Pamukkale showcases the natural beauty of the Turkish south west. The name Pamukkale translates to “Cotton Fortress” or “Cotton Castle” in English. The city is 15kms north of Denizli and excursions from Marmaris to Pamukkale takes at least two hours. The city is famous for its natural mineral rich spas. Pamukkale is a part of Hierapolis.
Hierapolis was founded by the Ancient Romans as the spring city due to the naturally available springs over there. The first built pool by the Romans can still be found. The pool is enclosed in a marble façade. The Temple of Apollo, now in ruins, is also visible at Pamukkale. After being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in the 1960s, many premium hotels and roadways were demolished from the hill top to preserve the site. Nowadays, there is only one path through the hill top and it is prohibited by law to freely roam the area. One can take a rejuvenating dip into the hot springs of Pamukkale for a small fee and wearing any footwear is not allowed.
Pamukkale is on the way to the ancient city of Ephesus from Marmaris and is a great place to stop at on your quest to explore the ancient ruins of the great Greeks in Ephesus. When at Pamukkale, you should visit the town, Laodicea, Karahayit and the Plateau. The plateau is where the springs are located, the little town of Pamukkale has many small hotels and can be visited to taste some authentic Turkish delights.
Laodicea can be visited while on a Pamukkale tour, it is located 20mins to the East of Pamukkale and contains many artefacts from the Early Bronze age. The then king Antiochus II named this city after his wife and is also numbered in the Seven Churches of Revelation. Being set in a major earthquake zone, Laodicea was totally wiped out in the 1300s, after that it were only used as fields for cultivation. Excavation in the 1900s revealed many ancient theatres. Most of the city is still yet to be recovered but it is a well worthy visit due to its biblical significance.
Karahayit is a small village to the North of Pamukkale. The hotels which were on top of the Pamukkale calcium plateaus were shifted here. Most of the 5 star hotels and spas from across the world are located in this town. There is a very interesting red calcium fountain located beside the main mosque of the town.