Pamukkale has it all. The perfect culmination of Turkey’s rich history and natural beauty, it is definitely a must-see attraction here. There is so much to do that when I went, I had no idea how to plan my day there! Here is a guideline on how you can enjoy the best of Pamukkale and make it one of your most memorable visits.
First, you need to know what to bring. My suggested packing list includes a bathing suit, sunscreen, water, snacks or lunch (the food there is not a great representation of delicious Turkish dishes), sandals, sunglasses, hat, towel, some money, and your camera. I would suggest wearing light clothing to survive the heat along with a pair of comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. The numerous changing rooms and showers provide for plenty of wardrobe change opportunities.
I suggest starting the day with a visit to the travertines after dropping your stuff off at one of the lockers by Cleopatra’s Pool. With just your camera in tow, if you go early enough in the day, you will be able to see one of the most unique natural landscapes that Turkey has to offer before it becomes too crowded. This is the most picturesque location at Pamukkale, and you do not want hoards of strangers in your photos! Also, since you must take off your shoes before walking along these rock formations, there are less dirty feet for you to look at earlier in the day. That is always a plus.
Next, you should check out all of the historical ruins and optional additional museums. It is no surprise that there is not a shortage of ancient cities in Turkey, and Hierapolis is one of them. You can see ancient baths and amphitheatres, as well as pay an additional small fee to enter the different museums to see smaller artifacts and tombs and such. Be prepared for quite a bit of walking around, or for those lazy and desperate enough, pay an extra couple of lira to one of the numerous shuttle buses going round.
Finally, finish off your day with a dip in Cleopatra’s Pool. This was perhaps my favorite part of the day. Don’t expect a refreshing experience to cool you off from the day’s heat. On the contrary, the pool feels more like a lot of people urinated in it. Don’t let that visual scare you off, as this is some of the cleanest and healthiest water. There are so many natural vitamins and minerals that do amazing wonders for the skin. However, if you want to swim amongst the ancient ruins that litter the pool (as well as tons of other tourists), be prepared that it costs an additional 30 Turkish lira. After your swim, you can lounge by the cafe or work on your tan on one of the many lounge chairs. For those who want to take their relaxation the extra mile, why not pay to have some fish eat your feet?
There are plenty of things to see and do at Pamukkale. Plan to spend a relaxing day here, which will provide a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of all the other touristic sites Turkey has to offer.
Has anyone been to Pamukkale? What was your favorite part?