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 right on top of the pools, 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 even 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.
Many visitors make a day trip to Pamukkale but it's advisable to spend a night in the area so that you can visit at sunset when the pristine pools of water reflect the warm colours of the dying light.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Pamukkale
If you are planning a Pamukkale holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel Pamukkale
Set in landscaped gardens, the Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel has an envious location in Pamukkale. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. The on site thermal spa offers guests a chance to relax and enjoy what this region is most famous for. Why not take breakfast on the terrace or dinner by the pool? Two of our top tips! The hotel is well located close to the travertines in Pamukkale.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Pamukkale Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Pamukkale.