Not a lot of people go to Turkey. In fact, Turkey can be considered as one of the underrated countries to visit since they offer so many historical and cultural sites that aren’t even talked about on travel websites. So to stay away from the norm, here’s an article about Turkey’s “Cotton Castle” called Pamukkale.

First things first, what is Pamukkale? Literally translating to “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale is a bunch of white terraces with water spilling from their rims. It’s white because of the kind of rock that has formed from the flowing water that passes through which is called travertine.

Aside from its picturesque and unique landscape, Pamukkale is also unique in history. During the Roman Era, this place was known to be a spa to many and on top of the terraces, there was a city called Hierapolis. Hierapolis was a thriving city all throughout history until it was abandoned in 1300 AD. It has experienced many renovations over the course of its life due to natural calamities.

Not until 1300 AD did it actually become ruins. However, as the years passed, the city of Hierapolis, or at least its memory, was never lost on Turkey. The ruins were converted into a tourist spot where visitors can see an amphitheater, the Nymphaeum fountain which distributes water all over Hierapolis, and a wide expanse of how life was back in the Roman Era.

In 1988, Pamukkale was considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with this title comes preservation of the place’s ruins and culture. The hotels that were built were demolished as to respect and keep the area as it is. There were also pools that were closed for public use and instead, artificial ponds were created so they will all turn their attention there. As of today, Pamukkale enjoys a good number of tourists that reach around two million every year.

So how do you go to Pamukkale?

Pamukkale is found in Denizli Province in the southwestern part of Turkey. You can easily go here by booking day trips from Aegean resorts or by simply renting a car and driving over. There are amazing sea views and coastal scenery on the Turkish coast. It’s well worth the trip. Other sea view holiday ideas can be found on this post. If you’re coming from Antalya and Marmaris, the travel time is around four hours. If you are traveling from Kusadasi, it only takes three hours. There is also public transportation available and you can take the bus from Denizli’s bus station. 

Since you will be visiting water terraces, it would be best to bring a change of clothes and wear a swimsuit before you even go to the place. This makes your trip less of a hassle. At the same time, you won’t be able to wear shoes once you walk up the formations because it’s a way to avoid erosion and making the waters dirty.

The best time to visit Pamukkale is actually when there are not many people so that you will enjoy its serenity and the waters reflections of the sky. Since the bulk of tourists go by the afternoon or at lunchtime (the long drive makes this so), it would be best for you to already stay in Pamukkale the night before and just go there in the morning. You can also go there as early as 6 am and start wading in their pool at around 8 am.