Indulge your body and your soul.
One of the Turkey’s most spectacular wonders of nature has been beguiling visitors for thousands of years. The attraction is Pamukkale, known as the “CottonCastle,” formed of hardened calcium carbonate sediments that over time have created a mountainous cascade of blinding white travertine pools, continually fed by mineral rich underground springs.
Yet if ancients arrived to enjoy the vision of a pure white massif, they soon discovered the more than 17 hot springs, a natural resource considered so sacred that the site was renowned long before it became a World Heritage Site in 1988. By 190 BC, Pergamum’s King Eumenes II was so seduced by its charms that he established the city of Hieropolos atop the summit of the travertines. The city was considered so important that it was endowed with an ancient theater second only to the ones at Ephesus and Aspendos, and is attributed as the place where St. Philip was martyred. Even its Necropolis is remarkable, representing a mile long elegy in stone featuring duplex mausoleums, cylindrical drum tumuli and remarkable sarcophagi.
Today, travelers from all over the world continue to arrive to partake in the sublime and beneficial delights of the area’s thermal pools, while also steeping in a bit of history and local culture. The Sacred Pool at the summit of the Pamukkale Plateau offers guests the opportunity to sample the healing waters much as the ancients did – surrounded by tumbled columns and hot bubbly.
If you forget your swimsuit, fret not, as the entire region of Denizli in which Pamukkale is located is a dynamic center of textile production, and the perfect place to pick up a plush set of Turkish towels or a luxurious terry cloth bathrobe.