The terraces of the place are made out of travertine, a sedimentary rock that is deposited by water. There are 17 hot springs in Pamukkale with temperature ranging from 95°F to 212°F. According to many, the water provides cure against asthma and rheumatism. Water also brings benefits to the skin, eyes, helps recover from high blood pressure, kidney stones, stroke, physical exhaustion, digestive maladies and nutritional disorders.
Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in Turkish), homage to a local legend. This myth details that the terraces are actually a waterfall made from cotton (which is the principal crop of the local area), which was left out to dry by giants in years gone by.
The terraces stretch over an area that is 1.7 miles long by 0.4 miles wide and 160 metres high. It can be seen from 12 miles away in the area’s major city, Denizli.
Pamukkale is on the western rim of the vast Anatolian plateau, around 120 miles east of the popular Aegean resort cum cruise ship port of Kusadasi, near Ephesus. The easiest way to visit under your own steam is to take a car – the drive takes around three hours from Kusadasi, four from Antalya and Marmaris, five from Bodrum.
The best time to visit Pamukkale is either early in the morning or in the late afternoon. This isn’t just to avoid the heat of the day and the crowds, but also for better light for your photographs. The white calcite of the terraces drains all colour. Hierapolis, the ancient city that has always been home to the travertines of Pamukkale. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
You can bath, as the Romans once did, in a picturesque thermal Sacred Pool filled with warm, mineral rich waters and swim among submerged columns and other great ancient artifacts.
During the Roman period, columned porticoes surrounded the pool; earthquakes toppled them into the water where they lie today.
In 1988, Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site. To protect the site, access to terraces is limited and visitors must follow the main pathway. Small pools are the only ones allowed for swimming and bathing in order to protect the thermal waters.