Known locally as the Cotton Castles, Pamukkale is a natural phenomena and gift of Mother Nature. Pamukkale was formed when warm, calcium rich mineral water cascaded over the cliff edge, cooling and depositing in the process. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs, known as travertines. At the very top of the travertine pools is Pamukkale Thermal, where a pleasant dip can be enjoyed in the warm waters amongst submerged fragments of fluted marble columns. It is thought the natural pool once formed the centre of the ruined Roman spa town of Hierapolis, which was a cure centre founded around 190 BC by the Romans. Walking through the chunks of marble ruins dotted around haphazardly, the star attraction of Hierapolis has to be the partially restored Roman theatre, once capable of seating more than 12,000 spectators.
Pamukkale was unprotected as a site before its UNESCO World Heritage listing, with hotels being built on top of the site, hot water from the springs taken to fill the hotel pools and the waste water spilled over the monument itself, turning it a brownish colour. A tarmac road ramp was built into the main part of the site. UNESCO worked on restoring the site, demolishing the hotels and covering the road with artificial pools, which people today can go into. The areas that were discoloured have been left empty, so that they can be bleached by the sun and as a result many pools are empty today.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Pamukkale, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Turkey
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