Pamukkale translates to “cotton castle” in Turkish. This corner of the earth boasts an unreal landscape made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. The hot springs sit 200 meters above the town of Pamukkale with breathtaking views in front, and the ruins of baths, temples and Greek monuments dating back to the end of 2nd century B.C. The park opens at 6 am from the far gate (difficult to access from the town) and 8 am at the main gate which is where we entered. It cost $12 per person and gets busy, very quickly so make sure you're there when the gates open to give yourself a few moments alone with the view. The actual town of Pamukkale is tiny with not much else to offer so don't stay here for more than one day. It could very easily be a disappointing destination especially if you have come a long way. I would not prioritise it over other places in Turkey although I am glad we got to see it. As the weather was quite hot and dry we found many of the 'pools' to be dried out. I had read many reviews online of the disappointment of travelling hours to arrive and not see over flowing pools as expected, “just a lot of white”. I am grateful that there was some water when we visited, but that is just one element of this stunning place... it really was unlike anything I've ever seen.
We stopped over here for 1 night on our way back to Istanbul from Fethiye. It was a 3 hour bus ride from Selcuk. There were plenty of accommodation options in this town which relies heavily on tourism. We stayed in Hotel Dort Mevsim that we booked on booking.com for $24 a night including breakfast. For food the rule generally is the further away from the water terraces the less expensive. We ate well for about $7 a day.
We left on a night-bus to Istanbul that we pre booked the day before at the bus station for $20 each.