The snow-white Pamukkale travertine terraces from afar are similar to the developed quarry, but, approaching them closer, you begin to understand what exactly they attract tourists from different countries. This is a real geological miracle, which is called the “Cotton Fortress.” The entire plateau, towering above the river, is covered with smooth travertine, resembling lilies, shells and bowls. Travelers come here to improve their health and enjoy the views – such landscapes are not found anywhere else in the world.
Now the state of the reserve is being watched vigilantly, as the uncontrolled use of water for hospitals and the constant flow of tourists have put its existence at risk.
Treatment in Pamukkale
Therapeutic procedures are mainly associated with the local thermal waters and are carried out in the hotels of Pamukkale and Karahait, located above the terraces. In total, the resort has 17 types of mineral waters, among which the most famous are “kirmyzy su” or red water, which is rich in iron, drains from a hot rock (+55 ° C) and forms a pond below, where you can swim for free.
Whereas mainly foreign visitors come to the lower village, then the majority of holidaymakers are Turks in the upper village. Here more strict customs, do not sell alcohol and sunbathing in public places is not welcome.
The resort treats rheumatism, rickets, various skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis, and supports the digestive and cardiovascular systems. In addition, mineral waters help fight stress and relieve fatigue.
It is forbidden to plunge into the famous white pools, besides such bathtubs will not bring special benefit. Now tourists are allowed only to two bowls, and you need to walk along specially marked paths. Rules introduced to preserve the reserve.
The main procedures include bathing in thermal water and drinking it. You can dive into the ponds for free, but for those who want to do this under the supervision of a doctor, it is better to go to the hotel pools. There, one procedure costs from 40 TRY, you can drink a healing drink for 20 TRY. For guests visiting the pools is often included in the price. Almost all hospitals offer additional procedures: massage, mud baths, electrotherapy, paraffin, etc. Prices depend on the category of the hotel and vary greatly.
Travelers who go to the resort for treatment are increasingly staying in Karahait, and for those who are more interested in attractions, Pamukkale is suitable. Both there and there are hotels and hostels for every taste and budget, but in the upper village prices are slightly lower. For example, a modest double room there will cost 66 TRY, and below – 75 TRY per day. Good 3 * hotels will cost 212-250 TRY per night. And for the “five-star” you have to pay from 359 to 668 TRY per day for two.
It is better to book a hotel in advance, it is worthwhile to clarify the availability of thermal pools and wellness treatments, as well as free parking, if necessary.
What to bring
The most obvious souvenir from Pamukkale is a bottle of thermal water. Local merchants sell them for 2-3 TRY, but some travelers pour water from sources for free.
Looking at the snow-white travertine, I want to take a piece with me. This cannot be done, firstly, because the places are protected due to the threat of extinction, and secondly, because it is forbidden to export stones from Turkey, even those simply found on the beach.
In the villages near the resort there are many souvenir shops, which sell mostly the same type of products. But you can buy those Turkish goods that are highly valued all over the world: carpets, copper, leather, jewelry and hookahs, they are called “nargile” here. In general, prices in Pamukkale are higher than in other resorts.
What is worth buying in these parts is cotton. Not far from the terraces is the city of Buldan, where the textile industry has been developing since ancient times. It is because of this that the white stone bowls are called the “Cotton Fortress”, as if they guard the approaches to the fields. It is best to buy the finest cotton products in Buldan itself, but much is brought to tourist shops near the main attractions.
Cuisine and restaurants in Pamukkale
There are no cafes and restaurants in the travertines and in Hierapolis, but there are several places to eat near the Cleopatra Basin. And in both villages near the resort there are also establishments for every taste: from expensive restaurants to street fast food. However, compared to other cities in Turkey, the taste of food and service can be a little disappointing. Better service – in the cafe at the hotels.
From local dishes, you can try various types of lamb, manti, dumplings and kefte – special cutlets. Fresh or stewed vegetables are offered for garnish, and halva and baklava as a dessert.
The easiest and cheapest way to eat at the kebabchi or denergy kiosks. Both there and there they serve lamb, in the first in the form of a kebab, and in the second – with bread or a side dish. Such a snack will cost only 4-5 TRY.