Pamukkale is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in
Turkey and an absolute "must" for the visitor. Countless
tours are organized daily from nearly all centres.
The big attraction is a vast white cliff side with scallop-shaped
basins of water and frozen waterfalls. It looks as if it's made out
of snow or clouds or balls of cotton. The Turks have dubbed this
geological fairyland Pamukkale (cottoncastle), from pamuk for cotton
and kale for castle.
The Pamukkale Thermal Pool:
For thousands of years a deep underground spring has been pouring
out streams of hot, mineral-saturated water. As it has flowed down
the mountainside the steaming water has hollowed enormous circular
basins in the earth, and the water's rich mineral content has coated
them in a smooth layer of dazzlingly-white calcareous rock. To the
ancients such beauty could only mean that the place was sacred to
the gods. Built near the natural hot springs, the grand city of
Hierapolis attracted a steady stream of pilgrims, who came to bathe
in the curative waters.
The Pamukkale hot springs flow at a rate of 400 liters per second.
The various facilities can accommodate about 6,000 people a day
which amounts to 600 liters of water per person per day.
The mineral-rich Pamukkale hot spring waters are high in calcium,
magnesium sulfate and bicarbonate. They also contain carbon dioxide
and have a radioactive content. Water temperature is 36 to 38 C with
a pH of 6. Total mineral content is ~ 2,430 mg/It. The waters are
used for drinking and bathing. They are recommended for the
treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases,
neurological and physical exhaustion, digestive maladies and
Throughout history, Pamukkale has been a famous spa, with baths and
open pools set into the snow-white cliffs. Bath treatments take
place in natural pools, which developed around the main hot springs.
Hot mineral water spas have been opened at a number of new and very
comfortable hotels in the area.