Experiencing Jordan's traditional Hammam baths
Jordan is known for its beautiful deserts and the oasis-like waters of its many natural springs. Jordan’s traditional Hammam baths are a hot spot for visitors looking to enjoy some time in nature. These thermal pools have been used for over 2,000 years, and are still widely used today.
Hammam or Turkish sauna is an ancient bathing ritual that involves sitting in a large communal steam bath (hammam) as a part of daily cleanliness and relaxation. A hammam is also a place where people go to unwind and de-stress. Although it’s not just about sitting in the water: these saunas are believed to have relaxing and purifying benefits on the body and mind. There are many types of Hammam baths across Jordan, but the most common is made up of three main parts - the cleansing room, dressing room, and steam room.
Begin with the steam room
The Hammam experience begins with a steam room, where you can sit and let the heat and humidity work their magic on your skin and muscles. The heat helps to open up your pores, making it easier to cleanse and exfoliate your skin. You'll also find that the heat can help to relieve tension and stress in your muscles, making it a great place to unwind after a long day.
It's time for the washing room
After spending some time in the steam room, it's time to move on to the washing room. This is where you'll find the traditional marble slab, known as the "gurneh," which is used for scrubbing and exfoliating the skin. You'll be given a rough mitt, known as a "kessa," to use in this process. The kessa is made from natural fibers and is used to scrub off dead skin cells and impurities. This process can be quite invigorating, but it's also incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating.
The cooling-down room
Once you've finished scrubbing, you'll be given a bucket of warm water to rinse off with. You'll then move on to the final stage of the Hammam experience: the cooling down room. This is where you'll find a basin of cool water to splash yourself with, as well as a place to rest and relax.
Benefits of a hammam bath
One of the best things about visiting a Hammam in Jordan is the sense of community that you'll experience. Hammams are a place where people of all ages and backgrounds gather, and it's not uncommon to see families and friends catching up while they bathe. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and it's a great way to connect with locals and experience a piece of Jordan's culture.
When visiting a Hammam, it's important to remember that it's a communal space and you'll be expected to be modestly dressed. Men and women are usually separated, with separate steam rooms, washing rooms, and cooling down rooms. It's also important to note that some Hammams may not allow tattoos or piercings, so it's best to check with the establishment beforehand.
Overall, visiting a traditional Hammam in Jordan is an experience that should not be missed. It's a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and connect with the local culture uniquely and authentically. From the heat of the steam room to the invigorating scrub down, the Hammam is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Jordan.
However, it's always recommended to research and check the cleanliness and hygiene level of the Hammam you're going to, and if you have any health concerns or any other concerns, please consult with a professional before visiting.
A visit to a traditional Hammam in Jordan is an experience that combines culture, history, and relaxation in a unique way that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're looking to unwind after a long day of sightseeing or simply want to immerse yourself in the local culture, a Hammam is a must-visit destination.