Pamukkale Travel Blog

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I first read about Pamukkale many months ago from the website hosting the international vote for the 7 NATURAL wonders of the world. I immediately knew then that I had to see this wonderful place. The term Pamukkale literally translate into "Cotton Castle" and it consists of these limestone covered travertines (small hotspring pools) cascading down the side of a mountain.

First I should explain that it is a miracle that this natural wonder still exists. Today Pamukkale is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. However, prior to UNESCO turning its attention to preserving the site, it had endured extremely harsh treatment at the hands of some very ignorant people.
Tourism from hotels built during the 20th century were destructive and many of the travertines were destroyed from toxic soaps used by bathers, waste waters being dumped from hotels and motorbikes being allowed to ride up and down the mountain side. Thanks to modern preservation efforts this natural wonder can still be enjoyed by visitors without any further environmental damage. Though sadly much of the damage done still exist. You can look Pamukkale up on Wiki or UNESCO for more info.

Pamukkale is located 6 hours southwest of Ankara. We decided to take the midnight bus and arrive early in the morning in Denizli. From there we took a 30 minute shuttle bus to our hotel in the small modern town of Pamukkale. We were unable to check into our hotel (The Hierapolis) room at such an early hour, but the people at the front desk were kind enough to let us store our bags near the desk while we went off to see Pamukkale.
There were no minibuses bringing tourists to the site at that early hour, but a bus full of teenage boys and their wrestling coaches were kind enough to stop and pick us up. Catching a ride with strangers is also something not typically done back home in the states. In fact it is illegal to hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers. But here in Turkey it was a perfectly normal thing to do and I had to smile as I deliberately went against everything my mother told me :P :P

Cost of entrance into Pamukkale was 20 Turkish lira (around $14) and free to Turks holding the special Turkish Museum Card. The cost is fully worth it, especially since it also includes the ancient city of Hierapolis!! Unfortunately the sky wasn't clear during our trip. There was some sun in the early morning for an hour or so, but quickly the clouds came rolling over us bringing with it a misty fog that enhanced the mysterious vibe of Pamukkale and Hierapolis, but made for poor photos :(.

Even with the lack of sun for better photos, Pamukkale was still an AMAZING landscape to view and explore! Most of the travertines were off limits from human contact for the reason of environmental preservation, but there was one large hotspring  open for the public to enter and walk around barefoot. It was suppose to be a hot spring, but the water was not always so warm to stand in and the textures of the limestone was sometimes painful to walk on and sometimes too slippery for standing still. We cautiously walked to the edge for the full view of the mountain side and it was fantastic! Looking down we could see several natural limestone travertines filled with clear aquamarine blue water leading down the mountain. At the bottom of the mountain was a small village covered in mist.
I tried to imagine what the view was like for someone from the little village, but not for too long since my feet were freezing and wanting to return back to warmer water :P

Afterward we walked on a wooden trail built along the site with a random stray dog that had taken an immediate liking to Semih. There were many stray dogs wondering around the site, but they mostly kept to themselves. Our stray dog just wanted some company before taking off down the mountain at the end of the wooden trail and the end of our Pamukkale part of the adventure.

Next Adventure: Hierapolis!!! :P


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Pamukkale Sights & Attractions review
Cotton Castle
Pamukkale, literally translates into "Cotton Castle" is one of the most amazing natural sites in Turkey! Natural Hot springs existing in several li… read entire review
photo by: peterbc2