Southwestern Turkey is the location of one its most popular tourist destinations, not only in modern times but those of antiquity as well. The town of Pamukkale was known in ancient times a Hierapolis, dating back 2000 years. Many came to enjoy its calcite rich thermal springs. The result is a captivating cascade of white limestone and travertine terraces with pools filled with aquamarine mineral waters. The Turkish name “Pamukkale” translates into “cotton castle”, as this is what the terraces appear to be. This area was so sought after that the Greco-Romans founded Hierapolis nearby. It was renown as a city that drew people from all over seeking out health and beauty benefits.
Today, tourists still flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site to see the cotton castles for themselves and dip a toe into the warm waters. Hierapolis’ is now a place of ancient ruins and a museum. It would seem that the ruins are often in the shadow of the terraces but history buffs many want to spend some time meandering about the old areas. As with many tourist sights do expect crowds as it is a popular day trip. Be aware that some of the pools have dried up or not as full as one may expect. I can see from looking at photos why many wish to make a sojourn here. When I return to Turkey at some point I plan to make Pamukkale a definite stopover.