The magical turquoise pools of Pamukkale in Turkey, located in the Denizli province, are trendy and frequently visited hot springs in southwestern Turkey.
The site is lovely, with snow-white cliffs and turquoise pools. In Turkish, Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in the Menderas River.
This magical white paradise looks just like a fairyland and is a famous iconic attraction in Turkey.
It also falls under the UNESCO World Heritage site. The hot springs set free carbonate mineral water onto the below terrain, thus forming a structure like a cotton castle.
1. Things to Know about Pamukkale in Turkey
Visiting Pamukkale is one of the most touristy things to do in Turkey, and this magical place receives more than 1 million visitors annually.
But what is so fascinating and unique about Pamukkale, and what is all the hype about?
Let’s dig into some exciting things about Pamukkale in Turkey and why it should be on your bucket list.
1.1. What is Pamukkale
Pamukkale is just a series of white calcareous rock-terraced natural pools that are settled on the hillside. The Greek city of Hierapolis is at the top of the Pamukkale, with almost 17 hot springs known to have excellent healing properties.
Surrounded by ancient historical sites and stunning ruins, Pamukkale is located almost 20 km away from Denizli. The most popular area is the Hierapolis, a museum and Cleopatra’s pool.
1.2. Why is Pamukkale White
This is a fascinating question. What happens is that Pamukkale is settled on a faulty line, which is prone to widespread earthquakes.
During earthquakes, the thermal waters from the earth’s cracks reach the surface, thus creating hot springs.
Calcium gets deposited from the hot springs on each other over the years, thus creating the magical travertine pools and making Pamukkale the white cotton castle.
1.3. Reasons to Visit Pamukkale
The stunning Pamukkale is worth visiting for many reasons, and the number one reason is that the place is lovely.
Secondly, Pamukkale is rich in history and mystery, ideal for all history buffs. In addition, according to locals, bathing in these hot springs helps cure chronic diseases, circulatory, digestive, and nutritional diseases, and skin and eye problems.
It is believed that Cleopatra, too, had bathed in the hot springs.
1.4. How to Reach Pamukkale in Turkey
From Denizli, the road is one of the easiest to get to the unique hot springs of Pamukkale in Turkey; take a bus or taxi or drive your vehicle. The bus to Pamukkale starts from platform 76 of Denizli Bus Station.
From Istanbul, you can take a flight to Denizli or a bus to reach Pamukkale, which can take 7 to 8 hours.
If you travel from Cappadocia, taking a night bus to reach Pamukkale in Turkey is better.
1.5. Entrances to Pamukkale
The entrance ticket to Pamukkale Hot Springs and the Hierapolis costs around 25TL and allows you to explore for the whole day.
If you are interested in swimming in the Cleopatra Pool, you must pay an extra entrance fee of 32 TL. However, Pamukkale is entirely free of cost if you have a Turkish Museum Pass.
There are three main entrances to enter the stunning hot springs of Pamukkale in Turkey.
- The Pamukkale town entrance is within walking distance from the small town of Pamukkale and opens at 8 a.m.
- The north entrance also opens at 8 a.m., where the buses drop off the tourists.
- If you travel by car or taxi, you can take the secret entrance, also famous as the southern entrance, which opens at 6.30 a.m.
1.6. Ideal Time to Visit Pamukkale in Turkey
The ideal time to visit the ancient city of Pamukkale is Spring, when the weather is lovely and not so hot, with colourful flowers blooming around.
You can also visit Pamukkale during summer and immerse yourself in the pools. However, see between April and June, when the summer heat is less intense, and the crowd is fewer.
Autumn is also a great time to explore the natural wonders of Pamukkale. However, there can be a slight chance of rainfall disrupting the tour.
However, visiting Pamukkale during winter is not recommended as it can get freezing, especially after coming out from the hot springs. Sometimes, it can also snow, thus making the site very slippery and unpleasant.
1.7. Things to Know about Hierapolis
- One of the most famous ruins and excellent-shaped structures standing above Pamukkale in Turkey is Hierapolis.
