With its mineral-rich hot springs, the ancient Greco-Roman city with its natural phenomenal calcium cliffs, Pamukkale, is a natural site, located in Denizli, Turkey. Pamukkale literally means "cotton castle" in Turkish, which suits perfectly its amazing calcium-rich springs, that shaped its snow-white limestones over the centuries. This natural spa attracts everyone's attention since the second century BC! Its thermal, mineral-rich waters gather on top travertines and spill into milky pools on the surface, fact that makes them look like the place, where Aphrodite would actually bath in. This UNESCO World Heritage site has been a huge tourist attraction, not only for its natural pools which carry the elixir for youth, but also for its holy ancient city of Hierapolis! Well, I feel like you are booking your trip to Pamukkale right now. If so, throw away your face masks and let's explore Pamukkale together!
Of course, I had to start with Pamukkale's gorgeous travertines! This foamy, natural wonder has otherworldly terraces and travertines, formed by hot springs and streams. These hot springs are said to have healing properties due to their carbonate minerals. Because of its curative powers, this thermal bath has been an attractive "hospital" for centuries. If you have any skin problems, wounds or just want to nurture your skin, this is one of the best places to go. With a temperature of 35 °C, the mud at the bottom of every pool was assumed to be holy during the ancient Rome era. It also helps many patients, who suffer from bone and muscle diseases, neurological diseases, urinary diseases, dermatological diseases, respiratory diseases (Drinking game idea! Let's take a shot every time I say "diseases".) and more! If you also want to avoid wrinkles, cellulite or suffer from acne, you are more than welcome in Pamukkale!
This healing site has 17 pools which contain calcium, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate and fluoride. It is also said that it is drinkable, but I wouldn't force it, since these pools are visited by 1500 people per day. It is antiseptic, but you know. Even if you don't have any medical conditions, you can simply enjoy this "holy" water, pamper yourself and channel your inner God/Goddess!
Hierapolis was also founded as a thermal spa early in the 2nd century BC. This ancient city hosted many civilizations and suffered from earthquakes throughout the centuries. Since there are lot's of religious constructions, it is also known as the "Holy City". After the archeological digging, many significant structures came to light; gorgeous Byzantine gates, a theatre, temples of Apollo, Cybele, Artemis, Pluto, Poseidon and Pluto, thermal baths and an extensive necropolis. Hierapolis is also known as the emperors' retirement place, with its amazing architecture and healing waters. It is definitely worth a visit.
During the Roman Empire period, Hierapolis was a health center due to its healing waters. People used to come here and swim in the natural pools to recover their health. As I said before, Hierapolis suffered from earthquakes, but these earthquakes were also a blessing because they shaped a gorgeous natural pool, called the Cleopatra's Pool. Where this antique pool stands today, there was a temple. This temple collapsed and the ruins were filled with "holy" water, which made it possible to swim among the sites! If that won't make you feel like a Goddess, I don't know what will. The water here has also healing powers, since it contains bicarbonate, sulfate, carbon dioxide and iron. So not only you will feel like a Goddess, but also look like one!
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.