Pamukkale town in Turkey is famous for natural wonders and ancient ruins. It is very popular with tourists around the world and is a world heritage site since 1988. It is also regarded as the eighth wonder of the world due to its travertine pools flowing with hot mineral water. Since this place looks like a castle covered with snow, it is also called ‘Cotton Castle.’ If you love geological phenomenon and ancient ruins, get your Turkish visa and know these fun things to in Pamukkale.
Take a dip in the thermal pool Pamukkale
Taking a dip in one of the thermal pools formed due to a natural phenomenon is the first obvious thing to do in Pamukkale. The rich minerals, calcium, sodium bicarbonate present in the warm water offers several health benefits. A dip in the pool will help in reducing your high blood pressure and stress levels as well as improving the quality of your sleep. If you’re suffering with any types of skin conditions, arthritis, and rheumatism, the warm waters can help settle all these problems. Given the healing properties of the hot springs, Pammukkale is the best place to relax and de-stress.
Just ensure to carry an extra bag for your slippers since you cannot enter in the water with shoes or slippers. Also, you’ll need a bathing suit, changing clothes, sunglasses, and suncream lotion since it could be hot during the day. Also, be careful when walking barefoot as some of the stones are really sharp. To enjoy a dip in the thermal pool, you’ve to buy a ticket that costs 50 Lira.
Bathe in Cleopatra’s Pool
Do you want to know one of the secrets of Cleopatra’s beauty? Well, it is this antique pool where she used to bath. Bathing in this pool is must in Pumukkale to soak like royalty. The pool is open from morning till 6.15 pm and is closed in-between April to October. To enjoy a royal bath, you’ve to dole out 13 Lira. The entry fee doesn’t include a towel, but you can buy one here. However, changing rooms and lockers are provided to the visitors. The ticket is good for a 2-hour bath.
The main highlight of the Cleopatra’s Pool is its cleanliness. The hot spring water keeps refreshing the pool continuously. The several pine trees and ancient columns that surround the pool can transport you to the Roman times. The pool has two different levels. Kids can enjoy a bath in the shallow waters and adults at the deeper parts of the pool.
Explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis Amphitheater
The Hierapolis amphitheatre is another attraction not to be missed in Pumukkale. This exclusive piece of Roman architecture is located in Hierapolis. It is built on a plateau above the Pummakale terraces, which is why you have to do a bit of climbing and sweat a little to reach the entrance of the theatre. The theatre is an incredible shape with its stage suffering a little damage due to the time. However, when you look at the stage from the highest part of the theatre, you will literally applaud the architectural style of the Romans. The theatre was built with a sitting capacity of 15,000 people. During its glory, the theatre was used for holding religious ceremonies, concerts, and competitions.
Paraglide over the Travertines of Pumukkale
Besides enjoying health benefits of the hot spring water, you can also take in an aerial view by paragliding above this natural wonder. Not only that, the view of the Hierapolis ruins from the air is also possible. This type of activity is good for those looking for sightseeing and thrill. The blue pools with white water terraces from the above looks like a place from out of the world. You can book this never-forgetting experience with any one of the paragliding company operating in Pummukkale.
Hot Air Balloon in Pamukkale
If paragliding is not your cup of tea, then another option to enjoy the entire Pamukkale town with an aerial view is a hot air balloon ride. The best time to go for it is during the sunrise. The bright, orange colors of the sunrays falling on the white travertine and the surrounding pool create a unique look you’re never going to forget in a lifetime. It’s a rewarding experience to enjoy this flight.
Pamukkale Nature Park
If there is one thing that you can enjoy without shelling out anything, then it is the Pamukkale Nature Park. It is located just below the white travertine and is a perfect setting for strolling, and enjoying the views while grabbing a bite at one of the cafes. For children, the park offers water slides to engage in fun time. The pool is also occupied by hundreds of ducks and seeing them swimming around is quite pleasant. You can walk around, jog, and also rent a paddle boat to explore the pool. Being a popular picnic spot, the Pamukkale Nature Park is also used for hosting weddings.
Hierapolis City Ruins
King Eumenes II of the Pergamon built the ancient city of Hierapolis in 190 BC in the highlands of western Turkey. It was more of a fortress that stood on the wide travertines plateau. It came under the rule of the Romans in 130 BC. Hit by a devastating earthquake, the city was re-built with temples, theatres, and several other beautiful monuments. During that time, this place had an open quarry that produced geothermal energy. The Romans started using the steaming hot thermal water for bathing and various ritual processes.
