Snow-white limestone travertine
Pamukkale is one of the biggest tourist magnets all over Turkey. Due to the volcanic break well here mineral springs rich in calcium up to the surface, which created for thousands of years the stunning scenery of snow-white terraces with pools and small cascades. This place was popular already in ancient Rome and over the hill arose spa town whose ruins have been preserved to this day. It is strictly forbidden to enter to natural lakes, but there are also artificial pools, today fortunately also covered with white limestone, so you can also have a bathe in them.
Pamukkale from below
White travertine hill Pamukkale is already visible from far. When descending from the mountains to Denizli and stop at the lookout, you will ask yourselves „is the white place on the horizon already Pamukkale?“ And it is.
Pamukkale town was originally a farming village in the fertile valley. Nowadays there are a lot of shops with tourist souvenirs and restaurants – some surprisingly for acceptable money, even those just a short walk from the entrance. There are two official entrances – one mainly for the locals under the hill and the second one (commercial / bus one) on the hill on the edge of ruin Hiearopolis.
If you are traveling on your own and arrive relatively early, so you can park directly under the hill near the park with lakes fed by water from the mineral springs of Pamukkale. Then you have no choice but to ascent up the hill to the entrance gate. The first impression of the place might not be totally awesome – pools and generally too commercially-cultivated area under travertine probably will not catch your heart.
Pools in Pamukkale
At first glance you can see that travel agencies do not enter from the lower entrance gate, since the density of visitors here is significantly lower than at the top. But even this line fills up during the, because there are artificial swimming pools.
At the entrance you have to take your shoes off and the guardians closely monitor it. If you forget sunglasses, you will suffer as the bright light reflects off the ubiquitous surface and burns a lot.
Artificial swimming pools
When artificial swimming pools have been built years ago, the visitors were shocked that this natural miracle will be spoilt. But after years most of the concrete is already „overgrown“ with limestone and it does not look so terrible.
There are several swimming pools with slimy limestone mud along the ascent path from the entrance gate to Hiearopolis and they are about one meter deep.
Along the ascent path flows in the gutter small „river“ – favorite place for refreshment of most visitors to Pamukkale.
Just before the end of ascent path are finally visible the beautiful natural lakes.
View across the lakes
Across the lakes you can see almost the whole town and lake with an island, on which there are a lot of boats and pedal boats.
Lakes from the west
The biggest crowds are at the top of the ascent path – visitors of Pamukkale encounter here with people visiting Hiearopolis ruins. Therefore, it is surprising that only a few tens meters beside in the park there is virtually nobody. The views of the lakes are much better from here than from the ascent path.
Dried up lakes
The way through the park is interesting also due to several views of the countryside. Right at the beginning you will be surprised by the vast area of dried travertine – is not the reason of lack of water the stream that carries water down to the swimming pools?
The landscape around Pamukkale
You can see already from the park that the area is a little more spacious than it first appears. The surrounding hills have between 600 to 800 meters above sea level.
Travertines from the east
The best view of the entire Pamukkale is from the east – it is really worth to stop and enjoy. You will forgive here even the crazy crowds, which you are part of.
The path with pools
It is here even more crowded during the afternoon – also tourists from organized tours want to freshen up.
Lake in the picnic park
There is nothing better after a visit to Pamukkale than to buy a kebab in one of the many local restaurants, sit in the local park and relax lakeside under Pamukkale.
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