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Pamukkale is a hot spring with calcium-coated cliffs and pools in inland southeastern Aegean Turkey.


Pamukkale, which has been used as a spa since the second century BC, literally means "cotton castle" in Turkish.

The travertine features have their origins in the shifting of a fault in the valley of the Menderes river (between here and Denizli). As the fault shifted, very hot springs with a very high mineral content (notably chalk) arose at this location. Apart from the slightly radioactive minerals, the calcium and hydrogen carbonate react to create calcium carbonate (also known as travertine) and limestone. This is what gives Pamukkale its whiteness and created the pools.

It can get quite hot in summer, a hat and especially sunglasses will certainly be very helpful against the sun and the reflecting sun rays from the chalky cascades. On the other hand, the cold winter climate could make the experience slightly uncomfortable. Climbing up the cascades barefoot, with cold water running downstream, will be a tough task.

Get in

The nearest major city is Denizli, where you will likely arrive first before getting to Pamukkale.

By plane

  • Closest airport is Denizli - Cardak Airport is 65 km or 1 hour away and there are flights six times daily to Istanbul.
  • Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is another alternative to the area. Pamukkale is 252 km from the airport, a drive of about 4 hours (4½-5 hours by bus) or 6-7 hours by train. (Check TCDD for train schedule.)

By train

The nearest train station is in Denizli, which has services from Izmir only. The Istanbul service (Pamukkale Express) was suspended in 2008.

By bus

Buses to Pamukkale/Denizli can be found from almost all Turkish cities. Their services include water, hot drinks and a snack.

There are virtually no bus companies that take you directly to Pamukkale despite what the ticket sellers tell you. The bus will drop you in Denizli and then you have to get on a dolmuş to Pamukkale (about 20 km away).

By dolmuş

From Denizli bus station (otogar), take a dolmuş, a type of cheap communal taxi that usually seats about 10 (but it's possible they'll squeeze in more). Frequent mini-buses serve the village of Pamukkale from platform/peron 76 by a 20-minute ride, which costs 3.50 TL per trip (Nov 2017). Dolmuşes leave from the lower level of the Denizli station.

Get around

Even when you're way on the edge of the village, you can reach everything (i.e. the village center and the travertine pools) on foot in 10-15 minutes.


Travertines and Hierapolis

There are three entry gates, one at the bottom of the travertines and two at the top. A shuttle will take you between gates for 2 TL. Entry to Hierapolis and the travertines is a single ticket that costs 35 TL (Nov 2017). Entrance is from 08:00 - 21:00 daily.

The travertine terraces above Pamukkale and below the ancient city of Hierapolis are a UNESCO World Heritage site. This "Cotton Castle" is accessed via a gate near Pamukkale, and the walk up takes about 30 minutes and offers numerous opportunities to soak in pools that are generally no more than a foot deep. Tough pollution control regulations require removing your shoes in order to walk on them (so bring something to put your shoes in!), so the travertines stay white as ever. This job is made tougher in winters when the water flowing down the chalky cascades will be freezing cold.

At the top of the travertines lies the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The ruins of the city sprawl over a large area, but sites are well-marked and there are trails that can be easily followed. The 12,000-seat amphitheater is in excellent condition and is a highlight, as are the town gates and main road. In addition, the town is home to the Martyrium of St. Phillip, a pilgrimage site that is supposedly the site where the apostle Philip was martyred and buried. The church at the site is in ruins, but its foundations reveal an unusual octagonal plan.

You can soak in the antique pool for an extra fee (see "Do" below.)

The museum is housed in the former Roman baths and can be visited for an additional 5 TL (opening hours Tu-Su 08:00-17:00, Nov 2017). It contains three rooms housing some of the artifacts found during excavations of Hierapolis and the surrounding area, including sarcophagi.

Other sights

Other than the travertines and Roman city of Hierapolis, places worth a look around Pamukkale are:

  • 1 Laodikeia (Laodicea) (6 km from Pamukkale on the Denizli road. Take the bus towards Denizli. Tell the driver you want to go to Laodikiya, he will drop you off on the side of the road next to the sign. From there, turn right following the sign and walk for about 15 minutes and you'll get to the site.). See the Denizli article for more information.
  • 2 Colossae. Ancient ruins 7 km from Pamukkale of an ancient city of Phrygia. It has never been excavated.
  • 3 Karahayit (5 minutes from Pamukkale by local bus. Once you get to the last bus stop head to the northern edge of the town where springs and mud bath located.). The red spring is not even nearly as big as the calcium outcrop in Pamukkale, but worth a look. You might also want to try their mud baths. The entry to the site is free.
  • Kaklik Caves. They are like a small version of Pamukkale, but in a cave, underground and are about 30 minutes from Pamukkale.


