After a couple days and only one night in Cappadocia, it was time to get on our second overnight bus in Turkey and head for Pamukkale. Pamukkale, which means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, is in the South-West of Turkey near the city of Denizli. The ancient city of Hierapolis was built atop the hills which make up Pamukkale.
What is now famous about the area is the reason for the name of Pamukkale which are the white hills that make up the region. The reason the hills are white is that the 17 hot springs which sit atop Pamukkale contains a high concentration of Calcium Carbonate which is deposited on the hills and forms terraced pools of water. The effect often makes it look like ice glaciers in some pictures as you will see.
After we got off of our overnight bus in Denizli at a random gas station in Turkey, we were transported between several shuttle buses before arriving at a hotel where we stayed for 4 hours until our tour started. This actually worked out pretty well for us as we were able to use the time to get some coffee and catch up on internet tasks (blog, finances, friends and family, etc).
In our Xth shuttle bus of the day, we were taken to the Pamukkale site where our guide showed us the major areas of the site and then let us have a couple hours to explore the area. First, we checked out the theater which was high above the hills and was apart of the city of Hierapolis. The theater of Hierapolis was originally built in 17AD and was restored in 352AD. The theater itself is pretty massive and impressive and doesn’t have a bad view either.
Brad at the Roman Auditorium
Will at the Roman Auditorium
Next we checked out the Cleopatra pools. I was a bit confused about this area, but from what I can tell it is simply a pool now named the Cleopatra pool that uses water from the natural hot springs. Inside of the pools are some ruins from thousands of years ago. Let me make this simpler to understand – it is a glamorized pool that has some minerals it which comes from a natural spring and now costs 25 Euros to swim in.
After having seen dozens of natural hot spring pools around the world, and unfortunately to date having been unsatisfied with them, we decided to skip out. Next we walked to the end of where the calcium pools were on one side of the hill and walked back towards the entrance.
The pools are very very cool and interesting to look at – quite beautiful. However, for once, I would actually say that the pools are not as cool as the pictures. Unfortunately you can not really swim in the pools, they are there only to look at and as a tourist attraction. They are interesting from the perspective that they are very unique and we did like them, but just not as cool as the pictures made them out to be. Perhaps our pictures do them better justice. With that said, there is a section where you can walk in the pools which we did – nice, but not all that great.
First views of the Calcium Pool
Good view of the terraces that are formed
Brad and Will at Pamukkale
Brad at Pamukkale
Will at Pamukkale
Public path down the hill – this is where you can get in the pools
Will at Pamukkale – doesn’t it look like snow?
Brad with Pamukkale Terraces
Yes, more terraces
After a long day of traveling and touring we were dumped at our hotel room in Kusadasi which was surprisingly nice! Our stop in Pamukkale was a good one. I would not say that it is a must see when you are in Turkey, but if you have an extra day and are traveling between Ephesus and Cappadocia then we recommend it!
View from our hotel room