Turkey is best known for its many ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites. However, the huge calcium formations at Pamukkale are a marvelous natural phenomenon and well worth the 3-hour (115 mile) drive from Kusadasi
. The calcium formations have a very distinct shape, and it's no surprise that Pamukkale means "Cotton Castle". This UNESCO World Heritage site also includes the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis, which was built by the kings of Pergamon in the second century B.C. to take advantage of the hot springs and mineral waters. The area has been a World Heritage site since 1988.
Arriving at the site via car or bus, the gleaming white cliffs can be seen from quite a distance away. The warm mineral waters cascading over the cliffs deposited the calcium that can be seen today. These fascinating cliffs and the travertine pools formed by the geothermal activity are similar to those seen at Yellowstone National Park in the USA and the calcium terraces near Rotorua, New Zealand.
I visited Pamukkale and Hierapolis while on a Louis Cruises and Karavan Travel cruise tour that included a 4-night cruise on the Louis Cristal and a land tour of Turkey with stopovers in Istanbul, Izmir, Pergamon, Pamukkale, and Kusadasi.
Photo Tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis, Turkey
- Overview of World Heritage Site in Turkey
- Hierapolis Cemetery (Necropolis)
- Antique Pool
- Roman Theater
- Travertine Pools
- Travertine Terraces
- Travertine Terraces Covered with Visitors
- It's Not Snow, It's Calcium!
- Colossae Spa Hotel near Pamukkale, Turkey