As I have listed my top 10 experiences in Turkey earlier, it was quite hard for me to select the best destinations to visit out of tons of interesting places in a melting pot of numerous civilizations like Turkey. In fact, this country is attracted by its strategic location and claimed as an open air living museum with an abundance of historical sites and natural creatures.
Besides, its famous city of Istanbul, traveling to the southwestern Turkey would be a must area to discover one of the most outstanding UNESCO World Heritage sites called “Pamukkale”, literally means “cotton castle” in Turkish.
It is located in the province of Denizli where there is also another main tourist destination called “Hierapolis”, the neighboring ruins above Pamukkale. This charming white travertine steps were shaped by the hand of nature and extant since the ancient times. It has been welcoming thousands of visitors who wish to experience a heaven for hot spring and mud bath lover every year.
Pamukkale is comprised of terraces and travertine formed by hot springs and streams depositing carbonate minerals. So, it has been well known for its curative powers and been used as a thermal bath since centuries.
Pamukkale has been used as a spa site since 200 BC. and it has been told that the EumenesII of Pergamon built the city which later became the ancient Hierapolis.
- Entrance Fee : 20 TL. ($10 or €7)
- Admission : Open 08:00 – 19:00 every day (In fact, you can visit the travertine area from the lower entrance which is open 24 hrs.)
Getting there & around:
- By bus - the most popular transportation as it is convenient to access almost tourist destinations and definitely the cheapest way to travel around Turkey.Pamukkale is reached from the main cities such as Istanbul, Izmir and Denizli etc., you can buy the ticket at the bus terminal in those cities and make sure that you emphasize the right destination you wish to go…Pamukkale, not Denzli because many tourists get confused about where to get off.
- By train - if you want to experience a train traveling to Pamukkale, just go catching the train departing from Basmane train station in Izmir to Denizli where the train will terminate here.Then, cross the road to the opposite side of the train station, turn left at the first intersection and walk about 100 meters to the shuttle station (Otogar) to Pamukkale. The shuttle van leaves every 30 min and costs 3.5 TL. per one trip. It stops at the entrance below Pamukkale where there are the parking area, restaurants and the city center and this van also continues to Hierapolis afterwards.
Shuttle van or taxi (taksi) are only transportations available to get around Pamukkale. Due to the large area of Pamukkale , it will take at least 30 min to walk around and will spend even more time if you walk up from such steep route. We do recommend starting out at the Hierapolis entrance and then wandering to enjoy the nice atmosphere along the way down to Pamukkale.