Pamukkale – the Turkish cotton castle

Stef Zisovska
Pamukkale, Turkey - Author: Stefanija Zisovska

Pamukkale is a natural site in the picturesque southwest part of Turkey. These travertine terraces of crystal clear and warm water are one of the most visited places in this amazing country.

The name Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish. This spectacular geological wonder is also the site of the ancient Roman-Greek city of Hierapolis or the Holy City.

Its thermal waters attract over 2 million visitors each year. When you see this magnificent place, you’ll understand why is it under UNESCO protection as a world heritage site.


The cool thing about Pamukkale is that you can actually take a bath in the terraces. Pamukkale doesn’t only serve as a unique spot where you go and stare at some natural swimming pools.


Pamukkale – Author: Stefanija Zisovska

The beauty of it is that you can experience the same life as the Romans once did. The temperature of the water in the terraces is 96 degrees Fahrenheit.


Pamukkale – Author: Stefanija Zisovska

Pamukkale’s limestone travertine formations have existed for more than a millennium. The difference between Pamukkale and other hot springs around the world is not only that you can swim in it, but you can visit the colonnaded streets, temples, bath houses, necropolis and theater of the remains of Hierapolis.

Dripping slowly down the vast mountainside, mineral-rich waters foam and collect in terraces, spilling over cascades of stalactites into milky pools below. The Legend says that the terraces are made out of real cotton and was left here to dry by the Giants. By the way, cotton is the main crop in this part of Turkey.


Pamukkale – Author: Stefanija Zisovska

The water in the springs is rich in minerals, especially calcium carbonate which eventually crystallizes into travertine. Shoes and sandals are not allowed because of calcite deposit preservation.


The best way to approach the historical site is from the south gate, walking through a travertine path. Wearing a bathing suit will allow you to splash into the aquamarine pools en-route.


Pamukkale – Author: Stefanija Zisovska

The best way to avoid the crowds is to go one day earlier and spend the night in Pamukkale village. This way you’ll avoid the packed buses that arrive at the site around noon, after a long ride from the coast.

Early in the morning, you’ll have the terraces all to yourself without getting sun burnt.

When visiting Pamukkale bring loads of water, sunscreen, and bathing suit. After the bath, you can visit the museum and see some of the most beautiful examples of Bronze Age craft.


Pamukkale – Author: Stefanija Zisovska

Pamukkale is a world-famous tourist destination that will take your breath away. When you see the limestone terraces, you will forget about the extremely hot weather and enjoy a day full of history, hot springs, and Legends.

If you were planning a summer vacation out of the country, then visit the turquoise Turkish coast and of course, visit Pamukkale. Good luck with the cotton adventure!


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