pool terraces

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Pamukkale pool terraces
in Turkey are special

They staircase down a hill slope, creating an out-of-this-world landscape.

pool terrace
tips and insights

How to pronounce

Pamukkale = pah-mook-kah leh

How the Pamukkale
pool terraces
were formed

The thermal spring water that flows down the hill is rich in dissolved calcium carbonate. It leaves deposits and hardens on the slope's surfaces, eventually creating the white-walled ponds we see today. The building process took centuries.

History in brief

This natural wonder has attracted tourists since Roman times. Sadly, in the late 20th century, hotels were built above it, diverting and sullying the thermal spring waters, which caused the Pamukkale pool terraces to lose volume and turn grayish. The government stepped in and tore down the offending hotels. Today, the pristine white hue is back. Ditto for the unadulterated and full-volume water.


The Turkish word Pamukkale means "cotton castles" in English.


Bring them. The intense reflections of the bright, shiny white travertine walls can be blinding on a sunny day.

Sister wonder

The Hierapolis archaeological site sits just above the Pamukkale pool terraces. Click Hierapolis to vew my web page on it.

Location in Turkey

More turkey tips and insights

In Istanbul

Basilica Cistern
Blue Mosque
Dolmabahce Palace
Grand Bazaar
Hagia Sophia
Topkapi Palace

In other Turkey areas

Ephesus Ruins
Mount Ararat
Nemrut Dagi
Pergamon Acropolis
Ruins of Troy

Home page

Turkey Wonders - Top 10 rankings

Parmukkale photo by Le Grand Portage - CC BY 2.0


Turkish Culture and Tourist Office


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