If you are bored with the same old tourist destinations of snowclad mountains, gurgling streams, mesmerizing waterfalls, lush green forests, and all, it is time to visit something that literally seems out of this world. Welcome to the fascinating thermal pools at Pamukkale. Wondering exactly where is Pamukkale thermal pools are located? They are in a town in the Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey.
The rich white blanket on the hillside that you will find as you reach Pamukkale has been formed by the mineral-rich thermal waters cascading down the travertine formations for eons. The precipitation of carbonate minerals from calcite-rich springs, slowly dripping down the mountainside, has given rise to the shimmering, snow-white limestone. Little wonder the place is called Pamukkale, Turkish for ‘cotton castle’. More incredible is the legend surrounding it that considers it solidified cotton that giants left out to dry!
The Pamukkale natural thermal pools in Turkey, located in the River Menderes Valley in the inner Aegean region, are certainly massive, measuring about 2,700 meters (8,860 feet) long, 600 meters (1,970 feet) wide, and 160 meters (525 feet) high. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This wonder of nature has attracted people since time immemorial. In fact, around 190 BC, the ancient Romans had already founded a spa city in Hierapolis or the Holy City. The city included a well-preserved theater and a 2-kilometer-long (1.24-mile-long) necropolis with sarcophagi. It also has The Antique Pool that was the spiritual center of the spa city.
The city of Hierapolis became a famous healing center where patients were bathed in thermal springs as a treatment for their ailments. However, during the rule of Emperor Tiberius in 17 AD, a massive earthquake destroyed the city. In modern times, the site has become a major tourist attraction. The modern Pamukkale offers artificial thermal pools, sightseeing at well-preserved Roman ruins, and a museum. The visitors can also use a small footpath to go up to the mountain face, but not on the travertine terraces that are off-limits.
The good part is it is easy to reach this location. All you need to do is to reach Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, and take a flight from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Denizli, just around 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) to Pamukkale town. So, if you want to enjoy the thermal springs or immerse yourself in the Pamukkale thermal pools history, Turkey is where you should head for.