Other than the travertines and Roman city of Hierapolis, places worth a look around Pamukkale are:
1 Laodikeia (Laodicea) (6 km from Pamukkale on the Denizli road. Take the bus towards Denizli. Tell the driver you want to go to Laodikiya, he will drop you off on the side of the road next to the sign. From there, turn right following the sign and walk for about 15 minutes and you’ll get to the site. See the Denizli article for more information.
Colossae. Ancient ruins 7 km from Pamukkale of an ancient city of Phrygia. It has never been excavated.
2 Karahayit (5 minutes from Pamukkale by local bus. Once you get to the last bus stop head to the northern edge of the town where springs and mud bath located.). The red spring is not even nearly as big as the calcium outcrop in Pamukkale, but worth a look. You might also want to try their mud baths. The entry to the site is free.
Kaklik Caves. They are like a small version of Pamukkale, but in a cave, underground and are about 30 minutes from Pamukkale.
You can walk down barefoot in the waterfalls from the village. No shoes are allowed on the travertines. If you don’t want to walk back to top, you can use the buses dropping off people back to top, which depart from near lower end of the travertines. You should wear swimming suit. A lot of people bath in the baths here.
1 Thermal pool in the Hierapolis area also called “Cleopatra Pools”. Swim with Roman ruins in a large natural swimming pool located just past the topmost travertines. It’s a hot spring pool that has sections of the original marble columns in it.
Paragliding. Lots of paragliding options. Some are short another last longer.
Hot-air balloon ride. There are trips available.
The Pamukkale/Denizli area is famous for its cotton and homewares. These are becoming sought after world wide and the best place to go is the town of Buldan, about 30 minutes drive from Pamukkale. Many of the other souvenirs and traditional Turkish wares that you can find in other parts of Turkey are cheaper around Denizli/Pamukkale because they are produced there.
The best and freshest food is to be found in the small family run pensions, but for a great open air restaurant where you can eat ‘borek’ the Turkish pancakes and gaze across the valley, try Alis on the mai.
Travertines and Hierapolis
There are three entry gates, one at the bottom of the travertines and two at the top. A shuttle will take you between gates for 2 TL. Entry to Hierapolis and the travertines is a single ticket that costs 35 TL (Nov 2017). Entrance is from 08:00 – 21:00 daily.
The travertine terraces above Pamukkale and below the ancient city of Hierapolis are a UNESCO World Heritage site. This “Cotton Castle” is accessed via a gate near Pamukkale, and the walk up takes about 30 minutes and offers numerous opportunities to soak in pools that are generally no more than a foot deep. Tough pollution control regulations require removing your shoes in order to walk on them (so bring something to put your shoes in!), so the travertines stay white as ever. This job is made tougher in winters when the water flowing down the chalky cascades will be freezing cold.
At the top of the travertines lies the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The ruins of the city sprawl over a large area, but sites are well-marked and there are trails that can be easily followed. The 12,000-seat amphitheater is in excellent condition and is a highlight, as are the town gates and main road. In addition, the town is home to the Martyrium of St. Phillip, a pilgrimage site that is supposedly the site where the apostle Philip was martyred and buried. The church at the site is in ruins, but its foundations reveal an unusual octagonal plan.
You can soak in the antique pool for an extra fee.
The travertine is a slip formed by a multifaceted chemical reaction and subsequent precipitation of various causes and environments. The geological events that led to the thermal source of Pamukkale affected a large area. In this region, there are 17 hot water areas with temperatures ranging from 35-100 degrees Celsius. Pamukkale source has been used since antiquity.
The thermal water comes from the source with a channel of 320 m length per travertine, and from there it is poured into the travertine floors where 60-70 m of partial sedimentation takes place, and it travels 240-300 m on average.
During contact with oxygen in the air, the water containing high amounts of Calcium Hydrocarbonate in the 35.6 C warming temperature causes carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide to fly causing calcium carbonate to precipitate and form travertine. The precipitate is in the gel state in the first step. Calcium carbonate which is precipitating in the layer pods and creases is initially a soft gel.
It becomes hard and transforms into travertine over time. However, the movement of the walk through the floors causes the soft calcium carbonate to crumble and disperse. Travertines are provided within a particular program with thermal water control. Water that has been pumped for a long time causes algae and therefore unpleasant pollution in travertines. In the formation of whiteness; weather conditions, heat loss, flow propagation, and duration are influential. Precipitation continues until the carbon dioxide in the thermal water reaches the equilibrium of the atmospheric carbon dioxide.