Pamukkale © josep salvia i bote
Calcium-rich mineral springs have surged over the edges of this mountain plateau edges for thousands of years, resulting in an intriguing natural masterpiece. Meaning 'Cotton Castle', the rock formations of Pamukkale are a series of natural shelves, ridges, and terraces turned white from the solidified chalky calcium deposits of the thermal waters. From a distance it appears to be a dazzling white fairytale castle, with a formation of tiers rising from the ground containing warm water pools. The hot springs have been used since Roman times and are believed to cure certain ailments. Additionally, visitors should not miss the bubbling Sacred Pool of the Ancients, the main source of the springs which created the white terraces. Fortunately, its mineral waters are open for public bathing. Pamukkale is also the site of the ancient Roman spa-city of Hierapolis, and there are several ruins scattered about the area, including an impressive Roman theatre. It was considered a sacred site for its magic healing waters and was the holiday destination of kings and emperors of the Pergamum and Roman Empires.
Transport: Pamukkale is a five-hour bus journey from Bodrum.