hotel Anemon, where the chef cooked an incredible meal of tender lamb kebab touched lightly with spice; insanely good mezze, including a courgette yoghurt to die for; and warm flatbreads. All in a days work I guess!
Thanks to Afyon Culture and Tourism Office for the beautiful photographs.
For more information on the Anemon Hotel visit anemonhotels.com
For more information on the NG Gural Afyon visit guralafyon.com
For more information on Afyon visit gototurkey.co.uk