Home Leisure & Lifestyle Discover Pamukkale’s Timeless Spa and Healing Traditions

Discover Pamukkale’s Timeless Spa and Healing Traditions

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One of Turkiye’s most enduring attractions is its renowned Turkish bath and spa tradition, which has been integral to this geography since antiquity. This bathing culture in Pamukkale and Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an unforgettable experience.

The ancient healing waters

Considered a bucket-list destination for many, Pamukkale is known for its beautiful snow-white travertines that resemble a field of clouds dotted with warm, aquamarine-coloured pools. The mineral waters of the Pamukkale travertines are believed to offer healing properties. Every year, people worldwide flock to this mesmerising destination, enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes and the potential for rejuvenation.

History and nature

Adjacent to the Pamukkale travertines is the awe-inspiring Hierapolis Ancient City. Around 2,500 years ago, King Eumenes II of Pergamon was so enthralled by the splendour of the travertines that he built a city near the site. Honouring Hiera, the wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamon, the region was called Hierapolis. Exploring the site’s ancient theatre, temples, monumental fountains, tombs, agora, and gymnasium is like being transported through time, strolling along stone streets that existed two thousand years ago.

Among legends

Hierapolis and its majestic presence around the travertines have long been considered a central hub for healing and wellness. Its Ancient Pool is famously called the Cleopatra Pool; legend has it that the illustrious Queen of Egypt once bathed in its waters. Today guests can indulge in its revitalising thermal waters with a year-round temperature of 36 degrees and swim amid antique marble ruins.

From pool to museum

Other notable buildings in Hierapolis include the Ancient Theatre and the Hierapolis Museum. The theatre stands out among the Roman Period theatres in the Mediterranean basin due to its distinctive reliefs of mythological stories, splendid stage building, and seating steps. The Roman Bath, once a revered thermal centre, has been repurposed as an archaeological museum. The Hierapolis Museum has a fascinating collection of artefacts from excavations in nearby ruins like Laodikeia and Tripolis. These treasures are displayed amid the impressive vaulted Roman Bath structures constructed from travertine block stones.

  • How to get there: If you’re planning a trip to Pamukkale, flying to Denizli Çardak Airport is convenient. Daily flights from Istanbul Airport take about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once you arrive, you can easily reach Pamukkale within an hour by renting a car, taking a taxi, or using a shuttle service.
  • Must do: To enhance your tranquil Pamukkale experience, consider an exhilarating activity such as paragliding or hot air ballooning. These adventures offer a breathtaking perspective of the ancient city of Hierapolis and its stunning travertines.
  • Must see: Laodikeia, one of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Bible, is just 15 km from Pamukkale and Denizli. It is a significant site to visit in the region.
  • Must-buy: Pamukkale, renowned for its weavings, is celebrated for its Buldan cloth, which is crafted from cotton fabric using traditional techniques. Thanks to its unique weaving technique and carefully selected dyes, buldan cloth is known for its exceptional health benefits, long-lasting durability, and hypoallergenic properties.
  • Must eat: The city’s most beloved dish is the Denizli kebab, which is made with succulent lamb meat and expertly cooked in a traditional stone oven. You can also experience the delightful flavours of gözlemes baked on a wood fire.
  • And don’t forget: To maximise your time in Pamukkale, consider staying at the nearby thermal facilities. You can indulge in soothing massages there, luxuriate in the thermal waters, and even treat yourself to invigorating mud baths. Another popular attraction in Denizli is the Karahayıt Thermal Springs, where you can relax and rejuvenate.

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