When you see places on Instagram and want to go there to see it for yourself. That was my trip to Pamukkale.
I had seen many pictures of Pamukkale and also it was listed as probably one of most popular tour options from Antalya, so I had to do it.
Pamukkale / Hierapolis
For once, I did NOT book my excursions ahead. Because I was in Antalya to get my teeth done, it would be too hard to plan. Once I knew when my appointments were, I made time to take a day trip.
During a night-stroll in the old town of Antalya I walked by a ‘Nirvana Tours’ location. I stopped in and seen that the cost of a trip to Pamukkale was only 45 Euro ($66.00 Canadian) – yep. BOOKED IT!
The tour included roundtrip transport (Pamukkale is like 250km away), breakfast and visit to a handicrafts workshop. Obviously, it also included the entry into Pamukkale / Hierapolis. For $66.00 I think this was a steal.
They picked me up at about 6:45am and we left to get the other tour passengers. The bus was full, but at least it was comfortable. The drive from Antalya to the handicrafts shop was about an hour and a half. During this time the tour guide gave us some history and information about the city. Most of the people on the bus (including myself) were sleeping.
We arrived at the handicrafts place and I mean, it’s high key a tourist trap – but I guess it worked because I ended up buying something. I happen to have a friend who is a SUPER hippie so these mineral trinkets I knew would make an awesome gift.
The stopover for touristy purchases was about 45 minutes and then we finally went over to our breakfast/lunch location. THIS PART WAS AMAZING.
Probably the best buffet I’ve ever been to. The food was so damn good and I was surprised because the place was so busy. I didn’t expect such high-quality food in a place like this. Very impressed. This was an enjoyable food break.
It was CRAZY busy when we finally arrived at Pamukkale. Tour buses and locals and just wow. To be expected during the height of tourist season, but not so awesome if you want to take time to enjoy the place.
We were told that we had about 1.5hrs to go enjoy the limestone hills and then to meet at a certain time to head over to Cleopatra’s pool for a swim.
There is no other way to describe these limestone grounds besides; it was busy, bring water shoes (if you have sensitive feet), be careful if you’re clumsy like I am and WEAR A LOT OF SUNSCREEN. I was in Europe for 23 days and the only day I burned a little was because of the reflection off the white ground.
After risking my life walking on the limestone whilst being incredibly clumsy, it was refreshing to head over to Cleopatra’s pool for a swim. The tour guide gives you a key for a locker to store your things in before entering, including your cell phone. They do not allow you to take your phone into the pool, so leave the waterproof bags at home.
The story we were told was that Cleopatra herself would come to this pool and bathing in it was what kept her beautiful and her skin nice.
I think because it was so hot this day, I really hoped to dive into some cold/refreshing water but it was warm. The damn water was warm, and it had a lot of people inside of it. I really loathe tourist season.
I swam around for about an hour. They have a professional photographer in the water if you do want pictures, since no phones allowed. Also, be prepared to climb over some columns while in the water. This place is very old and you basically end up doing an obstacle course inside the pool to get to different areas of it.
Should you go visit Pamukkale? I think so. Maybe don’t go during August like I did, though. It is pretty cool to see the limestone grounds and get to swim somewhere that will make you more beautiful.