Hey everybody! This is Ayten from Turkey. Today, I’ll be introducing my hometown here. Pamukkale Travertines are surely one of the must-visit spots in your Turkey trip. Pamukkale is not a must-visit spot only in Turkey; but also in the world. Let me take you to this marvelous place as soon as possible!
Where is Pamukkale in Turkey
Pamukkale Travertines are located in Denizli, in southwestern Turkey. Denizli is close to Izmir and Antalya which are relatively bigger and more famous cities for tourists. Generally, tourist groups from Antalya come to visit Pamukkale with daily tours in their summer holidays in Turkey.
Travertines of Pamukkale
First of all, I wanna talk about some features of this place. It is an example of the calcium carbonate rock formation in the world.
These natural wonders travertines are formed by the contact of thermal waters with air. At first, its form, sedimentary, is like a gel but in time turns into travertines. In addition to its beauty, it has a significant position in health tourism as it heals various illnesses such as heart disease, rheumatism, and dermatological diseases, etc. Since ancient times it’s known as healing water. The temperatures of these springs change from 35 °C to 100 °C.
By the way, Pamukkale means “Cotton Castle” when you translate it into English. I do like the name of it because it really looks like cotton ?. But I feel like I need to warn you since it’s forbidden to step on with your shoes or slippers to protect it, some parts of it may hurt you a little bit, after all, it’s a stone haha.
There is a small footpath for visitors, they can walk through there. Also, you can wear your swimsuit and sit on the travertine terraces which are allowed to. It would be a good suggestion for summer. By the way, the best months to visit here are like between April-June or September-October. The entrance fee is 80₺.
Hierapolis Ancient City
On the other hand, there is Hierapolis ancient city beside Pamukkale. It was established by Eumenes II, the king of Bergama in the 2nd century BC, and origin of the name comes from Hiera, the wife of Telephus, who is the founder of Bergama. Due to its location in an earthquake zone, the city was destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt frequently. The area lost its Hellenistic character after a great earthquake and was built with a typical Roman city appearance. Present ruins almost belong to the Roman period.
Hierapolis is also known as “Holy City” due to the existence of many temples and other religious structures in it. Saint Philippus, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, spread Christianity and was killed in this city. Therefore, Hierapolis has importance for Christians. So, this place is not only a natural but also a cultural and historical site of Turkey. Because of this reason, in 1988, it was declared as a World Heritage Site.
Other things to see
If you got tired of walking through the city, it would be a good idea, going to the ancient theater to enjoy the view of the landscape and to have some rest. In this hall, there are various artifacts, including mythological reliefs belonging to Apollo and Artemis.
Especially in the Roman Empire Period, Hierapolis and its surroundings were a complete health center because of its hot springs. In the past, some earthquakes occurred, and the consequence of the one in 7th century AD, this antique pool formed. The water of the ancient pool is good for health as well.
Entering for just photographing and having a walk around the pool is free, but if you want to swim in this spectacular pool, you need to pay an extra 50₺.
Hierapolis Archaeological Museum
Artifacts from Hierapolis are on display in this museum. If you’re interested in looking over these kinds of historical things, you would probably enjoy visiting this museum!
Natural Park is located just below Pamukkale Travertines. Before climbing up Pamukkale Travertines, you can take a sit or go for a walk in this park. Or after climbing down, maybe in the night, you can watch the view of Pamukkale from below. The entrance is free for this park.
Things to do more
If you like to try exciting things, I would highly recommend having an excellent experience by flying in a hot air balloon over Pamukkale. You can watch the beauty of the ancient city and the travertines at sunrise. One of my foreign friends came to visit Pamukkale and had a chance to try a balloon tour, and he paid 130€s. Yeah, I think so, it’s quite expensive.
But then, if you have a more adventurous spirit and like to do crazier things, you need to experience doing paragliding. It must be a great feeling if you flow in the air over the magnificent view of Pamukkale. You would probably have unforgettable memories. I guess you need to pay about 50€s if you want to experience it.
Make a Visit to Karahayıt
This little town is 5 km away from Pamukkale, and where actually I live ?. The place welcomes you with a thermal spring. So, I can say that here is famous for its hot spring waters, as well. For this reason, the town is significant for health tourism.
The travertines of this place are much smaller than Pamukkale. These travertines are called Kırmızı Su, which means “Red Water” in Turkish. The water is quite hot, about 60 ºC. It’s totally mineral-rich, and the iron gives the color red to these rocks.
To get there, you can browse around the bazaar, or you can go directly there by bus without entering the bazaar. If you ask me, I recommend you to walk there because you can see various shops and enjoy the road.
You can drink this healing water from the place it springs. Also, you can take some mud and apply on your face or body (of course, in a healthier world ?.)
Karahayıt is full of hotels and hostels that everybody can find one considering their economic conditions. By the way, each of them has the hot thermal water in their bathrooms, for sure.
Warnings and Tips
- As I mentioned above, it’s not allowed to wear your shoes on travertines. For this reason, you may need extra bags to carry them. Also, don’t forget to wear your swimming clothes because you are allowed to go into little pools on the travertines.
- There are two entrances to Pamukkale. The first one of them, North Gate, which is 2 km to Karahayıt, gives a start your travel in the ancient city, so you need to walk through to get to travertines. The other one is South Gate that allows you to climb up travertines directly.
- It’s good to have your sunglasses and sun cream in the summertime.
- There are snack bars at the top of the hill in case you need something to buy. But you can bring your own snacks and water with you as I always do.
- If you want to stay in Pamukkale, there are lots of hotels, as well. So, don’t worry about accommodation.
- I highly recommend you to try the local wine of Pamukkale, too.
How to get to Pamukkale
There are minibusses to get Pamukkale, downstairs of Denizli Bus Terminal in platform 76.
I hope you enjoyed my travel guide to Pamukkale, Turkey. If you decide to visit here one day, feel free to contact me! I’d gladly accompany you or try to help in any case you need.
PS: All photos above belong to me. I like photographing what I see unprofessionally. You can check my Instagram page to see more! 🙂 Finally, do not forget to share your ideas below. Thanks in advance!