Pamukkale’s petrified waterfalls are stunning.
The formations of one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions are as bizarre as beautiful. It’s funny as I’d describe another region of Turkey, Cappadocia, the same way although it is totally different from Pamukkale!
Pamukkale and the ruins of Hierapolis can be visited in one day. If you choose to fly to Denizli (1 hour), Pamukkale can become a day trip destination from Istanbul*. I would highly recommend adding one day to enjoy the beautiful sunset and to catch a van (dolmus) to spend the next day visiting the nearby Aphrodisias.
This is the translation of an article I wrote after my visit in October 2010.
Climbing Pamukkale’s travertines
The sources flow down from the top of the cliffs (200m high). Saturated with minerals and carbon dioxide gas, they create a natural reaction, leaving a white layer on the rocks and transforming the scenery into an unreal looking place.
To regulate the pollution on this Unesco World Heritage site and keep its unique whiteness, the climb to discover the pools and the waterfalls must be done bare feet. It added a lot of fun to the small adventure as the water was sometimes hot and sometimes cold!
Pamukkale is a very touristy place. If you are in the area for the weekend and able to spend a night there, it is very enjoyable at sunset. The tourist buses are gone, and the colours get even better.
A Spa Resort since the 2nd century BC
2,200 years ago, they built the spa resort Hierapolis at the top of the cliff. It is still possible today to enjoy the benefits of the thermal pools. I had no need to get younger and no pain to treat back in 2010 (I may think differently if I go back now!), so I did not try it.
Where is Pamukkale?
It takes 50 minutes to drive to Pamukkale from Denizli, in the Aegean region in the South of Turkey.
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Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.