While many people think the Pamukkale thermal pools are the main attraction
of this area, the ruins of Hierapolis (which means, sacred city) are also a
very important part of the region known as Pamukkale. UNESCO lists the location
of "Hierapolis Permukkale" as a mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Site.
Tours of Pamukkale will generally include both the fantastic "cotton castle"
thermal pools as well as the extensive ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Most of
the Pamukkale hotels are centered
around thermal hot springs, and many have full-service spas taking advantage
of the healing waters and vapors.
Pamukkale Turkey is what this entire region is known as today, and it is located
about 60 miles west of Kusadasi a few
miles outside of the town of Denizli. Buses and taxis are readily available
from the city of Kusadasi to Denizli. There are three trains daily from Izmir,
and an overnight train from Istanbul.
Most people, however, embark on Pamukkale travel and visit on guided day tours
from Kusadasi or as part of vacation packages that include several other places
in the country.
Apollo (patron god of the city), Pluto (god of the underworld), and Leto (a
Greek mother goddess) were all honored and worshiped at Heiropolis. The Pamukkale
Temple of Apollo stands today in grand ruins. The Plutonium is the entrance
said to be the gateway to Pluto's underworld. Much of these ruins in Pamukkale
Turkey are Roman in origin, as the city and the sacred Pamukkale thermal pools
were ceded to Rome in 133 BC. As a result, several structures resemble those
both in Italy and Greece.
Pamukkale travel that includes tours of Hierapolis will show you the grand theater
and stadium, very similar to that found at the Temple
of Aphrodite and that at the oracle Temple of Apollo in Delphi.
The Pamukkale Museum contains collections excavated from the site, including
coins, jewelry, sarcophagi the necropolis from outside the Byzantine walls that
surround the site, and statues and carve bas reliefs.
But long before you reach the ruins of Hierapolis, Pamukkale travel reveals the white terraces of the Pamukkale thermal pools with their dripping limestone and calcium residue making them look like frozen waterfalls. This is one of the most remarkable sights in all of Turkey, and one of the most unique in the world. The terraces rise in progressive levels more than 600 feet high, and the white of the calcium is broken up only by the blue-green waters pools in the terraces. In colder months, steam rises from the pools, like the mists above Victoria Falls in Africa and Niagara Falls in North America and you will see this even before you see the gleaming white terraces.
You can visit these sacred pools today, swimming and bathing in some of them with columns and other artifacts and antiquities from the original ancient Roman baths littering the around your feet. They were once part of a porch and portico that bordered the baths, and were toppled into the water by an earthquake. Since Hierapolis Pamukkale Turkey was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, it is forbidden to walk on and bathe in many of the pools within the main waterfall area, but many other pools are open for this activity.