Hierapolis

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Hierapolis: Our most recommended tours and activities

Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

1. Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

Your full day excursion begins in the early morning when you’re picked up at your Antalya hotel and begin the drive to Pamukkale. After a lunch break you’ll visit the cascading snow-white terraced cliffs of this mysterious Cotton Palace. The calcite-laden waters that had created this unreal landscape come from springs located in a 200-meter high cliff that overlooks the plain. Marvel at the mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and the series of terraced basins created by these waters. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the kings of Pergamon established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. The temples were significant trade centers for ancient Hierapolis. See the Roman theater, the Apollo temple, Roman baths, fountains and the agora. After the tour, have a chance to swim in thermal pools. An additional option is to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool, for an extra fee.

Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

2. Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

After being picked up between 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM from your hotel in Istanbul, you will be driven to the airport where you will catch a flight to Denizli. Meet your private guide in Denizli and make your first visit to Pamukkale.  The beautiful white cascades of Pamukkale is well worth a trip to see eye candy of a natural site. Walk through Pamukkale and find a chance to relax in the hot waters of the ancient pool. Built just above the hot spring waters of Pamukkale, Hierapolis is a mighty ancient city and a UNESCO world heritage site. Hierapolis was built in the 2nd century B.C. by the King of Pergamon and became a Roman city. The city was famous for several important sanctuaries and also as an important trade center. Hierapolis was famous for purple dye and cloth making and it is still famous for textile products. Afterwards, drive back to Denizli airport to make your flight back to Istanbul. The Istanbul tour guide will met you at the Istanbul airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul.

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

3. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

Explore the unique travertine terraces of Pamukkale (literally “Cotton Castles” in Turkish), and enjoy a full-day trip to one of Turkey’s most popular attractions. Depart Bodrum and transfer by air-conditioned coach to Pamukkale, known as the “8th Wonder of the World” to those in the know. Explore the natural landscape of limpid pools, hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale attracts some 2 million visitors every year. Get a view of the terraces from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli. Then, go to the ruins of the ancient Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis, built on top of the “Cotton Castles” in the 2nd century BC. See the remains of the Roman amphitheater, and visit the former Turkish Bath, now converted to an archaeological museum. Discover where Cleopatra used to swim, and the monumental tomb of the Christian apostle St. Philippe. Marvel at the Necropolis of Anatolia, filled with sarcophagi, most notably that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Guided Tour

4. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Guided Tour

Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis on a 7-hour guided tour. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs and take in the unique white limestone terraces, known as travertines. The ancients believed that Hierapolis, or Sacred City, was founded by the god Apollo. It was famed for its hot springs, whose vapors were associated with Pluto, the god of the underworld. The hot springs were popular in Roman times because of their therapeutic powers. Visit the Domitian Gate, the colonnaded street and the cathedral. Explore the Pamukkale Museum and marvel at the limestone terraces of Pamukkale. The healing powers of the hot springs led to the establishment of a spa resort.

Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour from Marmaris and Icmeler

5. Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour from Marmaris and Icmeler

On this 1-day tour from Marmaris you will visit Pamukkale, known as the 8th Wonder of the World. Meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, this natural formation contains hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Because of the glorious white travertine and historical value, Pamukkale was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1988. Pamukkale can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 kilometers away. On the top of this white “castle”, which is a total of 2,700 meters long, 600 meters wide, and 160 meters high, the ancient city of Hierapolis was built. Here you can visit an ancient Roman amphitheater, the historical museum which was formerly a Turkish bath, the ancient Cleopatra swimming pool, the monumental tomb of Saint Philippe, and the most magnificent Necropolis of Anatolia.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

6. From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

We will depart from Izmir in the morning and two and a half hours later arrive at Pamukkale which means the cotton castle in Turkish. These white rock formations, known as travertines, are world famous and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water of Pamukkale is famous for the benefits it gives to the eyes and skin. It is also said to cure illnesses such as asthma and rheumatism. It is possible to swim in certain areas, so be sure to bring your swimsuit. Many centuries ago the Romans, aware of the powers of Pamukkale’s water, decided to build a large spa city called Hierapolis nearby. We will visit Hierapolis after lunch, which will be provided. Hierapolis means Holy City in Turkish and despite not having been lived in for several centuries it remains a fascinating place to visit. Hierapolis has a well preserved 12,000 seat amphitheater and the massive Necropolis which is the largest ancient graveyard in Anatolia. You will also see the Temple of Apollo and the shrine of the nymphs at this beautiful ancient site. At the end of the day we will drive back to Izmir, where we can drop you off at your hotel or at the airport.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

7. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary.   On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.   After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 10-Day Small Group Tour of Turkey

