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Pamukkale

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Pamukkale: Our most recommended tours and activities

Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

1. Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

Your full day excursion begins in the early morning when you’re picked up at your Antalya hotel and begin the drive to Pamukkale. After a lunch break you’ll visit the cascading snow-white terraced cliffs of this mysterious Cotton Palace. The calcite-laden waters that had created this unreal landscape come from springs located in a 200-meter high cliff that overlooks the plain. Marvel at the mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and the series of terraced basins created by these waters. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. 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. The temples were significant trade centers for ancient Hierapolis. See the Roman theater, the Apollo temple, Roman baths, fountains and the agora. After the tour, have a chance to swim in thermal pools. An additional option is to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool, for an extra fee.

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

2. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis.  Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts.

From Antalya/Kemer: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour with Lunch

3. From Antalya/Kemer: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour with Lunch

Discover the incredible natural setting of Pamukkale and the ancient settlement of Hierapolis on a day-trip from the Antalya or Kemer region. Your guide will help you to understand the fascinating history and provide extra insight into this special area. Begin with pickup from your hotel or other accommodation in the early morning before driving for a few hours until you reach Pamukkale. The dreamlike landscape is filled with fantastic stalactites and white terraces with flowing water. The healing properties of this area have been recognized for centuries and have long attracted visitors to the area. Experience the rejuvenating and calming effect of the mineral water. In the past, even Cleopatra made the trip to experience this unique setting. The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis in Anatolia also provide spectacular views. In addition to learning about the history of this place, find out more about religion and culture in contemporary Turkey.

From Alanya: Pamukkale & Salda Lake Guided Tour

4. From Alanya: Pamukkale & Salda Lake Guided Tour

Get an early start with a pickup service around 6:00 am. Board an air-conditioned bus and stop first at a local restaurant in Korkuteli Town for breakfast. Continue driving to Salda Lake, a pristine lake surrounded by white magnesium rocks similar to ones found on Mars. Make a one-hour stop and enjoy walking along the white sandy beaches and swimming in the lake's clear turquoise waters.  After your refreshing break in the Turkish Maldives, head to Pamukkale. Stop at a local restaurant on the way and have lunch. Then get ready to see one of the world's most unique natural wonders with a 4-hour stop at Pamukkale and Hierapolis. See firsthand why the hot springs was given the name Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish. Stroll along the white calcium travertines overflowing with thermal water. Swim in Cleopatra’s Pool and explore the ruins of the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis, which include the largest necropolis in Turkey and one of the largest amphitheaters.  Then swing through Karahayit where you will have the option to swim in a thermal pool. On the way back to Alanya, stop back in Korkuteli Town for a delicious dinner. Arrive back at your hotel between 9 and 10 pm.

Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

5. Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

After being picked up between 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM from your hotel in Istanbul, you will be driven to the airport where you will catch a flight to Denizli. Meet your private guide in Denizli and make your first visit to Pamukkale.  The beautiful white cascades of Pamukkale is well worth a trip to see eye candy of a natural site. Walk through Pamukkale and find a chance to relax in the hot waters of the ancient pool. Built just above the hot spring waters of Pamukkale, Hierapolis is a mighty ancient city and a UNESCO world heritage site. Hierapolis was built in the 2nd century B.C. by the King of Pergamon and became a Roman city. The city was famous for several important sanctuaries and also as an important trade center. Hierapolis was famous for purple dye and cloth making and it is still famous for textile products. Afterwards, drive back to Denizli airport to make your flight back to Istanbul. The Istanbul tour guide will met you at the Istanbul airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul.

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

6. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

Explore the unique travertine terraces of Pamukkale (literally “Cotton Castles” in Turkish), and enjoy a full-day trip to one of Turkey’s most popular attractions. Depart Bodrum and transfer by air-conditioned coach to Pamukkale, known as the “8th Wonder of the World” to those in the know. Explore the natural landscape of limpid pools, hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale attracts some 2 million visitors every year. Get a view of the terraces from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli. Then, go to the ruins of the ancient Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis, built on top of the “Cotton Castles” in the 2nd century BC. See the remains of the Roman amphitheater, and visit the former Turkish Bath, now converted to an archaeological museum. Discover where Cleopatra used to swim, and the monumental tomb of the Christian apostle St. Philippe. Marvel at the Necropolis of Anatolia, filled with sarcophagi, most notably that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.

Pamukkale: Hot Air Balloon Flight

7. Pamukkale: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Get picked up from your hotel in Pamukkale at approximately 4.30 AM in summer and 6:30 AM in winter for a convenient transfer to the launch site. Warm up from the early morning chill with complimentary tea or coffee. Watch the professional flight team prepare your balloon for your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take off at sunrise and watch as the beautiful and unusual landscape below you is lit up from the glow of the sun. Slowly fly over Pamukkale's white cliffs, declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, and the nearby ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Celebrate your landing with a champagne toast and get your personal flight certificate before heading back to your hotel.

Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour from Marmaris and Icmeler

8. Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour from Marmaris and Icmeler

On this 1-day tour from Marmaris you will visit Pamukkale, known as the 8th Wonder of the World. Meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, this natural formation contains hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Because of the glorious white travertine and historical value, Pamukkale was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1988. Pamukkale can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 kilometers away. On the top of this white “castle”, which is a total of 2,700 meters long, 600 meters wide, and 160 meters high, the ancient city of Hierapolis was built. Here you can visit an ancient Roman amphitheater, the historical museum which was formerly a Turkish bath, the ancient Cleopatra swimming pool, the monumental tomb of Saint Philippe, and the most magnificent Necropolis of Anatolia.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

9. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary.   On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.   After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

10. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

Other Sightseeing Options in Pamukkale

Want to discover all there is to do in Pamukkale? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Pamukkale

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 562 reviews

Thank you very much for the organizer! It was written that the tour was in English, (I, with ignorance of English, had nowhere to go ...) I was warned about this ... .. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised when we were transferred to a Russian-speaking bus halfway through and the guide told everything in Russian language!!! Special thanks for this!!! All liked it!!!

It's a 3 hour drive from Kusadasi, so the time spent at Pamukkule is unfortunately short, but we are glad we got to see and experience it. Only a small section of the pools had water, so it was very crowded. The food at the restaurant was good.

The drive actually went by pretty quickly. Made a few stops on the way. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Overall cool experience. Very packed but I was expecting that.

our guide was so humorous, oh my god really nice trip, just the total hours was 1.5 hours more than what was described.

Mediha was amazing and this day trip is unbelievable. The natural rock formations are beautiful. Must see.