Yalova was a district of Istanbul until 1995 and then became a province of itself. Today it has over 230.000 inhabitants approximately. It is a beautiful city in the Marmara region of Anatolia with green plateaus, agricultural areas and spas. Yalova hot springs and thermal hotels are located to the south of the Sea of Marmara, 11 kilometers southwest of the town of Yalova in a wonderfully green setting. There is a good State road connection between Istanbul - Yalova and Bursa - Yalova, also a new highway with a suspension bridge over the sea is under construction. Car and passenger fast ferries have a regular schedule from Yenikapi and Pendik piers in Istanbul to Yalova city center, ranging between 45-75 minutes depending from the point of departure. Also a regular (slower) car ferry connection runs between Darica - Eskihisar in order to ease drivers from/to Istanbul.
The Yalova hot springs have a natural water outlet, flowing at a rate of 15 liters per second with the potential capacity of 1,651 person/day/bath. The hot springs have a composition of sodium chloride, calcium sulfate and fluoride. With a temperature of 57 to 60 C, 7.3 to 7.6 PH, and 1,435 mg/lt total mineral content, the waters are suitable for both bathing and drinking. Yalova hot springs are known for their therapeutic qualities, especially for rheumatic diseases, digestive maladies, neurological and urological disorders and metabolic problems.
Yalova spas incorporate open and covered pools, Turkish baths, offering massage, underwater massage and drinking cures. The spas include a couple of good hotels, first-class restaurants with typical Turkish meals, cafeteria, a very attractive park and forest. Therefore these spa area is a popular destination for local Turkish people or foreigners who seek for thermal cures or spend pleasant time.
On 17th August 1999, at 03:02 AM, a devastating earthquake (7.4 Richter scale) struck the city when people were asleep and killed thousands of citizens leaving more than 50.000 homeless. Izmit, Adapazari, Bursa, Bolu and Istanbul are amongst other provinces damaged by this quake.