Pamukkale is a stunning wonder to behold and a very surreal experience for anyone visiting this amazing place. Etched into the Turkish hillside in Aegean, amongst the searing heat and sweltering sunshine lies the perfectly white mountains of Pamukkale. At first glance you may believe you’re staring out at the famous Rockies or the French Alps, as Pamukkale’s white, snow-like, appearance really gives it that chilling impression. This is what makes the Pamukkale Mountains such a surreal experience when you’re trekking along its trails, as you feel you should be cold being surrounded by so much white but you are most definitely not!
The Turkish summers are well renowned for being long, dry, and very very hot! Luckily Pamukkale has many beautiful pools of mountain springs you can cool down in whilst exploring this epic natural phenomena. Watch out though, some of the springs are hot so maybe not the best thing if your wanting to cool down. However, the hot springs are perfect if you are on a romantic, midnight stroll and fancy a dip with a bottle of champagne or two!
Now for all you geologist geeks out there let’s go in to how the amazing white mountains of Pamukkale were created and the hardcore facts. Pamukkale gains its white appearance from being made up of the rock calcium carbonate, which is deposited by the hot water springs that travel over 320 meters from the River Menderes, which is located deeper in the Aegean valley. When the calcium carbonate is despoiled on the surface, carbon dioxide is released and continues to do this until it is at a equilibrium with the water in the air. The chemical reaction between the calcium carbonate is intensified by the heat and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Although it is hard for geologist to pin point exactly, they estimate that up to 4.9 square kilometres of the Pamukkale landscape is covered by the white calcium carbonate with a 1mm of thickness due to this constant chemical reaction between the rock and atmosphere.
Pamukkale meaning ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, has been a protected World Heritage Site since 1988 and was first discovered by the ancient Greco-Romans in the 5th century. The Greco-Romans were as mesmerised with Pamukkale as people still are today, as they built their famous city of Hierapolis very close to it. The Hierapolis ruins are still a major attraction as you can still explore the ruins of this wonderful city and swim over its huge ancient remnants in the Cleopatra pools located here.
The former Roman Baths of the city of Hierapolis are still in use today and have been converted into a Archaeology Museum since 1984. The museum holds many stunning artefacts and is definitely worth a peek whilst visiting this magical place.
So, if you’re in the mood for something different and wish to explore a place truly out of this world (and maybe even stay in villas in turkey), Pamukkale is definitely for you!