Made popular by its glistening calcite travertine terraces, Pamukkale is also well-known for its overflowing, tranquil mineral-rich waters that are said to have healing powers. And as one of the most visited places in Turkey, Pamukkale has made a name for itself as a place to enjoy both Turkish hot springs and a bit of Turkish history.
Hot Springs of Pamukkale
For almost a thousand years, millions have traveled to “soak it up” in the glistening “champagne waters” – all heated by geothermal activity. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site putting Pamukkale, rightfully so, on the map as one of the top destinations to visit for its historical value and its beautiful healing mineral pools.
While it might first appear upon arrival people are there to just snag their latest and greatest Instagram post, travelers from near and far are passing through for a quick soak in the mineral-rich springs and Antique Pool.
Soaking in Cleopatra’s Pool
If dipping your toes in the mineral pools isn’t enough for you, spend the extra 30 Euros and bath in the world-famous Antique Pool. Found within the Hierapolis-Pamukkale grounds the Antique Pool, or rather known as Cleopatra’s Pool, is one the main attractions.
As the story goes, the artificially built pool was a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra, herself. In the 7th century, a massive earthquake struck the ancient city, toppling the building and the surrounding Doric columns into the pool. Today visitors can swim amongst the crumbled columns while they soak up a bit of history in the healing pool.
Terraces of Pamukkale
Coined as the “cotton castle” of Turkey, the travertine terraces of Pamukkale cascade down the hillside above the town below. This natural phenomenon has been growing and forming for thousands of years; making it a highly delicate structure. Those who wish to walk along the formations must remove their shoes; offering a perfect opportunity to dip your toes in the mineral pools.
The “hike” takes about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.
The Ancient city of Hierapolis
Don’t just soak in the pools, soak up some history and explore the ancient ruins that are located in Pamukkale. Resting above the thermal pools lies the ancient Roman spa city Hierapolis. Founded in 190 B.C. visitors can catch a glimpse of what was left behind with ruins that include the well-preserved Hierapolis Theater.
Visitors can also ascend to the top of the theater for views of the modern village of Pamukkale and surrounding mountain peaks and valleys.
The entire complex of Pamukkale is full service. Bathrooms are available and rental lockers to store your items. There is a small restaurant on-site as well if you get hungry.
Pamukkale is roughly 11 miles north of Denizli, Turkey – half way between Konya and Izmir. Travelers can reach Pamukkale by car, bus, train, or even airplane. To get the most out of your experience choose to spend the night so that you have time to explore the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis.
Address: Kale, 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli Merkez/Denizli, Turkey