The city prospered under the Romans rule and was adorned with impressive buildings, great necropolis, and splendid theatre creating a wonderful sight. Various commercial enterprises sprung up all over the city that contributed to the wealth of the city. For the Romans, the city was a spa centre to get healed from various health-related problems.
There are remains of the great grave temple, sarcophagus decorated with statues and a Byzantine church. Though not in good condition, one thing you will enjoy is walking on the impressive arcade streets. You will also enjoy admiring a covered channel for flowing water. Besides being a commercial and spa centre, the city was also renowned as a centre of occultism. There are remains of the Temple of Apollo and the Plutonium with a cave beneath it from where poisonous gas used to emerge. Apollo and his mother, Leto were worshipped here. The cave was discovered by an Italian architect in 2013. The birds that flew near the cave and die were then brought in the temple to perform certain rituals. Since the poisonous gas in CO2 that is still releasing from the cave, the entrance is sealed off. But one strange thing about the poisonous cave was that it couldn’t affect the priests even after being near the entrance.
Though not much is left of the city that once was inhabited by 100,000 thousand people, you will still enjoy exploring it since it’s now like an open theatre.
This museum is built within the complex of the ancient Roman bath in the old city of Hierapolis. It is dedicated to Hierapolis and features three galleries. There are amazing assortments of findings excavated from the site. One of the gallery houses ancient coins in bronze, silver, and gold as well as other small artefacts, whereas, the other two exhibits statues, sarcophagi, stone reliefs, pillars, pedestals, and inscriptions. One of the must-see exhibits in the museum is the sarcophagus of a certain ‘Ahom.’ You will also get to see small findings belonging to several civilizations that existed 4000 years ago. The gallery also displays extraordinary decorative works from the Hierapolis theatre. There are also sculpted reliefs for two prominent personalities–Attalus and Eumenes. Attalus was a Greek ruler, and Emmenus, a Greek general who served Alexander the Great.
Quad Bike Safari
If you’ve had enough of history exploring the ancient Hierapolis city and gained all the health benefits from bathing in the hot spring thermal springs, it’s time for some adventure. For those who seek adventure, the best thing to do is take a quad bike safari in Pumukkale. It is must-do activity that is exciting and comes with a bonus of scenic views. If you’ve not tried quad biking before, the tour company with whom you are booking this activity will provide training. With instructions, you will also receive demonstrations on driving a quad bike the professional instructors.
Once you’re confident, you can accelerate and run the quad bike through the amazing landscape of Pumukkale. As you’re riding, several natural sceneries will come on your way observing which will make the adventure more exciting.
These are the best 7 things to do in Pammukkale. To visit it, you can take a bus from Istanbul. The bus takes 10 hours and in this time, you will reach to Denzil, an industrial city located at the eastern end of the river Büyük Menderes,
What is the best time to visit Pammukkale?
The peak season of Pammukkale is from June to August. Since it’s a summertime, the temperature reach to 40°C. If this is too much for you, then plan your trip in April and May as it’s springtime. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and days are long. Another good time to visit Pammukkale is from September to October as this period marks the beginning of autumn. However, days are shorter during this time. The winter season is from November to February with January being the coldest with the temperature dropping to 0°C.
How long it takes to explore Pammukkale?
If you want to do everything from bathing in the travertines, visiting the ancient city of Hierapolis, paddle-boating in the nature park, bathing like a royalty in the Cleopatra’s pool, and soak in adventure from paragliding to hot-air balloon ride and quad bike safari, then you will need at least two days. For a 2-day itinerary, contact a reputed tour operator and enjoy all Pammukkale has to offer.
How much I will spend in Pammukkale?
If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can enjoy Pammukkale in under 150 US dollars for a day. Here is what you will be spending on:
If you’re choosing an average accommodation, then it will cost you around 50 US Dollars for 2 nights. Depending on the hotel, you can get a free breakfast.
Eating in Pummukkale is not expensive. You will spend around 10 US dollars a day for your meal.
One good thing about visiting Pummukkale is that you don’t have to spend on transportation since most of the attractions are within a walking distance. The only transportation charge that you have to bear is the bus service from Denzil to Pummukkale, which is quite nominal.
This is where you will have to spend. After all, fun and enjoyment can be had only after paying. If you’re taking paragliding, then it will be around 100 US dollars. To explore the ancient Hierapolis city and take a bath in the travertines, you have to pay around 110 US dollars. For a bath the Antique pool, the fee is around 15 US dollar. In short, you have to set a budget of 150 to 170 US dollars to do things in Pammukkale.