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A Guide to Explore the ‘Cotton Castle’ of Turkey

A stunning town in western Turkey, Pamukkale is known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside. The geological phenomenon called Pamukkale literally translates to “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. The town also boasts of remarkably well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman spa city of Hierapolis. With over two million visitors annually, it is also Turkey’s single most visited attraction. The area has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are planning to visit the Cotton Castle in Turkey then here’s your complete guide:

How to get to Pamukkale?

By road: Located in Denizli Province inland of southeastern Aegean Turkey, Pamukkale is at a distance of 620 km from Istanbul. The easiest way to visit under your own steam is to hire a car – the drive takes around three hours from Kusadasi, four from Antalya and Marmaris, five from Bodrum. Another option is to travel by comfortable inter-city coaches that run to Denizli, the nearest city to Pamukkale. The coaches run from all the aforementioned places and take around the same time as driving.  

Frequent buses and minibuses make the 40-minute run between Denizli’s bus station and Pamukkale. 

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Sunny ☀️ . . .

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By air: Turkish Airlines (turkishairlines.com) and Pegasus (flypgs.com) both fly to Denizli’s Cardak airport from Istanbul.

By rail: Rail buffs might be interested in the four times daily service between Izmir and Denizli, via Selcuk.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Hierapolis and the Travertines of Pamukkale are spring and autumn as it is neither too hot nor too wet. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to visit and avoid the crowd.

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Pamukkale / Castelli di cotone ☀️💙

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Opening time and fees

Entry fee: 25TL (£6)

Timings: Nov-March 6am-6.30pm, April-Oct 6am-midnight

Antique pool entry: 32TL (£7.50). 

Timings: Nov-March 8am-5.30pm, April-Oct 8am-7.30pm

(Curated by Priya Pareek)