Snow-white travertines of Pamukkale - a thermal spa in Turkey

If you are going to Pamukkale by aircraft, you will disembark at Denizli Cardak Airport. Denizli city center is also a 1-hour from Çardak Airport. Before buying your aviation ticket, we say that you should compare the prices for air tickets of different airline companies.

Hotels and Houses in Pamukkale

To be frank, we discovered both the prices and the quality of benefits in Pamukkale in the mindset that “after all, the same tourist will not come here again”. Everything from the market to the restaurant is above market prices. In some businesses, you may be unhappy in terms of taste, price, and service. There are 2 options,

  1. You will obtain your own meals and you will not stay overnight in Pamukkale,
  2. You will accept your fate for a day. The lodgings in Pamukkale are generally businesses that provide thermal services. If you want, choose to stay in Denizli and come and move from here for a day.

Pamukkale is a very rich region in terms of thermal water. Already Pamukkale has been used as a spa/healing center for 2300 years. In fact, it had a great impact on the fact that the old city of Hierapolis, right next to it, was a rich and influential city. People from different geographies come here to find healing or to retire from rich bosses to complete their lives here. It is currently known to be good for some dry and itchy skin diseases. Our local private English-speaking tour guides will tell you exactly which places are better to visit and at what time. They will also arrange an exciting excursion program for you if you get bored staying every day in the mineral water swimming pool. It is these mineral waters and the ingredients that give Pamukkale its white appearance. The temperature of the waters in the region varies between 35 and 100. When it comes into contact with oxygen, the calcium carbonate in the moisture reacts and precipitates. This is the sediment we feel under our feet in the travertines. Over time, this gel-like sediment hardens and forms travertines. In the same way, it begins to cover the places it flows over.

To put it more scientifically: Thermal water rich in Calcium Hydrocarbonate comes into contact with oxygen when it comes to the surface, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide in the water fly away with this contact, and only Calcium Carbonate remains. The precipitated Calcium Carbonate accumulates over time and solidifies (because this precipitation is in the form of gel at first), forming travertines. You can find a total of 17 thermal water springs from 36 and 99 C, the waters travel an standard of 240-300 meters until they come out of the spring and pour into the area where they form the travertines, and over time they paint the places they pass through.

Efforts to Preserve Pamukkale Travertines

Pamukkale Travertines, as you presumably know, is the second natural protected area in Turkey, like Cappadocia, on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. If UNESCO gives this title, it also expects it to be protected in the best way, and always checks the compliance of the practices with the book. In short, he gives the title and does not let go. In fact, if the protection criteria are not met, those places are even removed from the list. Those who lose this title both become a great fund and their tourism potential decreases.

In the late 80's early 90's, when Pamukkale entered the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and started to make a name around the world, travertines fell victim to the unconscious appetites that wanted to grab a share from the shining tourism. The pollution caused by the hotels built at the bottom of Pamukkale, the pollution of underground waters, wrong zoning permits, the fact that the visitors, which are increasing day by day, travel on the calcium layers that have not yet solidified and prevent them from accumulating properly, have darkened Pamukkale. As Pamukkale got dark, we landed.

The hotel part was resolved in the 90s. Until 20 years ago, the hotels were almost inside the Pamukkale Travertines. However, when the snow-white color of the travertines started to fade with the resulting air pollution, the state removed the zoning permit for the travertines and the resorts in the region. For this reason, spa tourism resorts are located a few kilometers downstream from the travertines.

There are also new regulations for visitors. When you come here, you can no longer enter the terraces of the travertines. You are slipping on your legs and you are stepping barefoot in the part reserved only for you. Those who wish can still swim or sit on the travertines. On a few terraces, you can experience hot water being open, but when you look at the general, you can no longer enjoy thermal water wherever you want as before. Of course, this is an appropriate precaution to ensure that the World Heritage Site is not lost.

Another precaution was the transition to a controlled water drainage system by Pamukkale Municipality. It is not for the benefit of travertines that the water is pouring non stop into the same location. Because the water that is poured into the same place for a long time also causes algae and yellowing. Temperature, weather conditions, spread, and duration of flow are also important factors in maintaining whiteness rather than the amount of water.

In addition, the travertines and access to the Hierapolis region were also rearranged in line with UNESCO protection sanctions. For example, private vehicles are not allowed to enter the area except in emergencies. The municipality has started public transportation services from the center to here. Vehicle access and exits to the area have been removed from the travertines.

Pamukkale Travertines Transportation and Tips

With your personal vehicle you have to go north from Denizli Center on the D585 road to Pamukkale.

Public transportation

To reach here, you can grab Pamukkale minibusses from the Denizli bus station.

Entrance Fee to Pamukkale Travertines

Travertines, Hierapolis Old City, and Age-old Pool is in the same complex. Admission to Müzekart is free. This fee contains the entire Pamukkale and Hierapolis Old City and watching the Ancient Pool If you want to swim in the Antique Pool, which you should certainly not miss, you need to make a separate payment to swim in the pool and the museum card is not accepted. If you just want to swim, you have to buy a ticket, otherwise, there is no entrance fee to the poolside facility just to see and photograph Don't go without seeing it.

IMPORTANT REMINDER! Museum Card holders have the right to enter the Hierapolis Ancient City and Pamukkale Travertines twice a year and Müzekart holders have unlimited access to Pamukkale Travertines Visit Days and Hours.

The ruins are open every day of the week. Only the gallery part is closed on Mondays Normally, Hierapolis Old City and Pamukkale Travertines open at 8.00 in summer and winter, and close at 21.00 between April and October, and at 17.00 between November and March.

Pamukkale TRAVERTINES Denizli

We would like to say with joy that Pamukkale is white again. Excited, mesmerized children like us are swimming in it again. The feeling of that thin white sediment leaking between our fingers while stepping on the travertines is etched in our memories again…

  • Adempira Thermal Spa Hotel is an option where you can share the feeling of renewal coming from the mineral water in Pamukkale. The facility has a Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, salt room, thermal reservoirs, outdoor pool, and massage facilities.
  • Richmond Pamukkale Thermal is highly priced compared to other lodgings in Pamukkale. The spa has thermal services, spa, spa, and an indoor pool. Breakfast is incorporated into the price. It has the usual rooms for 2-3 people.
  • Venus Hotel is a bed-and-breakfast hotel option with a pool and a garden in Pamukkale. The rooms have wifi, tv, and air conditioning. Pets are also accepted.
  • Melrose House Melrose House is also a hotel with a pool, offering double chambers in Pamukkale. It serves breakfast enclosed. Pets are accepted. Rooms have wifi, tv, and air conditioning.

Camping in Pamukkale

You can tow your caravan for 7 days to Tepe Camping in Honaz, which is connected to Pamukkale but far from Pamukkale and have a quiet and legendary sunset and night view Prices here were very reasonable.

Is it necessary to rent a car?

Each of the places in Denizli and Pamukkale is a separate place. All areas to visit are outside the center. Thus, if you are going to tour Denizli properly, you must have a car, or you can hire a local private tour guide with his own transport to tour and get around the region.

But take this list of necessary supplies in your plastic packaging, because you will have to take off your clothes, including shoes, and you can take the bag with you:

  • Towels for swimming in the pool.
  • Bag for wet swimsuits.
  • Your museum card or your ID to issue
  • We recommend that you bring your water and food 

There are 2 cafes inside the complex. The one with the travertine view only has sandwiches and drinks. There are also hamburgers, doner kebabs, and tuna salads at the Antique Poolside. But the food is mediocre and expensive. 

Don't miss these while you're in Pamukkale and do not go away from here without seeing the old Phrygian city of Hierapolis, you can hire a local private English-speaking tour guide who will arrange an exciting short excursion around the ruins and later he will bring you directly to the entrance of a swimming area., which is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, just behind the Pamukkale Travertines.

The 23-century Ancient Pool also understood as the “Cleopatra Pool” in the Old City of Hierapolis, is one of the most unmissable experiences. Just 5 km away the ancient city of Laodikeia is still standing and is an impressive place. Let's face it, a spa holiday is not for us at all, but we would not have written because Karahayıt Thermal Springs 5 kilometers away from here is one of the famous places of Denizli. You can watch Denizli from the top with Microlight However, you will be able to watch diagonally as flying over the travertines is prohibited. There is also paragliding, but our preference is microlight.


Of course, we still have a lot of places to explore, but it seems to us that we have had one of the most extraordinary swimming experiences in the world. This is the Old Pool aka the Cleopatra Pool in Hierapolis, which dates from the 2nd century BC Under the protection of UNESCO the protected area in the World Cultural Heritage List is located in the antique city of Hierapolis, just above the Pamukkale Travertines. It is a wonderful experience to experience such a precious heritage in such a special way. By the way, we've just deleted this one from our list of things to do before we die!

Formation of Hierapolis Ancient reservoir

In the 7th century AD, an quake dug a hole in the middle of the city, grabbed the beautiful columns of the city, and hurled them into it, and this Ancient Pool was formed when the free thermal waters filled it. Even his story made us say wow. Since Hierapolis and its surroundings were like a health center spa even during the Roman Empire Period, it has been a common belief since that time that the water of the Ancient Pool was good for some skin and circulation problems. For this reason, it is out of the question that such a natural, healing, and at the same time aesthetic pool is not popular. But what popularity! It is claimed that even the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra heard the praise of this reservoir and came to it. Since the pool is provided by thermal waters, the winter and summer temperatures are exactly 36 degrees, which is the optimal body temperature. So now think about the pleasure of the pool in winter!

Transportation to Hierapolis Old Pool

With your private vehicle you are going north from the center of Denizli on the D585 road towards Pamukkale. Public transportation To reach here, you can take Pamukkale minibusses from the Denizli bus station.

Hierapolis Antique Pool Visit Days and Hours

The ruins and the reservoir are open every day of the week. Normally, the Old City of Hierapolis, Pamukkale Travertines, and the Antique Pool open at 8.00 in summer and winter, and close at 21.00 from April to October, and at 17.00 from November to March. 

Plan Your Day Like This

While you're at it, you should visit your entire ruin area, which includes Pamukkale Travertines and the Old Hierapolis. All are beautiful and special. The entrance fee already covers them all. You need to allocate 4-5 hours for such a cost. Save the travertines for last, because the colors are wonderful at sunset and it is very enjoyable to say goodbye to the sun from the travertines. First, you discover the antique city of Hierapolis. This takes a minimum of 1, and a maximum of 2 hours, depending on how involved and how hard you are tired. Then get dressed and undress in the Ancient Pool, you will spend 1-1.5 hours when you say swimming. You can spend the day in the travertines. If you are going to implement this program, enter the area from the south gate. Pamukkale is also popular in the field of health tourism! Many legends about Pamukkale Travertines, which have been told since ancient times, have come to this time by being circulated among the people. These legends are quoted below:

Legend 1: In Pamukkale, formerly known as Hierapolis, there lived a very handsome shepherd named Endymion. Endymion, who fell in love with the Moon Goddess Selene, reunited with her lover Selene in the area where the travertines are today. According to legend, Endymion, who quit his job with the love of reunion and forgot to milk his cows, also noticed that the milk that came out of the cows formed the white travertines of today.

Legend 2: Once upon a time, there lived an ugly shepherd girl in Hierapolis. This girl was so ugly that she couldn't look in the mirror, and that's why she cried every day. Shepherd's daughter, who one day thought that she could not bear this situation any longer and decided to commit suicide, left herself in the waters of Hierapolis, the region where the travertines are located today. At the same moment, a horse prince passing by noticed the Shepherd girl who was about to drown in the water and rescued her. The shepherd girl, who was very angry at this situation, was angry with the prince for saving her. The prince said, "I can't understand why such a beautiful girl would want to kill herself." The girl, who was astonished by this answer, was very surprised when she looked at her reflection in the water. Because the healing waters of Hierapolis turned Shepherd's girl into a beautiful fairy girl.


Address: Merkez, 20190, Pamukkale/Denizli

Working hours:

(Summer Term) 08.00 21.00

(Winter Period) 09.00 17.00

The museum part is closed on Mondays.

(Hours and days may change due to Covid-19)

Entrance fees: Pamukkale Travertines: 60 TL or 3 euros

Cleopatra Antique Pool: 50 TL or 2.75 EU

Museum card holders can visit these points for free twice a year. Muzekart+ holders can enter free of charge all year without any restrictions. Pamukkale's star, the Ancient Cleopatra reservoir, has a long history of 2,500 years. The antique thermal reservoir, found in the upper part of the travertines, within the borders of the Old City of Hierapolis, draws attention as one of the iconic touristic headquarters of Denizli as well as the star of Pamukkale.

Cleopatra Pool, which attracts the attention of millions of visitors, takes its name from the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, as you can guess. So, what kind of connection is there between Cleopatra and Pamukkale? That is to say, in various myths, it is mentioned that Cleopatra swam in this ancient pool.

Why should I go? 

It is estimated that the reservoir was formed naturally in the quake in AD 692, with the collapse of the columns and the accumulation of thermal water. Cleopatra Pool, which has a water of 36С in all four seasons of the year, is fed from a natural thermal source. Thus, thermal water is supposed to be healing. It is said that the pool heals many ailments such as rheumatism, cardiovascular diseases, paralysis, skin, and nervous diseases. Drinking water from its source is believed to cure stomach and intestinal disorders.

Tourists entering the Cleopatra Pool, which offers bathing opportunities in all seasons, say that even in the summer months when the temperature is increased, the pool draws people in and relaxes them psychologically. Cleopatra Pool, where you can have a wonderful swimming experience among antique ruins and historical columns, is visited by an average of 2,500 people a day during the summer months. This figure can drop to 400 in the winter season. Don't miss out!

Access to the Ancient Cleopatra Pool by private vehicle is provided via the D-585 highway. You can reach the pool by continuing to the north of the D-585 highway and following the Pamukkale/ Hierapolis signs along the road. In addition, it is possible to reach the pool by public transportation vehicles such as Pamukkale minibusses departing from Denizli Bus Station.

The fee charged for bathing in the Cleopatra Pool is 32 TL for adults and 13 TL for children between the ages of 7 and 12; There is no charge for children aged 0-6 years. However, since the pool in question is found within the Hierapolis Ruins, a separate payment is required at the city entrance. The visit fee to the Ancient City of Hierapolis is 80 TL. Therefore, by paying 112 TL in total (or 5,5 euros), you can see the ancient city and swim in the Cleopatra Pool. There is no need to pay a fee just to see the pool and take photos, not to float in the thermal pool. Finally: Those who have Müzekart or Müzekart can visit the Old Hierapolis for free twice a year.


Address: Kale Mah. 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli

Working hours:

Summer Period (14 April 3 October) 06.00 21.00

Winter Term (3 October 14 April) 09.00 20.00

Open every day (hours and days may change due to Covid-19)


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