Pamukkale in Turkey: 11 Interesting Things to Know

Pamukkale in turkey
Image by Igor Schubin from Pixabay

The magical turquoise pools of Pamukkale in Turkey located in the Denizli province is a very popular and frequently visited hot springs in southwestern Turkey. The site is incredibly beautiful with snow-white cliffs and turquoise pools. In Turkish, the term Pamukkale means “cotton castle” and is located in the Menderas river.

This magical white paradise looks just like a fairyland and is a famous iconic attraction of Turkey and 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 2 million visitors a year.

But what is so fascinating and unique about Pamukkale and what is all the hype about? Let’s dig into some of the interesting things to know 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 that are known to have great healing properties.

Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Surrounded by ancient historical sites and stunning ruins, Pamukkale is located almost 20 km away from Denizli. The most popular site is the Hierapolis along with a museum and Cleopatra’s pool.

1.2. Why is Pamukkale in Turkey White

This is a very interesting question. What happens is that Pamukkale is settled on a faulty line which is prone to very frequent 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 top of each other over the years, thus creating the magical travertine pools and making Pamukkale the white cotton castle.

1.3. Reasons to Visit Pamukkale

There are many reasons why is it worth visiting the stunning Pamukkale in Turkey and the number one reason is that the place is absolutely beautiful.

Secondly, Pamukkale is rich in history and mystery, an ideal place for all history buffs. In addition, according to locals, taking a bath in these hot springs helps in curing 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 amazing 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 to reach.

Courtesy: Unlimphotos

If you are travelling from Cappadocia, it is better to take a night bus to reach Pamukkale in Turkey.

1.5. Entrances to Pamukkale

The entrance ticket to Pamukkale in Turkey hot springs as well as the Hierapolis costs around 25TL and allows you to explore for the whole day.

If you are interested to swim in the Cleopatra Pool, you have to pay an extra entrance fee of 32 TL. However, Pamukkale is completely 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 a walkable distance from the small town of Pamukkale and opens at 8 am.
  • The north entrance also opens at 8 am where the buses drop off the tourists.
  • If you are travelling by car or taxi, you can take the secret entrance too, also popularly known as the southern entrance which opens at 6.30 am.

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, make sure to visit between April to June, when the summer heat is less intense and the crowd is fewer.

Autumn, is also a great time to explore the natural wonders in Pamukkale. However, there can be a slight chance of rainfall which can disrupt the tour.

However, visiting Pamukkale during winter is not recommended as it can get very cold; 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 popular ruins and excellent shape structures standing above Pamukkale in Turkey is Hierapolis.

    Courtesy: Unlimphotos
  • During the second century BC, Hierapolis was modified into a spa where the doctor treated the patients with the thermal hot springs. A major earthquake in 17 AD completely converted Hierapolis into ruins and again the Romans reconstructed it.
  • Many people benefitted from the thermal pools over time and the city of Hierapolis became very popular and wealthy. But, eventually, the city faced a lot of earthquakes throughout the years and was left completely deserted during the 14th century.
  • Hierapolis was again re-established in the 20th century and from then, Pamukkale hot springs became popular and loved.
  • If you are exploring Hierapolis, you have to 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 as well 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 take a bath in the beautiful travertine thermal pools. The top pools are the hottest whereas the pools closer to the bottom are lukewarm and relaxing. The Antique pool 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.

Surrounded by long beautiful roads, and towering columns, with a rich history you can enter the Hierapolis ruins just near the Antique Pool.

Take a 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, do check out the Byzantine church at the southern end and Necropolis in the northern part.

One of the best attractions of Hierapolis is the theatre that oversees the medieval Greek colony. Do go and sit on one of the top seats and enjoy the picturesque view. It also has a temple that is dedicated to Apollo and a remote local sanctuary that is 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 common 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 ancient pools is just 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 great accommodation and hospitality.

Courtesy: Unlimphotos

Here are some of the top hotels to stay in the town of Pamukkale in Turkey according to different research and experience.

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.

1.11. Travel Tips to Visit Pamukkale

  • One useful piece of 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 have to be barefoot to walk up and down the slope; so keep your shoes inside the bag you are carrying.
  • There are facilities for changing rooms and toilets at the top of Pamukkale pools; change into a swimsuit before taking a bath in any of the hot springs. Turkish, the term Pamukkale means “cotton castle” which is located in the Menderas river valley of the inner Aegean region
  • Settled with a lot of sediments beneath, the thermal pools can be quite slippery to walk on; 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.

2. Takeaway

Undoubtedly, we can say that Pamukkale in Turkey is one of the dreamiest and most magical places to visit and explore in Turkey. 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 quite 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here