Pamukkale, also known as the “cotton castle”, is a magical site located near Denizli in the south westhern region of Turkey. It is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Hierapolis, the ancient spa city that the Romans built and that can be found behind the white mountain.
So how did this white mountain came to exist?
Somewhere deep in the earth beneath Pamukkale and the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis lies a vast source of water heated by volcanic lava. The water dissolves pure white calcium, becomes saturated with it, and carries it to the earth’s surface. There it bursts forth and runs down a steep hillside.
How to get there?
The easiest way to travel to Pamukkale from Istanbul is by plane. The flight takes about 1 hour and will land in Denizli which is an 18km ride away from Pamukkale.
Some tourist sites claim that you head to the center of Denizli first to catch a bus there but this is not true! There is a bus ready and waiting to take you straight to Pamukkale itself.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Özbay Hotel. Don’t expect anything fancy but the rooms were clean and spacious. Ours even came with a little terrace. And the best part is that it was located right at the entrance of the site.
How much time do you need?
You don’t need more than one day to explore Pamukkale. But since we wanted to take photos during sunset and sunrise we decided to stay for 2 days and just relax during the rest of the day.
What to expect?
Don’t expect to have the travertines all to yourself. This place is crowded at any time during the day.
But apparently there are two entrances to the site and the south one opens earlier than the one at the town. The town entrance opens from 8am which makes it actually too late for sunrise.
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