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Fall Break: Pamukkale

Pamukkale is so unreal! It felt like a bizarre theme park in the middle of nowhere – only it’s a completely natural site.

 

Pamukkale

 

Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. From far away, it looks like a snow capped mountain. The white landscape is created from a type of limestone deposit. Water flows from the hot springs at the top of the hill, carbon dioxide evaporates, and calcium carbonate is left behind. The water from the springs flows throughout the town of Pamukkale:

 

Pamukkale water

 

Pamukkale Park

 

Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entrance costs 25TL or is free with the Müzekart. (We love our Müzekarts! They have saved us so much money… especially since we visited this site twice! I think you must be a teacher or student in order to get one. Make sure you have your Turkish ID number and you can purchase it at any major site.) The travertine only comes so far down the entrance path. Once you get to the white, you must take off your shoes. The ground was easy to walk on, and the texture provided needed traction.

 

Pamukkale ground

 

Pamukkale

 

Pamukkale

 

Pamukkale travertines

 

People have traveled to the mineral spas since the 2nd century B.C. They say there’s several health benefits from soaking in the water.

 

Pamukkale pool

 

The ancient ruins of Hierapolis are at the top of the hill. I was surprised how big the city was. We could have spend a lot more time exploring. Heriopolis is mentioned in Colossians 4:13. Phillip was martyred here. The archaeological museum costs an extra 5TL or is free with the Müzekart.

The reconstruction of the theater was impressive:

 

Theater at Hierapolis

 

Hierapolis

 

Legend has it that Cleopatra sent men around the land to find healing waters. The water that was brought from Pamukkale yielded the best results. They’ve made an attraction called “Cleopatra’s Pool” (a gift from Antony to Cleopatra) and you can pay to swim among some of the ancient ruins. We got changed and opted for the free mineral pools on the way back down the hill.

 

Cleopatra's Pool

 

Pamukkale travertines

 

Pamukkale ground

 

The natural terraces created the most perfect pools. There were even ledges around the edge:

 

Pamukkale pool

 

Bathing in the mineral water

 

Bathing in the mineral water

 

Pamukkale

 

Other notes on Pamukkale: Between the Kurban Bayrami holiday and it being the end of summer, there wasn’t a lot to see or do in the town itself. We ate at White House Restaurant & Cafe and Lamuko’s Lokanta; both were tasty. Pamukkale can easily be a day trip.

I loved Pamukkale! So much, that we went up again a few days later. (More pictures from that soon.) We left around 5pm to head to our next destination – a coastal beach town!

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply amandamosaicA

    Hey! I used to live in Ankara, and will be visiting Turkey again throughout the year. 

    What time of year did you visit this sight? And is there a particular time you think is good? Thanks!

    September 28, 2015 at 7:38 pm
    • Reply Leah

      Hi Amanda! Oh yes, it’s a must see! There is not a ton in the town itself, so it’d make a good day trip or stop on the way somewhere. We visited once in June and once in October. Both times were warm enough to sit in the water. It’d be fun to wade even if you have cooler weather. Some of the pools are hotter than others because of the hot springs. 🙂 

      September 28, 2015 at 8:02 pm

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