Winter may not be considered as the best time to visit Turkey, but that depends very much on what kind of traveller you are. If you love exploring the world when there are few other foreigners around, then there is no better time and the best sites to explore at your leisure are unquestionably UNESCO-listed and surreal Hierapolis and Pamukkale in south-west Anatolia.
Photographs by Tony Sernack
Here in Denizli province lays the magnificent Hellenistic spa town of Hierapolis. What is unique about the place is the presence of brilliant-white travertine terraces where calcite-laden warm waters have created an astonishing landscape of petrified waterfalls. The locals call it Pamukkale, literally translated “Cotton Palace”. It is here that locals and travellers have bathed and benefitted from the therapeutic qualities of the local spring waters since the 2nd century BC.
“With its unique combination of natural and man-made wonders, it is hardly surprising that Pamukkale-Hierapolis is the single most visited attraction in Turkey”
The Enchanting Charm of the Ottoman Empire
If you are lucky enough to strike a glorious bright winter’s day with a sprinkle of snow in the air, the site is simply magic and truly unforgettable. You can relish the warmth of the thermal baths (at 36 °C) and comfortably bask in the rising steam, shielded from the surrounding chill in the air.
Hierapolis is just one of the many wonderful sites strewn across the Ottoman Empire. If you are thinking to explore the iconic skyline of Istanbul, the rocky hillside villages of Cappadocia and the country’s most beautiful treasures in between, let me design a fully tailored-made journey that captures the essence of Turkey just for you.