Discover the "Cotton Castle" of Pamukkale in Denizli Province and marvel at the hot springs, travertines, and carbonate terraces left by flowing water on a 3-day bus tour. Visit the ancient city of Aphrodisias, sanctuary of the goddess of Aphrodite.
What to Expect
Start this 3-day tour of some of southwest Turkey's most impressive ruins with an overnight bus journey from Istanbul. Departing at about 20:00 for the 12-hour journey to Pamukkale, known for its petrified waterfalls, you will be immersed in a fascinating world that has been popular since Roman times for the reputed therapeutic powers of its natural springs.
Day 1: Pamukkale and Hierapolis
Following your morning arrival in Pamukkale, you will be transferred by bus to the travertines and ancient city of Hierapolis, center of the thermal waters said to have healing properties. Due to the water’s chemical properties, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain slope. Their resemblance to cotton piles give them the colloquial name of “Cotton Castle.”
En route, stop at a 4-star hotel for lunch, with the chance to swim in the red waters of the thermal springs. Continue to Hierapolis to explore the largest necropolis in Anatolia, with more than 1,200 tombs. The sacred pool is one of the highlights of the site, where the shallow waters ripple over a scattering of buried Roman ruins. Return to your hotel in Pamukkale at about 17:30.
Day 2: Aphrodisias
Today, you will visit the ancient city of Aphrodisias, one of the finest archaeological sites of Anatolia. Located in the fertile valley of the Meander River basin, the site remains partially excavated and partly undiscovered. Aphrodisias gets its name from the goddess of love, Aphrodite (or Venus to the Romans), said to have taken sanctuary here. Once an artistic center, the city was located in Caria in Asia Minor, near the modern-day village of Geyre.
After you’ve explored the Greek and Roman ruins, return to your hotel at about 17:30 to check out and transfer to the bus station for the overnight bus to Istanbul at about 21:00.
Day 3: Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul at about 07:00 for the end of the tour services. Upon arrival, you can use the free shuttle to Sultanahmet Square or are free to continue on your own by public transport to Ataturk Airport.
- Accommodation in 3-star hotels or similar boutique hotels
- Meals as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned bus
- Licensed guide
- Entrance fees to museums
What's Not Included
- Tips and personal expenses
Know Before You Go
• Local tours may include time for shopping if possible
• The tour price is per person in a double/twin room. There is a single supplement of EUR 20