Pamukkale travertine terraces is one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey. Every year over 1.5 million tourists visit this paradise. It is often referred as the 8th Wonder of World and once you get to Pamukkale, you will understand the reason behind that. It is a spectacular sight that looks made out of snow or cotton. The literal meaning of Pamukkale in Turkish is “Cotton Castle”. Pamukkale terraces is right next to ancient Roman city Hierapolis and it used to be health center in ancient times. It is still visited for both travel and health purposes.
Pamukkale travertine terraces are formed by the hot water that comes from its foundation that is 320 metres away from terraces. After the water leaves thermal springs, it is carried it by a 320 meter long canal to Pamukkale terraces and the water falls into terraces and forms the travertines. This water comes out at 35.6°C and highly contains calcium carbonate. This formation, initially, is very soft and it can be damaged so easily. Over time, the formation gets stronger and forms the travertine terraces as we see today. That’s why today, tourists won’t be allowed to go down parts of Pamukkale because walking on them will be damaging the formation and whiteness of terraces.
World Heritage Site
Unesco declared Pamukkale and Hierapolis as a World Heritage Site in 1988. Since there’s only one Pamukkale in the world, it’s important to protect such a nature wonder. Couple of decades, it was allowed to go into terraced pools of Pamukkale. However, walking on damaged the formation and whiteness of travertines. That being said, there are pools at the top of Pamukkale terraces and it’s allowed to swim and relax in them. You can also swim in Antique Pool which is 5 minute walking from travertines.
Pamukkale is located in southwestern Turkey and it’s in Denizli region. It’s just 20 km away from Denizli City Center. You can use buses from many cities and tourist attractions to get to to Pamukkale. Train option is available if you are coming from Izmir, Selcuk or Adnan Menderes Airport. You can also fly to Denizli from Istanbul, via Denizli Cardak Airport. You can find detailed information here.