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This lush planet: a spherical smorgasbord of delicious delights, ready to be sampled by the curious adventurer. Tried the Turkey yet? 

An absolute must for the wide-eyed wanderer is Pamukkale. A geological marvel that means “Cotton Castle” in its native tongue, the place is a jaw-dropping mix of the natural and the historical that’s earned itself the prestigious labelling of a Unesco World Heritage site. It won’t take you long to see why.

What is Pamukkale?

Turkey’s southwest plays host to this wondrous cascade of travertine springs and breathtaking terraced geothermal pools. Formed naturally over millennia from limestone formation, the picturesque burst of petrified calcium is a stunning sight that even the finest Hollywood special effects would struggle to match. It’s a postcard-perfect beauty spot that has to be seen to be believed. You can even go for a dip in the mineral waters.

It gets even better too. Atop this spectacular sight is the preserved ancient ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis. Built on the hot springs for medicinal purposes around the second century BC, the city eventually came under Roman rule. (The Romans had quite the thing for dipping into warm baths, evidenced literally in the Roman city of, well, Bath).

Ruins of the ancient city Hierapolis in Pamukkale Turkey

Ruins of the ancient city Hierapolis in Pamukkale Turkey

Large parts of the ancient spa city’s architecture are still intact, allowing visitors to soak up the majestic atmosphere of Europe’s once-indomitable empire. Commanding columns, statues and the intricate grand designs of Rome’s rule still stand proud among the hot water pools.

Preparation for Pamukkale

Stay in the evening, visit in the morning. It’s the best way to beat the crowds and seek a bit of solace in this understandably busy beauty spot. Nearby accommodation is plentiful and varied, from the budget-friendly to the more luxurious.

To prevent erosion there’s no shoes allowed on the formations themselves, so grab a bag for your footwear and any extra layers. Turkey gets skin-blisteringly hot mid-summer, so bring your sunscreen and plenty of water too (no, you definitely can’t drink the pool water!). Wear your swimwear for your submerging splash - oh and it wouldn’t hurt to bring along a towel to dry off either.

The nearest airport is Denizli Cardak, approximately 30-40 minutes’ drive away. If you’re looking for a self-driven adventure, grab a hire car from one of the many firms available. Or simply sit back and let the bus driver take the strain of the wheel.

Yet before you book your flights and wring out your Speedos, remember to book your travel insurance. Plan yourself a stress-free break by protecting yourself (and your finances) from unforeseen holiday horrors. You can get an obligation-free quote at World-First.co.uk or call us on 0345 90 80 161 to speak to one of our in-house team about your Turkish sojourn.

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