Turkey has a lot to offer to tourists. You can soak up the culture in big cities like Istanbul or spend every day of your vacation laying on the beach or near a pool in places like Side, Antalya or Marmaris. But there is a place where you can do a little bit of both and that is Pamukkale. There you can find natural rock pools which also have some history to them.
Pamukkale (which means ‘white castle’) is known for its natural wonder: white travertine terraces and natural pools with the most beautiful warm blue waters. There are about seventeen natural hot pools in Pamukkale and they have temperatures ranging between 35 and 100 degrees Celsius.
Through many centuries, the travertine terraces where formed from the buildup of water from the thermal springs that’s high in calcium carbonate. The buildup becomes hard travertine with time but when it first hits the landscape it’s like a soft jelly. It’s a process that has been going on for centuries, creating this magnificent sight. And because there constantly are soft spots, tourists are warned not to enter certain areas.
When you are done soaking in one the pools, the nearby town of Hierapolis has lots to offer as well. Its history goes back as far as the second century BC and there are still some remains from that era. The Greco-Roman baths, temples, arch, necropolis, and the amphitheater (which could seat up to 12,000 visitors back in the days) are definitely all worth a visit.
Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and that shows in the number of visitors that travel to this beautiful place. So if you want to take a good look at the springs or maybe hop into one, it’s a good idea to book a hotel in Pamukkale village the night before. If you don’t necessarily have to take a dip into the warm waters of one of the pools, visiting Pamukkale offseason (during the winter months) is also an option if you don’t like crowded sights.