Hierapolis is an ancient city of the Lycus River valley famed for its sacred hot springs. Its ruins are a popular day trip from Antalya as are the spectacular white cliffs of Pamukkale.
As you near the ancient city ruins of Hierapolis, you won’t be able to miss seeing Pamukkale’s iced-white terraces. Easily viewed from the ruins, these terraces are created by a natural build up of calcium carbonate, a by-product of the hot spring water that flows down the slopes.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pamukkale shares its World Heritage status with Hierapolis, whose original inhabitants built the city to take advantage of its proximity to the hot springs.
Hierapolis’ most popular attraction includes the thermally heated Sacred Pool where you can swim among the remains of ancient Roman columns, toppled into the water by various earthquakes.
Among the ruins at Hierapolis are the remains of the Temple of Apollo (Apollo was believed by ancients to have been the divine founder of the city), the Gate of Domitian, the tomb of Flavius Zeuxis, necropolis (graveyard), the Plutonium (a cave believed to have been the entrance to the underworld), and the theater.
Among these, the theater is perhaps the most well-preserved. Constructed around 200BC, it could hold 20,000 spectators in its day. These days, just 30 rows remain.
Hierapolis & Pamukkale are 178km (110mi) northwest of Antalya.