Yet Pamukkale has history, too – it was the source for the thermal spa of Hierapolis, which was established by the kings of Pergamon at the end of the second century BC, as well as a complex system of canals that extends as far as 70km to the north and west. Hence the area is home to a wealth of archaeological treasures, from old Greco-Roman baths and temples to a 2km-long necropolis.
As recently as the 1960s, hotels were built on the ruins of Hierapolis, but that all stopped in 1988, when the area became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many buildings were demolished; water supplies to hotels were restricted; and tourists are now directed towards the smaller thermal pools, where they must bathe with bare feet. All of which seems right – this is a wonder worth protecting.