This day trip to Pamukkale is one you definitely don’t want to miss when you’re in Turkey — it makes it simple to explore the city and its ancient sights and ruins from Istanbul. After a 1-hour flight and easy transfer, see the red springs of Karahayit, explore the Roman ruins of Hierapolis, and swim in the thermal waters of the Cleopatra Antique Pool (additional expense), with a guide providing historical context along the way. You’ll also have some time to explore the village of Pamukkale on your own before your return flight and transfer back to Istanbul.
Day trip from Istanbul to Pamukkale with flight and transfers
Visit the red springs of Karahayit and the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient Roman spa town
See the Cleopatra Antique Pool and (for an additional fee) swim over toppled Roman columns
Explore the village of Pamukkale on your own
Enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant in Pamukkale
Flights and transportation to and from airports included
Hotel pickup and drop-off from European-side hotels included
Expect pickup from your European-side hotel in Istanbul at 4am, followed by transportation to the airport. (This is an early call for a tour, but we promise it’s worth it!) After a 1-hour-long flight to Denizli and 50-minute ride to Pamukkale, take advantage of some time to stretch your legs and snag some caffeine before the guided portion of your tour starts.
Your tour begins with a visit to the red springs of the nearby village of Karahayit. The water in this red springs is must-see in person — not just a name, the water in these springs actually looks like it’s tinted red. Next, head to Hierapolis, an ancient Roman spa town. Stroll through the ruins of this town while your guide elaborates on the history of the area. Listen to the stories of the city and its people as you pass a theatre, an ancient market, and the Necropolis, one of the biggest graveyards of its kind.
After Hierapolis, stop by the Cleopatra Antique Pool. Admire it from land, or — for an additional fee of 32TL — swim in the pool’s thermal waters and over Roman columns believed to have toppled in following an earthquake. After swimming, take advantage of some free time away from your guide and group and roam around. Then, walk down the hill to the lake and park, where you’ll rejoin your guide and the rest of your group at a restaurant for lunch. Following lunch, explore the village of Pamukkale for roughly 30 minutes at your leisure.
After your thorough exploration of Pamukkale, it’s time to head home. You’ll be transferred to the Denizli airport for a return flight back to Istanbul and dropped off at your hotel around 9:30pm.
Reviews by Viator travelers
Fine for a day trip
, Jun 2019
The trip was OK - you are travelling from Istanbul on your own and joining a local trip. Lots of waiting around at the start and end of the day, both at the airport and at the destination. The paperwork from the company is excellent but unfortunately not accurate - mention of changing buses and the company name are not correct. I'm guessing that they consolidate several different bookings together and one local company handles it , which may not be the one on your voucher. On return to Istanbul, there was a greeter but had to wait an hour for the driver.
Poor use of time, especially in the morning where we sat in a very dismal tour office for 2 1/2 hours waiting between transfer from airport and tour commencing. Should at least have coffee or something available. Tour was ok, nothing great. The ending lunch, back to tour office and transfer to the airport went Much smoother.
This tour was not up to usual Viator standards.
It was good trip, only if the return time would have been late, it would have provided more time for liesure at the cleopatra pool and the calcium pools. Recommended to visit in the summer months , as the water in the calcium pools was extremely cold.
The breakfast and lunch provided was excellent and delicious. The guide was also informative.