Pamukkale & Hierapolis: an intriguing tale of two cities

Posted by Anne Macindoe on June 3, 2013

Pamukkale’s spectacular white travertine terraces gleam their greeting long before you actually alight. These intricate limestone formations have caused this unique heritage site to be dubbed the ‘cotton castle’. Indeed, Pamukkale is an incredible natural wonder of the ancient Lycian Coast.


Visitors pass through this striking gateway into the historic national park encompassing the twin cities of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. The area is a mecca of ancient Greek ruins and antiquities and best explored at your own pace.

The nearby Pamukkale Museum exhibits a vast montage of ancient artefacts. The collection includes treasures unearthed across the historic Lycia region that encompasses Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Istanbul. On display are sarcophagi, statues, jewellery and pieces that leave visitors to ponder the colourful past of these absorbing relics.

The Sacred Pool is not to be missed. Locals and tourists alike consider these legendary hot springs to work therapeutic magic. Fluted marble columns that once encircled the Sacred Pool are still visible under water. These porticoes now lie where they fell during a shattering Roman-era earthquake.


Amongst the imposing temple ruins nearby, ancient tributes to Greek gods Pluto and Apollo are still to be found. Beyond the Byzantine walls surrounding Hierapolis’ feast of Greek ruins lies a vast necropolis, brimming with genuine sarcophagi. But don’t head there before exploring the wondrous theatre of Hierapolis with its well-preserved stage house, passages and arena. All echo with the charge of bygone crowds and performers immersed in dramatic spectacle.

For those who fancy a change of pace, Pamukkale and Hierapolis offer a vibrant shopping experience too. The traditional Turkish markets are alive with vivid fabrics, heady spices and flavour explosions.

Tours of Pamukkale and Hierapolis are must-dos on your Turkey holiday. A custom itinerary from Fairy Chimneys Travel lets you hand-pick from the charms of this historic national park.