8. From Istanbul: 10-Day Small Group Tour of Turkey

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer from the airport to Evsen Hotel. The next day, you will have a tour of the old city of Istanbul including the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul at Evsen Hotel. On day 3, embark on a Bosphorus boat trip and see the city walls, Dolmabahce Palace or Chora Church and tour the Spice Market. After your tour, you will transfer back to the airport and fly to Izmir. Arrive in Izmir and transfer from your airport to a hotel in Kusadasi. Overnight in Ilayda Avantgarde. Visit Ephesus, the Virgin Mary's House and the Temple of Artemis. Overnight in Kusadasi Ilayda Avantgarde. On day 5, tour Pamukkale and Hierapolis with an overnight stay at the same location. The next day, tour the Pergamon and Asklepion or Priene, Miletos and Didyma.  Transfer to Izmir Airport and fly to Cappadocia. Arrive in Cappadocia and transfer from the airport to your hotel and overnight stay in Elysee Cave House. Your tour of Cappadocia over the span of 2-days will include the following sights: Dervent Valley, Pasabag, Avanos, Göreme Open Air Museum, Derinkuyu Underground City, Pigeon Valley, Ihlara Valley and Selime Monastry. After the tour, transfer to the airport to fly to Istanbul. Arrive in Istanbul and transfer from the airport to your hotel with an overnight stay at Evsen Hotel. Finally, transfer the to airport for your return flight.

From Alanya: Pamukkale & Salda Lake Guided Tour

9. From Alanya: Pamukkale & Salda Lake Guided Tour

Get an early start with a pickup service around 6:00 am. Board an air-conditioned bus and stop first at a local restaurant in Korkuteli Town for breakfast. Continue driving to Salda Lake, a pristine lake surrounded by white magnesium rocks similar to ones found on Mars. Make a one-hour stop and enjoy walking along the white sandy beaches and swimming in the lake's clear turquoise waters.  After your refreshing break in the Turkish Maldives, head to Pamukkale. Stop at a local restaurant on the way and have lunch. Then get ready to see one of the world's most unique natural wonders with a 4-hour stop at Pamukkale and Hierapolis. See firsthand why the hot springs was given the name Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish. Stroll along the white calcium travertines overflowing with thermal water. Swim in Cleopatra’s Pool and explore the ruins of the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis, which include the largest necropolis in Turkey and one of the largest amphitheaters.  Then swing through Karahayit where you will have the option to swim in a thermal pool. On the way back to Alanya, stop back in Korkuteli Town for a delicious dinner. Arrive back at your hotel between 9 and 10 pm.

Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

10. Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

The rock formations of Pamukkale (literally, "Cotton Castle") are a series of white terraces saturated with dissolved calcium bicarbonate, bubbling up from the feet of the mountains beyond. As the water flows over the edge of the plateau and cools, carbon dioxide is given off and calcium carbonate precipitates as hard chalk, or travertine. The spring emerges in the middle of the ancient resort city of Hierapolis (the ruins themselves are worthy of a stop as well). Sadly, the travertine that makes up the Pamukkale is gradually turning from white to yellow, and is even thought to be drying up. Thirsty hotels are blamed by the government, which has demolished many of them. This is good for the Pamukkale, but it makes finding a hotel increasingly difficult. Most stay in Pamukkale Koyu. The Hierapolis archaeological site lies west of Pamukkale Koyu. Its main features include a temple of Apollo and the adjacent Plutonium, a cavern emitting a deadly sulphur and carbon dioxide gas. East of here is a restored Roman ampitheatre, dating from the second century AD. Most of the stage buildings and their elaborate reliefs remain intact. An interesting part of the city is the colonnaded street, once extending almost 1km to a series of monumental portals. Today, only the most northerly, a triple arch flanked by towers and dedicated to the Emperor Domitian in 84 AD, still stands. Just south of the arch is the elaborate tomb of Flavius Zeuxis. This is only the first of more than a thousand tombs that constitute the full necropolis, the largest in Asia Minor.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hierapolis

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What people are saying about Hierapolis

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 397 reviews

Really appreciate Aaron for bringing us around Pamukkale! My husband & I really enjoyed the small group tour. Aaron was insightful in sharing his knowledge about the area, and was also very helpful in taking. wonderful photos for us to keep as memories. Additionally, he gave us free time to explore the area which we really appreciated. Thank you Aaron for the great time in Pamukkale!

This private tour was excellent as it allowed us to visit 2 significant sites in one day. Our guide Ozlem was knowledegable and flexible. We were met door to door by driver and tour guides. I would highly recommend this if you do not have a lot of time in Turkey and yet would like to visit outside of Istanbul to see this amazing country

Very nice experience, a place worth the detour…despite the distance. The journey is long from Antalya but very comfortable vehicle and very careful driver. The guide and the driver were able to bring the most that made this day exceptional. Thanks to barbaros and orhan!!!!!

Really enjoyed our guide! Highly recommend going. The pools aren’t as blue as photos but still so beautiful. Our guide went above and beyond for us. Had lots of free time and told us about the best places to go.

Recommendable tour .be prepare for long journey but it’s worth it. Beautiful scenery to see on the way .