- During the second century BC, Hierapolis was modified into a thermal spa where doctors treated patients with hot springs. A major earthquake in 17 AD completely converted Hierapolis into ruins, and the Romans reconstructed it again.
- Many people benefitted from the thermal pools, and Hierapolis became very popular and wealthy. Eventually, the city faced a lot of earthquakes throughout the years and was left entirely deserted during the 14th century.
- Hierapolis was again re-established in the 20th century, and Pamukkale hot springs became popular and loved.
- If you are exploring Hierapolis, you must visit the Hierapolis theatre built in the 2nd century AD by the Romans. The theatre holds almost 15,000 watchers, and the orchestra was used for aquatic shows.
- The best part is you can cover the Pamukkale and the Hierapolis with the same ticket.
1.8. Fun Things to do at Pamukkale in Turkey
One of the fun things to do at Pamukkale is to bathe in the beautiful travertine thermal pools.
The top pools are the hottest, whereas those closer to the bottom are lukewarm and relaxing. The Antique collection, also known as Cleopatra’s Pool, is warm and filled with minerals, and the site is one of the perfect places at Pamukkale in Turkey.
You can enter the Hierapolis ruins near the Antique Pool, surrounded by long, beautiful roads and towering columns with a rich history.
Look at the stunning views of the city’s gates, including Domitian Gate, Frontinus Gate, and North Byzantine Gate, still standing strong and gorgeous. Also, check out the Byzantine church at the southern end and the Necropolis in the northern part.
One of the best attractions of Hierapolis is the theatre that oversees the medieval Greek colony. You can sit on one of the top seats and enjoy the picturesque view. It also has a temple dedicated to Apollo and a remote local sanctuary called Pluto’s Gate.
The Hierapolis Museum is a must-visit for all history fanatics. The museum houses a collection of Hierapolis antiquities and flaunts beautiful art, ancient sarcophagi, and stone motifs. The museum is the heart of Hierapolis.
One of the everyday touristy things to do in Pamukkale is to ride a hot air balloon at sunrise. The view of the white travertine hot pools looks outstanding and splendid from the air balloon flying slowly above.
The picturesque aerial view of the ancient ruins and pools is to die for. In addition, the air balloon tour also includes a good champagne breakfast.
1.9. Accommodations Near Pamukkale
Staying in Pamukkale town is always a better option to explore the ancient site hassle-free. A popular tourist destination like Pamukkale has many hotels with excellent accommodation and hospitality.
Here are some of the top hotels to stay in the town of Pamukkale in Turkey according to different research and experience.
- Ozturk Hotel
- Ozbay Hotel
- Richmond Pammukale Thermal
- Sinter Terasse House Hotel
- Doga Thermal Health and Spa
1.10. Restaurants at Pamukkale Town
The town of Pamukkale serves some lip-smacking Turkish cuisine.
These are some of the top restaurants to visit and satiate your hunger pangs after a long, tiring tour.
- Teras Restaurant
- White House Restaurant & Café
- Kayas Restaurant & Bar
- Onur Restaurant
- Mehmets Heaven
1.11. Travel Tips to Visit Pamukkale
- One helpful advice is to arrive early at Pamukkale as there can be a long queue of tourists at the entrance.
- Carry a waterproof bag as well as a bathing swimsuit. You must be barefoot to walk up and down the slope, so keep your shoes inside your bag.
- There are facilities for changing rooms and toilets at the top of Pamukkale pools; change into a swimsuit before bathing in any hot springs. In Turkish, the term Pamukkale means “cotton castle,” and it is located in the Menderas River valley of the inner Aegean region.
- Settled with many sediments beneath, the thermal pools can be pretty slippery, so be careful and take baby steps.
- The trip can take a whole day, so it is advised to carry some snacks and eatables with you. There are no such good restaurants at the historical site of Pamukkale except some cafes.
We can say that Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s most magical places to visit and explore.
Also, being one of the safest places to visit, the ancient site is filled with culture, natural phenomena, gorgeous sceneries, and deep history.
Even if you have pretty picturized the stunning cotton castle, Pamukkale is a worthy treat to the naked eye.
Let us know in the comments about your experience and what you like about the wonderful Pamukkale in Turkey.