Located in southwestern Turkey, Pamukkale is a natural wonder that attracts travellers with its surreal landscapes, ancient history and healing waters. This unique destination seamlessly blends the allure of nature with the ruins of a bygone era, offering a timeless experience.
Pamukkale Terraces: An insight into the art of nature
Pamukkale’s main attraction is undoubtedly the series of stunning white travertine terraces formed by the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down the hillside. Known as ‘Pamukkale’, which means ‘Cotton Castle’ in Turkish, the terraces create a mesmerising and otherworldly landscape. As well as admiring the terraces from afar, visitors are invited to walk barefoot on the calcium carbonate formations, an experience that combines the tactile pleasure of hot travertine with the visual feast of the surrounding landscape.
Hierapolis: Echoes of an ancient civilisation
At the top of the Pamukkale terraces is Hierapolis, an ancient Greco-Roman city dating back to the 2nd century BC. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hierapolis has well-preserved ruins that reveal the daily life of its inhabitants. Highlights include the Roman theatre, the monumental gate, the Temple of Apollo and the necropolis with its fascinating series of sarcophagi. The city also served as a healing centre for its thermal springs, giving the area spiritual and medicinal significance.
Cleopatra’s Pool A royal pool in history
Adjacent to the ancient city is the Cleopatra Pool, a thermal pool named after the legendary Egyptian queen who is said to have bathed in its relaxing waters. Fed by hot mineral springs, the pool creates a tranquil oasis where visitors can enjoy a relaxing swim among ancient columns and submerged historical ruins. The rejuvenating properties of the water and the unique experience of swimming in a pool surrounded by ancient ruins make the Cleopatra Pool a must-see in Pamukkale.
Things to Know About Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Cleopatra Pool
Entrance Fees: There is an entrance fee for Pamukkale and Hierapolis and a separate fee for Cleopatra Pool. This fee is currently 200TL and is expected to increase in the near future. It is advisable to check the latest prices and additional information before planning your visit.
Footwear: To protect the terraces, visitors are generally required to remove their shoes or wear special protective covers. Comfortable shoes are recommended for walking on the travertine.
Timing: The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat, especially in summer.
Embark on a journey through thousands of years, from the geological wonders of Pamukkale to the ancient splendour of Hierapolis and the magnificent tranquillity of Cleopatra’s Pool. This trio of natural and historical wonders promises an unforgettable discovery in the heart of Turkey.