After a long day on the bus, and changing a couple of times in different villages to progressively smaller and smaller buses and vans (as is the Turkish custom), I arrived in a small village called Pamukkale. I liked it immediately on arrival. Much smaller and friendlier than the large touristy Antalya. It had a small village vibe to it. The locals were helpful in directing me towards my accommodation and full of advice about what to go see next in their beautiful country.
The bus system was a little confusing initially but works quite well. Most cities have a main bus station called an Otogar which you can buy your bus ticket at, or you can visit one of many different little travel agencies in every city and village. Then you catch the bus (and sit in your allocated seat) and travel in your intended direction. Unless you’re heading to another big city, it is likely that you will have to change to another bus at the next big city Otogar that your bus arrives at. And then possibly change again into a van to get to really small villages like Pamukkale. Bus travel is really cheap in Turkey and does go everywhere. The buses and vans will have a destination sign in the front to help you get onto the correct one, but the Turkish people are very helpful and kind with giving directions.
I went to Pamukkale mainly to see its’ famous white cotton terraces with thermal hot springs which are a World Heritage Site. It is quite stunning to see in person. And the best thing I thought is that no shoes are allowed so you get to explore this natural attraction with your bare feet!
Looking up at the white terraces
Love being barefoot
There were gardens at the top. And some museums too
A strange Turkish plant
There were also some old ruins at the top. Very interesting to wander through
I spent most of the day on the terraces exploring with my feet. There was also an antique pool at the top filled with the thermal waters and quite beautifully set out. The pool had old bits of ancient pillars and various items on the bottom making it interesting to paddle around in. I spent a good couple of hours just relaxing in the waters and letting any stress float away. And thinking about my next destination which little did I know would end being my favourite stop in Turkey.
Where I stayed: BellaMaritimo Hotel
Price: €15 for my own private room and ensuite (so cheap!)
Overall: There was a lack of hostels in Pamukkale. But with accommodation being so cheap in comparison to the rest of Europe, I was happy to splash out for my own hotel room. And it was heaven! Sleeping alone is the best. This hotel was lovely as well. Very friendly host and owner with very personalised breakfast service every morning. I would definitely stay here again.