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 when there are few other foreigners around, then there is no better time and the best site to explore at your leisure is unquestionably UNESCO-listed surreal Hierapolis and Pamukkale in south-west Anatolia.
Here in Denizli province is 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” and it is here that people since 2nd century BC have bathed and taken advantage of the therapeutic qualities of the local spring water. 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 at this ancient site, shielded from the surrounding chill in the air.
Photographs by Tony Sernack
“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”