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.

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From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

2. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

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From Istanbul: Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

3. From Istanbul: Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

Delight in the ancient history and spectacular natural beauty of Pamukkale on a full-day, guided tour with flights and transfers from Istanbul included. Start the day bright and early with a morning flight from Istanbul to Denizli. There you will catch a transfer to meet your professional tour guide who will uncover Pamukkale’s Greco-Roman past. Explore the hot springs in Karahayit, which have taken on an Instagram-worthy shade of red due to mineral deposits. Then head over to the Roman ruins in Hierapolis, a place twinned with Pamukkale to create a single UNESCO World Heritage site. After exploring toppled ancient columns and sacred temples, you will have the chance to swim in Cleopatra’s Antique Pool—a majestic spot purportedly frequented by the Egyptian queen for its healing powers. Take an hour for yourself to discover hidden corners of Pamukkale at your own pace before reuniting with your guide and the group for lunch. The next stop is one of the most picturesque spots in Turkey—the travertines of Pamukkale. Take a barefoot walk across these bright, white limestone terraces filled with pools of cascading water. Finally, stop by a local Onyx factory before heading back to Istanbul after an unforgettable day spent in nature and history.

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Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

4. 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.

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Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

5. 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.

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Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour from Marmaris and Icmeler

6. 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.

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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.

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From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

8. From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Explore the most iconic archaeological sites in Turkey on a private day trip. Learn about the history of Aphrodisias and Hierapolis from an expert guide. Enjoy the natural hot springs and unique landscape at Pamukkale. Meet your guide and drive to Aphrodisias, one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey, dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. See the now well-preserved and partially restored Temple of Aphrodite and imagine its ancient splendor. At Aphrodisias, explore other sites like ruins of a large theatre, a stadium, and an on-site museum displaying artifacts. Next, be whisked away to the fascinating site of Pamukkale. Considered to be the earliest spa on earth with the water of the hot springs carrying healing powers, Pamukkale is a UNESCO world heritage site. See the cotton-colored White Travertines formed by warm spring water. Visit the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis where you can see the Necropolis, Roman Bath, St. Philipe Martyrum, and Apollo Temple. Take a dip in the Sacred Pool with shallow thermal waters rippling over Roman ruins. Take photos from the nicest corners of Pamukkale. Stop at a traditional Turkish restaurant for a complimentary lunch.

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From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

9. 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.

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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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Hierapolis

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What people are saying about Hierapolis

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 378 reviews

Tour was very good :) Our guide was very nice and helped us with everything! Paid € 10 for the Cleopatra pool because we didn't have a lira with us (otherwise it would be 100TL). The pool itself is nothing special, is a natural pool (with algae) but very nice and warm (sulphurous), which of course was great in mid-November :) If you can see whether it is worth 10 €, everyone has to decide for themselves. The bus ride and lunch were great! The bus ride is of course very long, but without any problems. Pamukkale the highlight! You should have seen it! Short info: We stopped at a shop where we were carried out (marble and jewelry), nothing of which is in the description. Briefly felt like on a coffee trip. But it went relatively quickly and of course you don't have to buy anything.

Worth the price!! They picked us on time, We had 10 people max in the van. The tour guide Taylan was very helpful and informative without being pushy. He let us to have 2 stops(breaks) so the 4hrs ride doesn’t feel that long. It was really cold down the mountains during our lunch but once we climbed up you get to have the warm sun! Totally recommend as a once in a lifetime experience!

It's a bit of a drive from Antalya, about 3-4 hours, each way. However lunch was good, it was at a little cafe right outside Pamukkale. Pamukkale and Hierapolis were really lovely. No you will not see the water like in the pictures, but there are some basins that have water in. Even so it is really beautiful. Cleopatra's pool was extra but really awesome.

The trip was super effective and we manage to see all relevant sites with time. We were in total 6 people taking the tour, so the explanation was quite personalized. I recommend it.

Comfortable, relaxing and the guide was super funny and friendly. A must go !!