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A sight to behold: Pamukkale

I wonder who called it travel and not therapy, or if the word travel and therapy were supposed to be same but we divided it for our convenience. Anyways, for me travel is like therapy. The quest to explore new places, rejuvenates the mind and body. The world has so much in store for the traveler souls. One such beautiful country to explore is Turkey. Climb the mountains, swim in the warm seas, fly in an air balloon, explore the vibrant art and culture, savor the amazing food, there is so much to do in Turkey. But, there is something you cannot miss on your visit to Turkey: Pamukkale. The beautiful city of Pamukkale looks like a white palace with crystal clear pools. Apparently, pamuk means ‘cotton’ in Turkish, so Pamukkale is the ‘cotton castle’ of Turkey. Let’s tell you more about this wonderful place.

What’s Pamukkale all about?

The beautiful city of Pamukkale is like a poetry of nature. It is embroidered with several terrestrial sedimentary rocks called travertines formed by hot springs and warm pools. The place is also a historical site as the ruins of the roman city of Hierapolis lies on it’s vicinity. The Roman baths( now turned into a museum), temples and other ancient monuments are a delight to watch. You cannot miss the large amphitheater, the Byzantine Church and Temple of Apollo. Later, take a relaxing swim in the sacred Antique Pool. Legends suggest that Queen Cleopatra herself bathed in these pools, so it is also known as the Cleopatra pools.

While on your visit to Pamukkale, there are certain things you need to consider. It is advisable to walk on the travertine path, starting from the south gate. In order to preserve the delicate calcite deposits from eroding or staining, shoes and sandals are prohibited, so remember to carry a bag to keep your shoes. If you wish to dive in the aquamarine pools on the way and the Antique pools at the top of the terraces, don’t forget to carry your swimsuit and a towel. So, pack accordingly.

Apart from site-seeing and swimming, you can also enjoy other recreational activities, such as Paragliding, boat ride or fly over Pamukkale in a gyrocopter flight or a hot air balloon. You can enjoy the Turkish delicacies at the restaurants situated at the brink of the city, such as Mehmet’s Heaven, Kayas Wine House, Lamuko’s Lokanta and Kale Hotel.

Nature at it’s best

The milky white calcium terraces called travertines flow down the Menderes Valley, making it look exquisite during sunset. This geological formation is based on 17 main hot water springs erupting from Cal Mountain. They are also the source of the calcium carbonate which is deposited on the surface of these travertines. These travertines were formed by the shifting of a fault in the Menderes valley centuries ago.  As the fault shifted, a lot of hot springs erupted in the region. These hot springs were rich in minerals such as calcium and hydrogen carbonate which reacted to form calcium carbonate and limestone. This is why the travertines are white as cotton. Thus, the beautiful travertines of Pamukkale were formed by a unique chemistry of science and nature.

Beautiful and Significant!

The city stands on the ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman city of Hierapolis which was a center of art and philosophy once. Hieropolis was destroyed by the Persian army in 7th Century A.D. It was a famous Byzantine spa city in the ancient times. So, Pamukkale is a historical site as well as a natural wonder. Since 1988, it has been treasured as a World Heritage Site.

The place is a masterpiece of nature. A visit to Pamukkale feels like a trip to fairy land. So, if you have the soul of a traveler, there is no way you can miss this beautiful destination. It is indeed a treat to the eye and the soul. Like I said earlier, it’s therapeutic. Explore other options for your next vacation, here.


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