If you ever make it to Turkey, there’s one thing you should visit no matter what: Pamukkale. This is one of nature’s wonders and no photos in the world can actually describe its beauty and the level of awe you feel when you get to experience it live, first hand. Pamukkale is the perfect place to visit in Turkey and one of the top destinations in the world.
Yes, I loved it that much and I am sure anybody would. Top stuff here and we’re going to find out more about this beautiful natural wonder that we should visit in Turkey.
The truth is that Turkey is fabulous. Turkey is safe. Turkey is safe for women traveling alone. And it’s absolutely beautiful! It’s a stunner worthy of a jaw-drop!
And not only because it has some of the most fabulous and extravagant five star (or above) resorts in the world, where you will be treated like a king or queen or royal family. No, it also has the history and beautiful natural wonders to round up an already complex and amazing experience.
I’m going to be sharing quite a bit about Turkey’s splendor – since this is one of my favorite vacation spots in the world – but let’s begin with one of the first things I was able to experience: Pamukkale. I first saw it during a visit to Kusadasi – followed by a couple of hours of driving to this beautiful place, and it was all worth it!
Seriously, how cool IS this place?
Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s best, well-known and frequently visited natural sites, and the name literally means “cotton castle.” Now, it’s not actually made out of cotton, but calcium carbonate, which is science for “white chalky stuff.” Turquoise, travertine pools break up the white landscape, and offer up a nice break from the heat. Find a pool and hang out for a bit. Since I visited during the summer it was super busy… and frankly offered some excellent people watching.
Walking up and around the pools is buttloads of fun, but be sure to stop and look back every so often. The views of the town and surrounding area are phenomenal.
The place itself is absolutely beautiful and being there is even more beautiful than the beautiful-est (ahem!) of photos. Really, it’s a truly remarkable experience, with or without crowds and you will find it difficult to believe that nature alone was able to create such an amazing place.
How to get to Pamukkale
There are tons of tours and offers taking you there, so if you stay in a hotel – or even if you don’t – you can easily find an agency that will handle everything for you. We had a whole day trip that included Pamukkale and dinner to nearby Pam Thermal Hotel (another attraction in its own, and a 5 star resort as well, perfect for a swim in the thermal waters).
But if you want to do it yourself, it’s not difficult either! You can get to Denizli (the largest city that’s just a stone’s throw away from Pamukkale) from basically any Turkish city you fancy if you’re traveling via Turkey’s drool-worthy bus system.
Despite what tour operators tell you, the normal buses do not take you directly to Pamukkale. Don’t be too shocked when you arrive in Denizli, because it’s not exactly the most charming of towns at first glance.
Once you get to the bus station find a dolmuş (a smaller, local bus) to Pamukkale. There will be plenty, but if you’re confused just approach someone and ask for the “dole-mush to Pam-ooo-kahl-ay?” You’ll probably get the exact pronunciation a bit off, but they’ll get the point. It’s obviously the main attraction in the area.
Once you cough up approximately 3 TL (Turkish lira) and travel 20 kilometers out of town, your eyes will be assaulted by one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen. Walk toward it, pay the entrance fee (20 TL), take off your shoes, and wander around happily.
Here are some Pamukkale trip tips
– You might want to bring sunglasses. White is bright.
– Sunscreen is vital. At least for pasty white (and already sunburnt) people. Like me.
– If you’re doing a day trip to Pamukkale before taking a night bus elsewhere, the Denizli bus station has luggage storage. Find the ticket office and ask around until someone there finally gives up and helps you.
– Spend some time wandering around Pamukkale’s other offerings, like the Roman amphitheater of Hierapolis (it’s at the top of the travertines, so no excuses) and the actual town which holds a lot of local Turkish charm.
– My final recommendation would be to visit this beautiful place during the summer. Or at least when the weather is decent enough so that you can fully enjoy it under the sun (so between May – mid October, but you could get lucky with early November too).
Of all the places I’ve seen, Pamukkale is one of the most special ones. Maybe because it was also one of the first things I’ve seen when I started traveling, but you still can’t ignore its beauty and jaw-dropping impressiveness. And trust me, again, when I tell you that it feels a lot better to actually be there and walk around the cotton castle than to look at photos. It’s a must see!