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“Bath in a millennial thermal mineral ancient Greek pool”

Pamukkale Thermal Pools
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$60.95*
and up
Full Day Pamukkale Tour From Kusadasi
Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Pamukkale
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
1,246 reviews
407 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,724 helpful votes
“Bath in a millennial thermal mineral ancient Greek pool”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2011

It's a magical feeling bathing in an ancient pool with thermal mineral water, between Greek colonnades fallen for centuries. It was very cold, but I decided to risk it and I did not regretted.

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank GUSDALI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great day out!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2011

Stunning pools, great ruins, Cleopatras pool was nice but overpriced! Very busy in summer but a must see sight!

Helpful?
6 Thank NickyT88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
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77 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Really cool! Avoid the crowds by going in the morning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2011

I heard from some locals that the thermal pools were really dirty with garbage everywhere. This was my first time but I didnt see any of this garbage or dirtyness.
The thermal pools were beautiful but it was probably a 1 time visit type of place.

Tip for visiting the Thermal Pools
-Go in the morning! I heard that its open 24 Hours but the earlier the better. We went around 9:30am and it wasnt too hot and the crowds werent so bad. The large tour groups seemed to pile in around noon when the sun started to get scotching hot. Its a great place to bring a picnic...but if you leave you have to pay again. You can also buy food there but we didnt. You have to pay extra if you want to visit the swimming area which seemed like a crowed theme park. Someone would have to pay me to want to swim with the crowds -- you would be bumping into people all the time. Dont waste too much time at the starting pools -- for the nicer pools go all the way to the top and turn left. Theres a little park at the top surrounded by more pools....these are the pools you see in the pictures everywhere.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
9 Thank herzog00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
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184 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“An absolute must, take off yourselves and savour it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2011

We followed the advice of the other trip advisees and we went to Pamukkale from Marmaris by ourselves. We were offered a day tour for £28 or an over night stop with Ephesus included for £55 but we decided to go ourselves. I'm not going to lie, this involved a great deal of hassle and expense but we feel it was worth it!
We took the 0930 tecnobus from Marmaris to Denizli which cost 25 lira per person one way (there are 5 buses from Marmaris a day to Denizli) it took 4.5 hours. The bus comes with private tellies which show ten channels, a toilet and full air con. From Denizli we were escorted onto the local shuttle buses which took us the 45 minute journey from Denizli into Pamukkale itself for only 3 lira per person.
We were staying in karahayit as opposed to Pamukkale town itself, only 7 km away where the hotels are with the thermal spas! (We paid 150 lira for dinner bed and breakfast with full use of Hamam in Spa Herakles.)

We walked to Hierapolis at 5pm by which time the majority of tour groups had gone home. We paid 20 lira each to enter. We walked the incredible marble clad ancient road admiring the Roman tombs and ruins trying to imagine what it would've been like to have walked that road 3,000 years ago. We walked up the hill to view the incredible Roman amphitheatre, perhaps one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever come across. Although I am more familiar with the Greek plays of ancient Athens it was easy to imagine Medea by Seneca being performed there.

By the time we reached the Travertines the sun was setting and we caught some beautiful images while dipping in the pools privately ourselves. Strangely we did not come across Cleopatra’s pool! Walking down the great hill was like clambering on a huge pumis stone! We spent 5 hours in total wondering around and enjoying the experience and the atmosphere of it all which we certainly wouldn't have been able to do had we gone on an organised day trip.
In total we spent 320 lira on our trip - £130, but as it was the best thing we did while in Turkey we feel it was well worth it. Marmaris can feel like a British colony, and in comparison we felt as though we got to know the true Turlish character which was kind and helpful, not the sleezy rip-off merchants which crowd the streets of marmaris.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank misspickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“What you should know before you go.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2011

The Pamukkale area has a lot to offer the Turkey visitor but it if you don't plan your visit accordingly you may find it less than you expected. The following are my recollections of a May 2011 trip and discussions with fellow travelers who also visited the area.

1. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SEE THE TRAVERTINES, HIERAPOLIS, AND USE THE ROMAN BATHS, YOU NEED MORE THAN ONE DAY. It isn't that you can't see all these places in a day, you just can't really experience them in such a short time. If you have only a day, you'll need to decide what you want to experience and be content with merely seeing the rest. Better yet, stay the night and you can go back up in the early evening and walk down the travertines after the day tour crowds have left. My two cents: the Travertines are something you can't see anywhere else in the world and are THE must see. Walking through them was a surreal experience even with the crowds. The ruins of Hierapolis were great, but we found better preserved and more easily visited ruins elsewhere in the region (Ephesus, Aphrodisias).

2. IT'S FURTHER FROM IZMIR/SELCUK/KUSADESI THAN YOU MAY THINK. Our day trip began in Selcuk, but we stayed overnight in Pamukkale. It was a 2.5 hour bus ride from Selcuk and longer from Izmir or Kusadesi where much of the cruise line traffic debarks from. If you're trying to do it as a day trip from those locations you will spend 5-6 hours on a bus and have 2-4 hours for touring, not including lunch. This means you won't get to either the Travertines or Hierapolis until the warmer part of the day, and it can be searing hot in the summer. As beautiful as the area is, for me it would not have been worth the effort had we not stayed overnight. There are day tours from Istanbul that use flights to Denizli which is about 30 minutes from Pamukkale, but you'll have to factor in the flight time and airport check-in.

3. PREPARE FOR CROWDS. We visited in early May and were told it was before the busy season, but there were still more people than we encountered on nearly all of our tours save for Istanbul. With three attractions in such a small area, you won't be able to avoid them. Plus you'll likely see a large volume of scantily clad, barely in some cases, bathers coming to or from the Roman Baths. If you're there for the cultural experience of Greek/Roman ruins, it can be off putting.

4. THE ROMAN BATH, WHILE BEAUTIFUL AND WORTH A DIP, IS NOT AN INTIMATE SPA EXPERIENCE. We did dip our feet and taste the warm spring waters and felt a bit of a chill thinking about all the Greeks, Romans, and Turks who've done the same for thousands of years. However, it is used much like a municipal pool with the full range of people from loud children splashing, to bikini-clad tanning teens, to chain-smoking waders but with a steady stream of tour guests circling and gawking.

5. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, STAY THE NIGHT AND ADD A TOUR OF APHRODISIAS. We stayed the night (we'd recommend the Melrose Hotel for both a bed and dinner) and made last minute arrangements to visit the the ancient city of Aphrodisias about a 1.5 hour drive from Denizli. It's more compact than Hieropolis, better preserved (better even than Ephesus), with a fraction of the crowds. We saw it with two small groups of foreign tourists and a larger group of local school kids who were taken by my Outback-style hat and wanted pictures with Indiana Jones! Afrodisias was the only ruins we saw in Turkey that included a large arena, fully intact, where it was easy to imagine watching chariot races.

Our bottom line: we made the right choice by staying overnight and the Travertines and Aphrodias made it worth the long drive.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
17 Thank Fried-Rice2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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