PAMUKKALE - TURKEY

At the same site as the ruined city of Hierapolis lay the amazing pristine limestone terraces of Pamukkale.

While driving to Pamukkale we had seen the rock platforms rising 100 m up from the plains, slopes that looked from a distance like huge white ski hills. The tectonic movements that took place in the fault depression of the river basin gave rise to the emergence of very hot springs with a large mineral content, chalk in particular, that created the natural wonder now known as Pamukkale.

We followed the top of the hill overlooking the terraces along a landscaped boardwalk, under which a large drainage system was still very much in use.

We passed some some sky-blue manmade mineral pools meandering through the grassy ridge top.

An ancient stone sarcophagi was perched on the edge of the limestone embankment, an unusual sight overlooking the vast valley below.

Along the hillside, water cascaded from one irregular shaped turquoise mineral pool to another, ever changing as the years pass.

Cotton Castles

The extraordinary formations are created when water from the hot springs loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slopes, leaving deposits of limestone. The layers of white calcium carbonate build up in steps on the plateau.


The brilliantly white stalactites resembled frozen waterfalls and I really felt the need to actually touch the formations to realize they are stone hard.


The flat green fields, craggy hills and high rocky rugged blue mountains provided a stunning backdrop to the travertines.

While Gord rested under a shady tree, Chris and I joined the other adventurers on the limestone plateau. We walked in our bare feet, descending a long hill made of wrinkly, sometimes sharp, limestone rock.

With the continual flow of water, pools overflow into newly formed smaller pools. The limestone layers in the pools create steps, and the continual flow of water keeps this process continuous.

Very warm water flowed along our path as it cut its way through the limestone.

Small amount of sulphur and iron oxide produces stripes of yellow, red and green over the white of the limestone

The plateau continued for miles with layers of the accumulated limestone sediment which had gradually formed in the course of the ages. 

My foot had been giving me problems for over a month and coincidently, Chris had a sore on the bottom of his foot that would not heal. I had been told that The hot springs at Hierapolis were believed to have healing properties, and people came to bathe in the rich mineral waters in order to cure various ailments.

That evening, after wading through the mineral pools on the terraces, Chris and I both discovered that our feet were healed! A Miracle. Maybe!

It was getting very hot as we walked back to the parking lot, past the ruins of Hierapolis. We decided that we would make the drive back to Marmaris Yacht Marina that afternoon.