The Cotton Castle, Thermal Pools & Paragliding - Pamukkale, Turkey!
Updated: Jan 27, 2022
#Traveltiptuesday I was in for a wonderful surprise when we made a stop in Pamukkale, Turkey (for many reasons). I did not know what to expect!
Read more about the hotel, food and excursions I recommend, below!
We had just left Istanbul and took a 1.5 hour flight and landed at Dalaman (DLM) airport. It actually ended up being a 3+ hour drive way from Pamukkale...
Note: If you have traveled for extended periods of time, had multiple destinations in your trip or even traveled solo, you know that not every journey is smooth sailing the whole time. Having previous experience of this definitely gave me the mindset of going with the flow and making the most of the challenge at hand!
We ended up having to take a 3 hour taxi from Dalaman airport to Pamukkale. Although it was unexpected, I decided we would make the most of it and have the opportunity to see the countryside; something we would not be able to experience if we had landed at the closest airport.
Note: If you ever want to travel to Pamukkale, Turkey, the closest airport is Denizli (DNZ), it's about 1 hour away :)
As you can imagine, after a flight and midway through our taxi journey to Pamukkale we became hungry. The taxi driver was nice enough to let us stop a restaurant in a little city in
the countryside. At the time I was so tired and hungry that I forgot to write down the name of the restaurant. However, thanks to the photo I took at the location, I was able to locate the city we stopped in and thereafter find the restaurant on google (thanks technology!)
We stopped in a city called Muğla, Turkey at Yayla Restaurant and enjoyed this amazing meat dish. I also did not make a note of the dish. We scarfed it down so quickly I barely had time to think.
We reached our hotel at about midnight. We stayed at the Doga Thermal Health & Spa Hotel in Karahayit, Turkey. It was the best hotel in the city. It had a pool in the center of the hotel, breakfast and dinner was included and they provided a laundry service. The laundry service was very helpful because we were in the middle of a 2 month journey and while I brought enough clothes, it was nice to have all clean clothes in my suitcase.
This hotel was filled with thermal pools. They have 6, to be exact. The have 1 indoor co-ed thermal pool, 1 indoor female thermal pool, 1 outdoor thermal pool, 1 heated indoor thermal pool, 1 outdoor cold water pool, and one children's pool.
They had an extensive spa menu from Turkish & Rasul baths, Adventure showers, to Bucket showers and Snow fountains... we only were there for 3 days so we just got massages. However I must add that this is not a super luxurious massage that you would think of. It was an experience nonetheless. Very European..I will leave it at that...
The customer service there was amazing! I am usually pretty responsible but I was focused on catching the shuttle to one of our excursions and therefore was rushing from the taxi to the shuttle and accidentally gave the taxi driver 50 euros for a 10min drive (yikes). Thankfully because the taxi driver was sent to us by the hotel, we let the hotel receptionist know and they called the taxi driver about the money and took 50 euros off our stay....We really lucked out with that one. Needless to say I was very careful and intentional with any money that left my hand from that point on.
We came to Pamukkale for 3 main experiences: Paragliding, Thermal Pools, and the Roman Ruins in Hierapolis! Read more to get info on all three priceless experiences! All experiences require purchasing tickets prior!
1. Paragliding :
Pamukkale's Tandem Paragliding is in the price range between €30 – €50 per person
1. April to October is the best time to go (spring to Autumn)
2. The best time for a flight is in the afternoon
3. The winds guide in the direction of south from the hills towards the beautiful travertine terraces.
4. The July and August months bring some strong winds from the east
Tips to know before Paragliding:
Go paragliding only after the body is well rested.
One should always stay hydrated before and after the flight.
Wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing.
Chew gum in mid-air to avoid motion sickness.
ATMs and currency exchanges are available only in Denizli.
2. Thermal Pools:
There are 17 hot springs forming cascades giving it the name the “Cotton Castle”
2. The temp always stays around 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degree Fahrenheit
3. The hot springs here are used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C.E. People came to soothe their ailments with many of them retiring or dying here
4. What is the white stuff you ask? It is made from the deposits called travertines and they are made by hot spring waters that flow down the terraces. This leaves calcium carbonate minerals from the flowing water
5. Perfect way to unwind after a full day of sightseeing or remote work!
6. They have a photographer available who will charge for a photoshoot. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to get some different fun shots
3. Roman Ruins in Hierapolis
Hierapolis, "holy city" was an ancient greek city located on hot springs and is adjacent to Pamukkale
Can hold up to 12,000 people in 45 rows in the ancient Roman Ampitheater
This structure was built in the 2nd century AD and created in honor of the god Apollo
Majority of the city was built on limestone deposits from the thermal bath terraces
It’s an archeological museum located in the Ancient Roman bath quarter and is relatively small but holds some precious artifacts from the Roman empire of Laodicea and Hierapolis
The views from the top of the amphitheater are breathtaking
I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for next weeks tips!