Armutlu meaning the land of the pears, is a small seaside town on the Gulf of Gemlik in the province of Yalova. With some spectacular views of the coastal mountains of Mysia and Mount Uladagi on the opposite side of the gulf, this ferry port has a fast ferry service between Istanbul and Armutlu every day. No ones seems to know the reason why this town takes its name from a pear but it gets busy during the summer months and the town square around the harbour is a popular gathering place.
Most of the established residents of Armutlu tend to live about a kilometre south west of the town on the hill known as the village, or Köy in Turkish. There are also summer houses nearby in the village of Tavşantepe or Rabbit’s Hill in English. This is olive grove territory and the olives from this region are of good quality and much sought after in Turkey. Many of the local shops offer olive products such as olive soap, olive oil and olives.
Several of the local hotels offer spa facilities or Turkish baths. The local thermal water springs are said to have healing properties and are good for the skin. The hot springs nearby are excellent for relaxation and soothing the aches and pains of a busy day. However, Yalova offers a better option in terms of thermal hot spring water benefits.
The beach area is clean enough and the town itself has a number of restaurants and cafes around the seafront area. The town is serviced by some good supermarkets and there is a Saturday market. There are some old wooden houses in the town that are worth looking at. They can be found in the side streets of the village or old town area.