One of the most popular excursions from the all the coastal resorts goes to the spectacular travertine terraces of Pamukkale (the Cotton Castle), which lie above the town of Denizli, about 200km inland from Ephesus or Selcuk.
This remarkable natural formation has been created by mineral-rich hot springs cascading down the hillside and depositing layers of calcium carbonate. The resulting pools, terraces and ‘petrified waterfalls’ of dazzling white travertine are one of the most famous sights.
The ruins of ancient Hierapolis lie scattered on the hillside above the terraces, adding historical interest to natural beauty. In the grounds of the former Pamukkale Motel you can bathe in the Sacred Pool, where the therapeutic, restorative warm spring waters will float you above a picturesque jumble of broken Roman columns and Corinthian capitals.