2023 Turkey – Day 13 – Didim to Denizli

Pamukkale, located in southwestern Turkey, is a breathtaking natural wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has captivated visitors for centuries. The name “Pamukkale” translates to “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, and it perfectly describes the otherworldly landscape that awaits travelers there.

At first glance, the most striking feature of Pamukkale is its terraces of white mineral-rich travertine cascading down the hillside. These terraces are formed by the flow of calcium-rich thermal waters over thousands of years. The mineral-rich waters, which emerge from the natural hot springs, leave behind a stunning white deposit as they trickle down the mountainside. The result is a series of cascading, terraced pools that resemble fluffy, cotton-like formations, giving the place its ethereal appearance.

The hot springs of Pamukkale are renowned for their therapeutic and healing properties. People have been drawn to these natural baths since antiquity, and it is believed that the waters hold various health benefits, particularly for skin and joint ailments.

At the top of the terraces lies the ancient city of Hierapolis, which was established during the Hellenistic period. Hierapolis was a prominent Roman and Byzantine city, and its well-preserved ruins still stand today. Exploring the ancient theater, Roman baths, temples, and necropolis within the city provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history.

The juxtaposition of the pristine white terraces against the ancient ruins of Hierapolis makes Pamukkale a unique and captivating destination for travelers. Visitors have the opportunity to soak in the thermal pools while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

In recent years, Pamukkale has faced challenges due to the increase in tourism. To protect this fragile and precious natural site, efforts have been made to control visitor numbers and ensure responsible tourism practices.

In conclusion, Pamukkale is a true marvel of nature and a historical treasure. Its stunning white terraces and ancient ruins create an extraordinary experience, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking natural beauty, history, and a touch of magic.