  • You can walk down barefoot in the waterfalls from the village. The place is crowded when the tour-buses arrive. No shoes are allowed on the travertines. If you don't want to walk back to top, you can use the buses dropping off people back to top, which depart from near lower end of the travertines. You should wear swimming suit. A lot of people bath in the baths here.
  • 1 Thermal pool in the Hierapolis area also called "Cleopatra Pools". Swim with Roman ruins in a large natural swimming pool located just past the topmost travertines. It's a hot spring pool that has sections of the original marble columns in it. A shop sells bathing suits (10 TL) and towels if you don't bring your own. 32 TL, 16 TL for children, 5 TL for a safe box.
  • Paragliding. Lots of paragliding options. Some are short another last longer. 110 TL (for example).
  • Hot-air balloon ride. There are trips available. €85.
  • Boat ride (before entrance to travertines there is a nice park with a lake, free entrance). You can try riding a boat or feeding ducks there.


The Pamukkale/Denizli area is famous for its cotton and homewares. These are becoming sought after world wide (Arnold Schwarzenegger decked out his house in curtains and furnishings especially made in Denizli - so the story goes!) and the best place to go is the town of Buldan, about 30 minutes drive from Pamukkale. Many of the other souvenirs and traditional Turkish wares that you can find in other parts of Turkey are cheaper around Denizli/Pamukkale because they are produced there.

Safak Halı Pazarı, Atatürk Caddesi No 30, ☎ +90 258 272 2317. You can find locally handmade carpet and kilim, towels, tablecloths, ceramics, onyx, scarfs, and many different kind of souvenirs. Homewares are also cheap here.


The best and freshest food is to be found in the small family run pensions, but for a great open air restaurant where you can eat 'borek' the Turkish pancakes and gaze across the valley, try Alis on the main highway just before you come into the town.

  • Mehmet's Heaven, on the main street near the Travertines has an excellent view of Pamukkale from his porch out back. Great Turkish food and well priced - pide, beer or local wine 15 TL (Nov 2017). The owner and his wife are super nice.
  • Kayas Wine House, Kale Mah. Ataturk Cad. No 3 (centre), ☎ +90 258 272 2267. Also serves Turkish and international (Korean, Japanese) food in traditional but trendy surroundings. Located in the centre of town, close to all the major hotels.
  • Lamuko's Lokanta, Main Street Pamukkale, ☎ +90 542 390 8175. Japanese and Korean food in the centre of Pamukkale, next to Pamukkale Bus Company office. Delicious!
  • Kale Hotel, Atatürk Cad. 16 (on the main street in the centre of town), ☎ +90 258 272-26-07. This place has great Chinese, Korean, and Japanese food at an excellent deal. It also serves Turkish food, but is a great change if you'd like something other than gözleme, pide or kebabs. Entrees are around 10 TL and it has beer and wine.


  • Ayran is a salty yogurt drink similar to a salty lassi. It may be an acquired taste, but should be tried while in Turkey.
  • The wines produced in the Pamukkale area are becoming quite famous and are winning awards for the quality and standard. Turkish wine may disappoint.
  • Raki is a traditional Turkish drink, generally served with mezes (tapas like appetizers, generally followed by a fish or meat dish). With an anise-seed flavor, it may be an acquired taste. Great with fish or any long meal as it is meant to open up your appetite.
  • Efes or Tuborg are the go-to beers in all of Turkey, and are often the only beers available.


There are small family-run pensions at the village south of the travertines. Most have swimming-pools filled with the warm greenish milky water from the travertines. They also offer very delicious Turkish food.

