Pamukkale is an ancient mineral-spa village located north of Denizli. Pamukkale literally means “Cotton Castle”, a name which was probably based on the beautiful, white landscape. Pamukkale has been famed for its mineral baths since the Romans built the city of Hierapolis around the thermal springs.
I came to Pamukkale together with the group I traveled with to Ephesus. It took several hours to reach Pamukkale from Selcuk. The view was spectacular. We did not wade into the water but walking along the travertines was enough for me. In order to protect the travertines, visitors are not allowed to wear any footwear upon entrance to the travertines. Although it has “cotton” in its name, the floor is certainly not soft as a cotton. It briefly reminded of Salar de Uyuni.
For many years now, calcite-rich waters flow in the spring which had created deposits of white travertine hence the stunning landscape we see now. Aside from bathing, one can enjoy the views of stalactites and extensive terraces of pools that form this geological site. The white cover of the area has been maintained by the natural deposits of calcium carbonate.
The sacred city of Hierapolis is approximately 10-minute walk from the travertines. Here, you can see the remains of the ancient city which include a theatre, a necropolis, baths, temple of ruins and arches.
I separated with Lydia and her group at this point as they were going to Antalya while I was on my way back to Istanbul. I would have love to visit Aphrodisias but it was tricky to use the public transport that time since there were fewer visitors. It is advisable to rent a car or go with a tour to visit Aphrodisias. In order to get back to Istanbul, I took a bus going to Izmir and from Izmir, I bought a ticket for Istanbul.