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THE ‘COTTON CASTLE’ OF PAMUKKALE

Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish and it’s easy to see why the name was given to the steeply terraced hillside with its bright, white covering.

The thermal waters of Pamukkale are like no other place on earth. It is a unique and important site where nature and history combine to offer a holiday destination that should be at the top of everyone’s ‘must-visit’ list.

From natural springs cascading down the side of a 200m cliff to an extraordinary landscape of step-like terraces, stalactites and rock pools, Pamukkale is a stunning attraction. The mineralised waters have created a stunning snow-white calcium coating on the rocks which dazzles in the Turkish sunshine.

The healing waters of Pamukkale

Many of the milky white pools are deep enough for swimming, and the thermally-heated water remains at a constant 33ºC, whatever time of year you visit. Legend has it that the water is also famed for its apparent healing properties and health benefits for skin complaints, asthma and rheumatism, although there are no guarantees of relief or cure after a quick dip!

It comes as no surprise that the ancient Greeks were the first to recognise the therapeutic value of the water at Pamukkale and, at the end of the 2nd century BC, they built the thermal spa of Hierapolis on this extraordinary natural site. The spa featured huge, hot basins and pools for bathing and swimming. The ruins of the original bath-house, the adjacent temples and various other monuments can still be seen, and used, today.

In 1980, Pamukkale was officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it remains one of the most important and most-visited tourist spots in the whole of Europe.