  • Artemis Yoruk Hotel, Atatürk Cad. 48/A, ☎ +90 258 272-26-74, fax: +90 258 272-26-75, e-mail: info@artemisyorukhotel.com. Hotel just opposite the bus stop with a pool and a nice garden, and a rooftop restaurant which serves traditional Turkish food. Rooms with en-suite, TV, and air-con. Owners can speak English. €12/€20 single/double rooms, including breakfast. On their advertisements, dorms are touted as €9 pp, including breakfast, but they insist on a price of 25 TL if you just show up. There are cheaper accommodations of this type further down the road.
  • Hotel Dört Mevsim (While the Turkish name dört mevsim translates to “Four Seasons”, the hotel is neither affiliated nor has any similarity to the hotel chain), ☎ +90 258 272-20-09, fax: +90 258 272-26-32, e-mail: info@hoteldortmevsim.com. Check-in: 07:30-23:30, check-out: 11:30. Very friendly and welcoming family-run hotel with free wi-fi, swimming pool, free car park, babysitting service, and air-con. They allow pets at no extra cost. They also have a campground on their yard. Very delicious dinner is freshly cooked in the evening for 15 TL pp. from €18/€26 single/double rooms, €10 pp dorms, all including breakfast. Visa, Euro/Mastercard are accepted.
  • 1 Kale Hotel, Kale Mah. Atatürk Cad. 16 (on the main street in the centre of town), ☎ +90 258 272-26-07, fax: +90 258 272-26-07, e-mail: info@otelkale.com. Check-out: 11:00. A family-run guesthouse. Rooms with satellite TV. Roof-top terrace, swimming pool, free wi-fi, Ottoman Corner, restaurant, day trips and excursions. Verify the reviews on popular booking sites, as they don't seem that good. €12.
  • Koray Hotel, Pamuk Mah. Fevzi Çakmak Cad. 29, ☎ +90 258 272-22-22, fax: +90 258 272-20-95, e-mail: info@otelkoray.com. Friendly and family-run, with garden bar and restaurant and a large swimming pool. Rooms with satellite TV. The hotel can organize day tours, express bus tickets, plane tickets, and offers a transfer service.
  • Melrose House Hotel, Vali Vekfi Ertürk Cad. 8, ☎ +90 258 272-22-50, fax: +90 258 272-31-20, e-mail: sales@melroseresidence.com. A nice family-run pansiyon at the eastern end of town with nice rooms, all of which have air-con. The friendly owners serve cheap but tasty home cooked meals. There's a laundry service and a pool filled with spring water. ~€30 double rooms, including breakfast. Credit cards are not accepted.
  • Öztürk White Hill Hotel, Pamuk Mah. Fevzi Çakmak Cad. 31. A small family-owned hostel.
  • Sinter Terasse Hause Hotel, Pamuk Mah. Hasan Tahsin Cad. 22, ☎ +90 531 708 81 16, fax: +90 258 272-22-33, e-mail: sami.kanmaz@hotmail.com. A comfortable, family-run hotel with wireless internet access and cable TV. Rooms with en suite bathroom, and air-con. Staff can speak English and German. €20/€28 single/double rooms, including breakfast.
  • Venüs Hotel, Pamuk Mah. Hasan Tahsin Cad. 16, ☎ +90 258 272-21-52, fax: +90 258 272-29-93, e-mail: info@venushotel.net. A comfortable hotel with wireless internet access, a swimming pool filled with thermal water from travertines. Rooms with en suite bathroom, and air-con. Staff can speak English. €20/€28 single/double rooms, including breakfast.

Go next

  • It is also worth making the effort to get to the remains of the ancient city of Aphrodisias—one of the best preserved Roman sites in southeastern Aegean. You can rent a van from Denizli to get there. Local bus companies will arrange bus tours for 30-40 TL pp (usually a minimum of 4 people is required ).
  • Of moderate interest might be visiting Denizli. It's a bit dull but there's a lively market.
  • From Denizli one can transfer to, among other options, Selçuk and its Roman ruins of Ephesus, or the popular Mediterranean resort city of Antalya (3.5 hr, 40 TL, every 2-3 hours, Nov 2017). Just shop around at the various travel agencies scattered throughout Pamukkale to get the best price quotes, though beware their mark-ups for fees/"taxes" (in particular, Neşe Tours charges high hidden "taxes": e.g. 45 TL for a bus to Bergama that was supposed to include the 3.5 TL dolmuş price (Nov 2017) to Denizli, when in fact the dolmuş must be paid extra upon arriving in Denizli, and one could buy the same Bergama bus ticket for 30 TL at the Denizli bus station counter).

Fodor's Turkey (Full-color Travel Guide)

Fodor's Travel Guides

Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years. Spanning two continents and centuries of history, Turkey is where East meets West and where the modern and traditional are constantly blurred, creating a dynamic and fascinating country that's unlike anywhere else in the world. With Fodor's Turkey, visitors can plan and navigate their visit, from the urban streets of Istanbul to the scenic Cappadocia countryside, and everywhere in-between.This travel guide includes:· Dozens of full-color maps · Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks· Multiple itineraries to explore the top attractions and what’s off the beaten path· Major sights such as Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Ephesus, Goreme Open-Air Museum, Olympos, Pamukkale, and Mt. Nemrut· Coverage of Istanbul; The Sea of Marmara and the North Aegean; The Central and Southern Aegean Coast; The Turquoise Coast; Cappadocia and Central Turkey; Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast

Awesome Terraced Mineral Hot Spring Pools in Pamukkale Turkey Journal: 150 Page Lined Notebook/Diary

CS Creations

This journal with 150 ruled pages awaits your writing pleasure.  You can use it to record your hopes and dreams, express your gratitude, to keep a bucket list,  as a daily diary, or  to jot down your “To-Do” lists.  The possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours.  Enjoy!  

Calcium Spring Pamukkale Turkey Journal: 150 page lined notebook/diary

Cool Image

A life worth living is worth recording, and what better place than this journal? These lined pages crave your scribbled notes, thoughts, ideas, experiences, and notions. Fill the lines, remember your life, don't lose your ideas, and keep reaching higher to live the best life you can. It all starts here, folks, but you'll need your own pen or pencil. Write on!

Fodor's Turkey (Full-color Travel Guide)


Expanded Coverage: Istanbul‘s hot hotel and restaurant scene gets ample attention, with best bets for different price categories and experiences. A new section covers the Asian side of the city, too. Illustrated Features:  Magazine-style color features explore quintessential Turkey, including archaeological and historical sites such as Topkapi, Ephesus, and the churches of Cappadocia. Also highlighted are cultural experiences such as shopping for carpets and spices, sampling mezes and street food, and seeing the whirling dervishes.  Indispensable Trip Planning Tools: Setting up a great trip is easy using Top Attractions, Top Experiences, and Great Itineraries. Convenient overviews show each region and its highlights, and chapter planning sections have savvy advice for making the most of your time and for getting around Istanbul and the rest of the country. Discerning Recommendations: Fodor’s Turkey offers savvy advice and recommendations from local writers to help travelers make the most of their time. Fodor’s Choice designates our best picks, from hotels to nightlife. “Word of Mouth” quotes from fellow travelers provide valuable insights.

Im Bus nach Pamukkale: Der persönliche Reiseführer. (Türkei Hybrid 2) (German Edition)

