Sights of Pamukkale
The main thing that attracts tourists to Pamukkale is travertines, a natural park, part of which is open for visitors and works around the clock. In the daytime, the entrance costs 5 TRY. Near the terraces, forming a single complex with them, is the ancient city of Hierapolis. Two entrances lead to the territory – South and North Gates. There are ticket offices and tourist centers near each, but it is more convenient to go through the northern entrance: to go much closer.
Those wishing to visit also Karahait need to save a ticket, otherwise they will have to pay a second time for entry.
On the way to the terraces, you can visit the Archaeological Museum for 2 TRY or go to the tourist information center, where maps of the park and village are issued free of charge. In addition, there are operating thermal baths nearby, two hours of rest there are 25 TRY.
Excavations are still ongoing in ancient Hierapolis, but now the abundance of monuments is amazing. Here, the temple of Apollo and Pluto, the Nymphaeum or the fountain house, the Roman theater and city walls, the kilometer-long street with columns, the basilica, the necropolis and the tomb of Flavius Zevxis are of interest. Many of the objects are perfectly preserved, for example, the theater is famous for the fact that not only rows for the audience and the stage remained in it, but also many bas-reliefs. In addition, in the very center of the ancient city there is a spring of mineral waters. The city itself appeared here in the 2nd century BC. e. thanks to this source.
The real place of pilgrimage for tourists is the Cleopatra Basin. This is an artificial reservoir with warm mineral water, where guests are allowed to swim. According to legend, Cleopatra loved to take baths here and came out of them rested and refreshed.
Not far from Pamukkale there are two more historical cities – ancient Laodikea, which, although it presents rather dull ruins, still deserves attention, and the old, well-restored kervansaray (a place to sleep for animals and people conducting nomadic trade) in Akhan.
Since Pamukkale lies in the mountains quite far from the sea, the climate here is more harsh than in southern cities. In the summer months it is very stuffy and arid, and the temperature is higher than by the sea. It is fresh in winter, it rains, snow is rare and it melts right away. In the spring, there is usually little rainfall, but clouds almost always hang, and in the autumn the wind blows, and fogs often occur. It is better to come here for treatment from May to October, excluding July and August due to the heat.
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.
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.