Pamukkale – Explore the beautiful white terrace of water in Turkey

Pamukkale is a Turkish word meaning “cotton castle”. Pamukkale is an amazing site in the South West of Turkey. It’s Turkey’s most popular attraction.

The surreal, brilliant white travertine terraces and warm, limpid pools of Pamukkale hang, like the petrified cascade of a mighty waterfall, from the rim of a steep valley side in Turkey’s picturesque southwest. Truly spectacular in its own right, the geological phenomenon that is Pamukkale, literally “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, is also the site of the remarkably well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis. With such a unique combination of natural and man-made wonders it’s little wonder that Pamukkale-Hierapolis has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site. With over two million visitors annually, it is also Turkey’s single most visited attraction.

Pammukkale Turkey

How to get to Pamukkale

Pamukkale-Hierapolis is situated on the western rim of the vast Anatolian plateau, around 120 miles east of the popular Aegean resort cum cruise ship port of Kusadasi, near Ephesus. Most visitors come on gruelling day trips from Aegean or Mediterranean resorts.

The easiest way to visit under your own steam is to hire a car – the drive takes around three hours from Kusadasi, four from Antalya and Marmaris, five from Bodrum. Alternatively comfortable inter-city coaches run to Denizli, the nearest city to Pamukkale, from all the aforementioned places and take around the same time as driving. Frequent buses and minibuses make the 40 minute run between Denizli’s bus station and Pamukkale.

Pamukkale Turkey

Turkish Airlines ( and Pegasus ( both fly to Denizli’s Cardak airport from Istanbul. Rail buffs might be interested in the four times daily service between Izmir and Denizli, via Selcuk.

Pamukkale, near the city of Denizli, has been a spa since the Romans built the spa city of Hierapolis around a sacred warm-water spring. The sacred pool (Called Cleopatra’s Poll) is still there, littered with marble columns & old stone carvings from the ancient city and tourists can bathe in the thermal pool in crystal clear water for a fee. The place is truly magical.

Pamukkale Turkey

The water in the thermal pool is 36-57 C°, pH value is 5,8 and radon value is 1480 pCi/l. Spa water has its inside bicarbonate, sulphate, carbon dioxide, partly with iron and radioactive combination. And also, the water in this spring is suitable for taking shower and drinking cures, 2430 MG/liter melt metal value.

How to avoid the crowds

The best way to enjoy an uncrowded visit is to spend the night in Pamukkale village, which has plenty of accommodation (see below), then explore the formations and ancient site the following morning. The vast majority of day-trippers don’t arrive until the afternoon after the long drive-in from the coast. Late-afternoon/dusk are especially busy. Pamukkale is also relatively uncrowded in winter (November through to March), especially on weekdays. It can, though, be cold and even snowy.


Tips for visiting Pamukkale

The best way to approach the ancient site is to walk up through the formations on the travertine path. Starting at the south gate to the site. You are not permitted to wear shoes or even sandals to do this (to prevent eroding or staining the delicate calcite deposits). Bring your footwear (and everything else you’ll need for exploring the ancient ruins) along in a bag.

Wearing swimwear allows you to splash in the warm, aquamarine pools. Allow the whole day to make the most of the travertines, pools and remains. You can bring a picnic lunch (and plenty of water/suncream etc in mid-summer).


Opening times and admission fees

Hierapolis/Pamukkale travertines joint site entry: 25TL (£6). Open Nov-March 6am-6.30pm, April-Oct 6am-midnight.

Antique pool entry: 32TL (£7.50). Open Nov-March 8am-5.30pm, April-Oct 8am-7.30pm.

Bring swimming gear to dip in the turquoise pools

Where to stay nearby

Check our famous Turkey Packages : 11 Days Turkey Tour , Turkey Tour

Contact us at +923214431721 to book an accommodation in pleasant Pamukkale village.

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  1. Oh my goodness, this would be a magical trip! I would tag all my English and history teachers in the photos, so they know I paid attention in class when we discussed Greek and Roman history. Ahhhh I love warm pools! Fantastic post!

  2. Look at those cascading waters. A trip here would be as fairytale-ish as it could get. I have been planning a trip to Turkey forever. THis should entice me enough. Cheers!!

  3. Such a beautiful place to visit, Pamukkale looks outstanding! I didn’t know that in the western part they have this super cool spring, it looks perfect for me to dive in, and the while terrace in winter? it looks like Antartica! love you tips and guide too!

  4. Looks heavenly! Haven’t been to thermal waters in ages! I really enjoy it, but then I overheat after a while and I have to go cool down somewhere:P Pamukkale looks amazing though, I would love to go there right now to destress a little bit:D

  5. I wish I knew of this place when I was in Turkey recently. It would have been nice to visit.

  6. I love this blog because it’s so well written. I’m saving it for my trip to turkey. The pictures are spectacular.

  7. Those mineral pools look so beautiful. I love relaxing in mineral pools. Warm, thermals springs are the perfect muscle soak.

  8. I’m visiting Turkey later this year and I’m looking for what to do there. Pamukkale looks perfect for me as I love landscape photography, especially unique landscapes like this. I’ll try stay in Denizli and organize a trip out from there.

  9. Pamukkale looks like a magical place with white calcium deposits and natural thermal pools. I would love to take dip in waters of Cleopatra’s bathing place. Walking on white deposits of calcium and taking dip in between turquoise pools would be unique thing to do. I loved your nature photography.

  10. I went here a few years ago when I was doing a tour around Turkey for ANZAC Day. We stayed in the village too and went up early in the morning. It was so awesome! Your photos have just made me want to go back again! Great tips for anyone wanting to visit.

  11. I’ve always wanted to visit these! They are high on my list for stops when we one day make it to Turkey. Love your advice about spending a night in the village, I’m sure it’s amazing to get to experience these pools without the crowds.

  12. I can’t believe I’ve missed this all along! I honestly haven’t seen a more unique attraction than this. Yet another reason to visit Turkey – though I’ve had Istanbul on my travel bucket list for so long!

  13. My goodness what an exciting place this is. Must have felt heavenly here. Turkey has been on my list like forever and I will make sure to visit this as soon as I land 😀

  14. Pamukkale looks amazing. I love thermal pools, and visiting one that’s a UNESCO site and has been in use since the Roman times sounds fantastic. Thanks for the tips. Definitely seems like splurging to spend a night or two nearby is the way to go.

  15. What an absolutely lovely place!! I’d never known about these little hidden treasures in Turkey. Going on my bucket list for sure!

  16. That’s a snowy paradise (told by a guy from Finland). We live on the cold north, but we don’t have anything like it!

  17. Constance @ The Adventures of Panda Bear

    That place looks amazing! I’ve been to Kusadasi and Ephesus but I had no idea this was so close by. If only I had known… guess I’ll have to save it for next time.

  18. This looks like it will make for a magical adventure to explore this ‘cotton castle’. The entire place just feels so otherworldly and gives vibes resonating with fairytales.

  19. Turkey is on my list. I think Pamukkale should be my first destination to visit. I liked your suggestion to stay in the village to avoid crowded place. It is always a good idea to be away from populated place and explore the natural beauty.

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