It's possible to visit Pamukkale from Selçuk (Ephesus) in one day. Here's how.
As you approach Pamukkale from Denizli,
you'll see the white calcium travertines high
on the hillside.
The ruins of Roman Hierapolis are
on the plateau half way up the mountainside. There
entrances to the plateau,
all of them with their difficulties.
As it is an archeological site
pay an admission fee (TL20
per person) to enter at any one, plus
you'll pay a parking fee at the
North or South entrances if you drive.
From the town you
can walk up the
travertine slope in your bare feet,
carrying your shoes, through the pools and the water, to the top
of the plateau in 20 to 30 minutes. (No
Minibuses traveling the route between Denizli Otogar, Pamukkale Town and Karahayıt pass this entrance every 15 or 20 minutes throughout the day. Board at Peron (Gate) 76 Denizli Otogar, or below the mosque in Pamukkale Town, and say this to the driver: Örenyeri Kuzey Giriş (ur-REHN-yeh-ree koo-ZEY gee-reesh, "Archeological Site North Entrance").
With your own car, drive from
Pamukkale Town toward Karahayıt for
about two km to reach the best
entrance. Pay the parking and admission fees, then walk for 20 to 30 minute (or take the Servis Arabası, shuttle van) through the vast North Necropolis (cemetery)
to the top of the travertines,
Antique Pool, Archeological Museum, and ruins of Hierapolis.
planned from the outset, the South Entrance
requires you to drive to a large
parking lot south of the plateau,
then walk in the hot sun for 15
or 20 minutes to reach the plateau. It's not practicable if you don't have your own vehicle.
The Roman spa town of Hierapolis
grew wealthy from its rich-but-sick
visitors. Its vast North Necropolis (cemetery),
colonnaded street, baths (now the Archeological
Museum) and grand theater are well
worth touring. More...
center of Roman Hierapolis,
this broad pool of warm mineral
surrounded by oleanders and littered
with tumbled marble columns, is the
most atmospheric place to experience the spa's
waters—for a fee. More...
the plateau are these natural terraces
and pools of gleaming white calcium
precipitated from the cooling mineral
water. Once rippling and splashing
with water, they are now largely dry
and brittle, but still a sight. More...
The great theater of Hierapolis, up
the hillside from the Ancient
Pool and the Archeological
beautifully restored by Italian stonemasons
in 1972, and is well worth the walk
up the hill to see. More...
former Roman baths of Hierapolis have
been converted to a nice little museum
of artifacts discovered among the extensive
ruins of Hierapolis. More...
town on the plateau, west of Hierapolis,
now has several luxury hotels, but
less character than ever before. More...
Known in the Bible as one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, Laodicea is a 5500-year-old city set between Denizli and Pamukkale. Being beautifully restored by archeologists, it's worth a visit. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan