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April 2016

A remote development on the picturesque Aegean coast of Turkey is transforming into a sustainable health and wellness destination.



In a time when global climate change, environmental pollution and the quest for sustainable living practices are everyday conversation, healthy living is a concept which gains more and more attraction around the world. With increasing demand for healthy living and wellness, it’s no wonder that this concept is rapidly expanding into the global tourism industry.

In fact wellness is one of the strongest growing sectors of the global tourism industry, with Turkey emerging as a popular destination. Tourism has been known as the lifeline of Turkey’s economy and while it has been facing one of its most difficult years due to multiple security threats, the country is still aggressively investing in tourism. The Turkish Ministry of Health predicts that health related tourism will grow to USD 20 billion by 2021.

And it’s not surprising; a look at the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey is proof enough that the country has much to boast about in the way of natural assets that attract overseas visitors. Turkey’s southwest coast is the quintessential holiday location for those looking for health and wellness.

Speckled with a few hotels and villas, the region prides itself on remaining authentic. Take for example Kaplankaya, a remote waterfront enclave on the Turkish Riviera located 80 kilometres north of Bodrum. The small, new development has attracted much attention due to its approach to health and wellness, its adoption of a sustainable agenda and for working together with the local community – farmers and fishermen – to produce organic fruit and vegetable for the whole area.


“There has been a significant increase in interest into health and wellbeing in general; many practice healthy lifestyle habits at home and want to continue their wellness routines and in some cases augment their existing routine when on holiday, so naturally the interest in destinations centred on this is growing,” says Markus Iseli, Managing Director at Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, a U.S. health and wellness retreat, that will launch in Kaplankaya later this year.

Iseli and his team observed the shift in vacation patterns over the last few years, noticing that more tourists opted for health retreats in remote areas that offer a sustainable way of living, and due to Turkey’s holistic wellness culture a move to the country was an obvious one for the team.

“There is a 5,000 year history of healing and wellness in this very area. If we add to that the economic factor that by 2021 the Turkish Ministry of Health expects health-related tourism to grow to USD 20 billion along with the fact that Turkey is the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world, you gain some insight into our decision to expand the Canyon Ranch brand into this beautiful part of the world,” he says.

Kaplankaya comprises of two-high end hotel residential complexes: Canyon Ranch’s wellness hotel with 154 villas on a 10,000 sqm plot, and another European operator hotel and residential complex made out of 46 hotel villas, 10 private villas and spa facilities.

Canyon Ranch will offer a 75,000 square foot spa, fitness and wellness centre, with a skincare treatment centre, spa and health and healing programming, along with physicians, nutritionists and exercise physiologists.

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