Andreas P. Kaiser

Türkei Hybrid - Der persönliche Reiseführer.Band 2: Im Bus nach Pamukkale.Mit GPS-Koordinaten, hilfreichen Internetlinks und wertvollen Insidertipps.Dieses Werk ist ein Hybrid. Türkei Hybrid dient zwei Zwecken. Zum Ersten der Unterhaltung meiner Leser. Sie war die eigentliche Motivation für mich, dieses Buch zu schreiben. Türkei Hybrid bietet zum Zweiten interessante und amüsante Einblicke in das Land, das auf zwei Kontinenten liegt: Europa und Asien. Es beleuchtet die Hintergründe sogenannter "Gewinnreisen" oder "Schnäppchenreisen", die in ihrem Charakter irgendwo zwischen einer Verkaufstour und einer Studienreise liegen und zeigt, wie diese Reiseform zu einem wirklichen Gewinn für Sie werden kann. Das Buch ist zudem eine Kreuzung aus einem Reiseführer und einem persönlichen Reisebericht. Türkei Hybrid ist eine Reihe mehrerer voneinander unabhängiger Einzelbände, die jeweils unterschiedliche Landesregionen abdecken. Der vorliegende Band 2 berichtet von unseren Erlebnissen zwischen der Großstadt Izmir an der Ägäisküste, der türkischen Touristenattraktion Nummer 1 nämlich den Sinterterrassen von Pamukkale und einem unvergesslichen Ausflug zu den "Brennenden Steinen" in der Region Antalya an der Mittelmeerküste. Die geschilderte Reise fand in den Faschingsferien 2011 statt.Was in Türkei Hybrid berichtet wird ist tatsächlich so geschehen. Der Leser sieht die Türkei durch unsere Augen und durchreist an unserer Seite das Land. Auf diese Weise ist das Buch ein in höchstem Maße authentischer Reiseführer. Türkei Hybrid präsentiert Insidertipps und ist auch so ehrlich, das Reisevergnügen beschneidende Missstände offen anzusprechen. Türkei Hybrid verzichtet ganz bewusst auf die sowieso nicht erreichbare thematische Vollständigkeit. Die Inhalte sind durch den subjektiven Filter unserer Reiseerfahrungen vorverlesen. Sie decken trotzdem zuverlässig die touristischen Highlights und Must-Dos auf der jeweiligen Reiseroute vollständig ab. Neben unseren Erfahrungen von zahlreichen Busreisen greife ich in meinen Reisebeschreibungen auf zwei weitere Türkeireisen zurück: Eine Trekkingtour anno 1994 als Student mit Rucksack und auf eine Reise mit unserem Land Rover auf dem Landweg über Griechenland im Jahr 2006.Die Weitergabe subjektiver Reiseerfahrungen ist mir ein Bedürfnis. Sei es zur Einstimmung meiner Leser auf einen bevorstehenden Türkeiurlaub auf der einen oder zur Nachbereitung des in der Türkei bereits Erlebten auf der anderen Seite. So eignet sich Türkei Hybrid z.B. ausgezeichnet als Aufwärm-Lektüre während des Fluges in die Türkei. Nicht weniger geeignet ist es für die Lektüre daheim am offenen Kamin oder sonst einem gemütlichen Ort, um eigene Reiseerlebnisse Revue passieren zu lassen und mit den unsrigen zu vergleichen. Wir, das sind Ehepaar Andreas P. und Michaela Kaiser aus Garmisch-Partenkirchen.Türkei Hybrid ist ein hochmodernes Reiseführerkonzept. Es verzichtet auf Dinge wie die Auflistung von Öffnungszeiten und Eintrittspreisen. Stattdessen bietet das Buch dem Leser eine große Anzahl wertvoller Internetlinks. Damit orientiert sich Türkei Hybrid an seiner Zielgruppe, dem Internet-aufgeschlossene eBook-Leser. Nur im Internet finden sich die topaktuellen News und Daten, sowie umfangreiche Hintergrundinformationen, die den Rahmen eines jeden klassischen Reiseführers sprengen würden. Türkei Hybrid ist damit wohl zu jeder Zeit der aktuellste, deutschsprachige Reiseführer für die Türkei. Im Zeitalter GPS-gestützter, navigationsfähiger Smartphones greife ich statt auf umständliche Wegbeschreibungen auf GPS-Koordinaten zurück. Punktgenauer kann eine Ortsangabe nicht sein.Ich wünsche ein spannendes Leseabenteuer!Andreas P. Kaiser, im Dezember 2013.

Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher*

Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Turkish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Learn the difference between a dolmus and a dolma, bargain confidently in the crowded aisles of an ancient Turkish bazaar, or order a meal fit for an Ottoman ruler; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!

Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation!

Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides

Inside Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary:

Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Convenient features Pronunciation guide Phrasebuilders Key patterns Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook & Dictionary , a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet and Arzu Kurklu.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits!

Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.)

*#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS

An Epigraphic Guide to Hierapolis of Phrygia (Pamukkale): An Archaeological Guide

Tullia Ritti

This guide aims to present visitors to the site and the museum with some of the most interesting Greek inscriptions that they will encounter, helping to both read and understand them. The excavations conducted by the Italian Archaeological Mission have trebled the number of documents that were known at the end of the nineteenth century, now totalling over 1000. Starting in Hellenistic times, the inscriptions from Hierapolis shed light on all aspects of urban life, and provide information on the composition of the population, on institutions and government, on municipal and provincial roles, as well as on religion, productive sectors and the organisation of gilds, Greek-type contests and amphitheatre games, the activity of public benefactors, funerary rites, the Jewish community and the expressions of Christianity. The majority of the most significant documents have been published, and work is now directed towards producing a scientific corpus of all epigraphic material.

Byzantine and Turkish Hierapolis (Pamukkale): An Archaeological Guide (Hierapolis Archaeological Guides)

Paul Arthur

This is one of the first guidebooks for the general public to deal with the Byzantine and Turkish archaeology of an ancient town. Following 50 years of excavation by the Italian Archaeological Mission in close collaboration with the Turkish authorities, it is now possible to describe and illustrate the post-classical remains of Hierapolis of Phrygia. The book first explores a number of themes, from the changing environment to religion and agriculture, as well as discussing objects that illustrate day to day life in the medieval town. An itinerary then guides the visitor to the site with detailed information on things to be seen, from the monumental remains of the cathedral, the shrine of St. Philip and the castle, to more humble tenth century Byzantine houses and the remains of early Turkish farms on the hills above the town. The book concludes with a glossary and a select bibliography.

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