White Cliffs of Pamukkale

Pamukkale is one of the most important natural features of Turkey and definitely something unique in the whole wide world attracting more and more visitors each year. For its resemblance to fairytale settings it is often compared to snowy terraces or frozen waterfalls. But this place, called Pamukkale (literal translation of it is - cotton castle), doesn’t have anything to do with snow.

Limestone rocks are actually ‘guilty’ for this deception. They have been created for thousands of years by precipitation of calcium. Tectonic movement of soil in basin of the River Menderes caused earthquakes but also heaving of numerous hot water wellsprings. Water of one of those wellsprings with high concentration of calcium is actually the main ‘culprit’ for Pamukkale creation. According to one of the legends that is linked to this place, it is enough to spend only 10 minutes in this water (where temperature gets up to the 35 ℃) in order to rejuvenate for 5 years.

About White Cliffs of Pamukkale

Before authorities claimed Pamukkale as a national heritage site and restricted the visits, unscrupulous hotels built nearby used the hot water for their own pools and majority of tourists walked on the delicate rocks destroying them slowly. As a result, there are two completely drained pools today. This is why the authorities shut down the hotels close to the site and if you want to walk on the pools you can do it only if barefoot.

It is believed that the city of Hierapolis, on whose long abandoned ground is Pamukkale located, was founded by one of Pergamon kings in the 2nd century BC.

What to do in Pamukkale?

It is absolutely incredible experience to walk barefoot on the pools, have a bath in some of the thermal baths nearby or take the night tour of the ruins and travertines. Pamukkale Koyu offers fun nightlife and during the day you can visit the ruins of Hierapolis, or simply take a walk and explore the surroundings.

p.s. Don’t forget to bring swimsuits! :)

What to buy?

Pamukkale is well-known for (who could guess? :)) - cotton. The best place for shopping is a small town Buldan, 30 minute drive away from Pamukkale. You can also find many souvenirs and traditional Turkish products for much cheaper prices since they are actually made in this region. In Pamukkale Koyu you can visit great carpet shops.

What to eat/drink?

The most tasty and fresh food is made in kitchens of small, family-owned boarding houses, and in case you want to enjoy your meal outside, definitely try borek (a specific kind of meat pie) and don’t forget to order ayram with that (a non-alcoholic, yogurt-like drink). On the main highway, just by the city entrance, you can enjoy the view of valley from the restaurant Alis.

Where is it located?

Pamukkale is located in southwestern Turkey, in Denizli province.

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