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Pamukkale - the "Cottoncastle"

Pamukkale is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Turkey and an absolute "must" for the visitor. Countless tours are organized daily from nearly all centres.

The big attraction is a vast white cliff side with scallop-shaped basins of water and frozen waterfalls. It looks as if it's made out of snow or clouds or balls of cotton. The Turks have dubbed this geological fairyland Pamukkale (cottoncastle), from pamuk for cotton and kale for castle.

The Pamukkale Thermal Pool:
For thousands of years a deep underground spring has been pouring out streams of hot, mineral-saturated water. As it has flowed down the mountainside the steaming water has hollowed enormous circular basins in the earth, and the water's rich mineral content has coated them in a smooth layer of dazzlingly-white calcareous rock. To the ancients such beauty could only mean that the place was sacred to the gods. Built near the natural hot springs, the grand city of Hierapolis attracted a steady stream of pilgrims, who came to bathe in the curative waters.

The Pamukkale hot springs flow at a rate of 400 liters per second. The various facilities can accommodate about 6,000 people a day which amounts to 600 liters of water per person per day.

The mineral-rich Pamukkale hot spring waters are high in calcium, magnesium sulfate and bicarbonate. They also contain carbon dioxide and have a radioactive content. Water temperature is 36 to 38 C with a pH of 6. Total mineral content is ~ 2,430 mg/It. The waters are used for drinking and bathing. They are recommended for the treatment of rheumatic, dermatological and gynecological diseases, neurological and physical exhaustion, digestive maladies and nutritional disorders.

Throughout history, Pamukkale has been a famous spa, with baths and open pools set into the snow-white cliffs. Bath treatments take place in natural pools, which developed around the main hot springs. Hot mineral water spas have been opened at a number of new and very comfortable hotels in the area.

pamukkale

pamukkale terraces

the white terraces from pamukkale

a must in turkey pamukkale