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Introducing Pammukale Region

The glittering white of Pamukkale's calcite cliffs jumps straight out of many Turkey tourism brochures, and day-waders do indeed come from far and wide to indulge in the warm waters of these dazzling travertines. Above them stands the ruins of ancient Hierapolis, whose inhabitants did much the same thing 2000 years ago. Other, more impressive, ancient ruins sprawl across a green plain at lesser-visited Afrodisias, the museum of which easily surpasses that of Ephesus.

While Pamukkale's village is modest, it has good budget digs (some with thermal water pools from the travertines), and thus makes a relaxing base for a few days of absent-minded lounging (with rudimentary nightlife). The ancient ruins of Laodikeia and Aphrodisias provide culturally-edifying day-trip opportunities.

Industrial Denizli is a big city, but for most travellers it's merely a transport hub – the place where you take the bus or dolmuş to Pamukkale or other more interesting towns.