Turkey has long been loved as a tourist destination. A rich history and unique culture brings wonder to tourists, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Many people return to the country again and again. The name, Pamukkale, means ‘cotton castle’ in the native Turkish. Ancient peoples remarked upon the natural beauty and symbolic nature of their interpretations of the natural mineral deposits of Pamukkale.
The natural hot springs in the area are rich in minerals. As long as humans have inhabited Turkey, they have used the hot springs for bathing. The people believed that the waters had healing properties. This may be partially true, as the waters contain a high amount of calcium carbonate. The gorgeous white, cottony formations are actually travertine – a brittle mineral deposit. In years past the area suffered damage due to the industry that sprung up around the hot springs. Once declared a World Heritage Site, the damage was repaired by demolishing buildings and replacing roadway with artificial pools of water.
Not only can travelers enjoy the hot springs in Pamukkale, across the valley is the ancient Roman Bath of the former city Hierapolis. While the city itself was severely damaged by modern building. A museum of the city and area has been placed in the bath, the rest of the ancient city is now ruins. Artifacts of Hierapolis and other cities are showcased in the museum.
During this time in history, priests used caves for ceremonies and rituals. They astounded their parishioners by appearing to be immune to the carbon monoxide which fills the caves.
Types of Tourism Available
This site has number of opportunities for all travelers. The mineral springs are used by health conscious tourists, eco tourism has become popular, and those interested in the culture of Turkey will be satisfied by the depth of history.
The local city of Denizli promotes tourism throughout the region. The fastest growing type of tourism is eco-tourism. Their website includes pictures of huge trees, called ‘Monumental Trees’, of all types. Some are almost as large around as Sequoias. When visiting the site, it will first appear in Turkish, but English is available.
While fast food has been rearing its’ head in Denizli, local cuisine is still very much a part of everyday life. Eggplant, known as aubergine, is used extensively in Turkish cooking. Vegetables are the mainstay of Turkish cuisine, though vinegared meats and grilled tripe are traditionally the most popular.
Soups that are particular to the area are Tarhana (a dried yogurt/flour ingredient), cowpea soup, and ovmac soup (a blend of chicken, chickpeas, peppers, and yogurt).
Compared to other destinations, Pamukkale is full of low cost, yet life enriching activities. From viewing the ancient ruins from the Roman Empire to sampling the foods prepared in the traditional manner, this destination offers more than your average getaway. Before visiting, take the time to view the 360 virtual tour that can be found on the Pamukkale website. Take in the breathtaking views before ever leaving your chair.