Are these the best natural hot springs in the world?

Are these the best natural hot springs in the world?

Are these the best natural hot springs in the world?

2560 1707 Insight Vacations

If you are searching for the best hot springs in the world, then the pools of Pamukkale in Turkey might just be your answer. With intense blue thermal waters cascading down bright white travertine terraces, they make for a spectacular sight. One of our favorite destinations in Turkey, here is a taste of what is in store.

Discover this on: Wonders of Turkey


A vibrant country full of diverse cultures, beliefs, nature and history, Turkey bridges the continents of Europe and Asia. Due to its location, surrounded by the sea on three sides, Turkey has always been at the center of great trade, silk and spice routes. Famous for its carpets, hammam and bazaars, Turney offers great destinations like Istanbul, Cappadocia and Pamukkale, home to the best hot springs in the world. No trip to Turkey is complete without sampling its sweet treats like Turkish delights and baklava.

The summer months are very hot, so great for lounging by the sea. However, in April, May, September and October temperatures become pleasantly warm, with temperatures ranging from 13°C to 25°C (55°F – 74°F), perfect for sightseeing. From November to March Turkey can get quite cold, but this can be the perfect time for visiting certain attractions. In winter the pools of Pamukkale, some of the best hot springs you are likely to see, are spectacular.

Get inspired with our Turkey destination guide

Read more: The sustainable benefits of traveling in the off season


At first sight, the gleaming white travertine terraces and mineral-rich thermal of Pamukkale will stop you in your tracks. Cascading down the mountainside, the pools of glassy blue water make for an astonishing sight, sitting in stark contrast to the surrounding countryside. In Turkish, Pamukkale translates into “cotton castle” which is the most befitting description.

The white terraces are formed of sedimentary rock (travertine) and have been deposited by hot spring waters over millennia. Several sources of hot spring water in the area combine to create water high in calcium carbonate. When the water hits the air, it turns into white travertine.

Historically, Pamukkale was one of the most popular thermal pools in Turkey, first used as a spa in the 2nd century BC. The water is a naturally warm temperature year-round. As well as standing in awe, visitors can explore the area and bathe in the public pools. An exceptional sight all year round, the pools of Pamukkale are particularly stunning in the winter, where the contrast of the warm waters and cold air makes for a spectacular scene.

Discover this on: Wonders of Turkey

Related content: 11 destinations that are just perfect for the first time solo traveler


Overlooking the cascading terraces of Pamukkale is the ancient city of Hierapolis, a Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remains of the Greco-Roman period include baths, temple ruins, a monumental arch, a nymphaeum and a necropolis. A highlight is the Hierapolis theater which is very well preserved and worth a visit in its own right.

Since 133 BC Hierapolis was under the rule of the Roman Empire. The city was destroyed more than once by earthquakes that took place in this area. However, each time the buildings were restored or rebuilt.

Related content: 5 MAKE TRAVEL MATTER Experiences that will connect you with extraordinary people


Travel with Insight and stay at the 5-star Doğa Thermal Health & Spa, located just minutes from Pamukkale. Relax and enjoy its several indoor and outdoor thermal pools, as its mineral-rich thermal waters make your stay an incredible one. An architecturally stunning hotel, modern spacious rooms are built around an atrium core of indoor pools. With thermal and regular pools outdoors, you can enjoy moving from hot to cold. Relaxation is also available in the Turkish baths, sauna, steam rooms and via a range of fabulous spa treatments.

Discover this on: Wonders of Turkey

Related content: In the fairytale land of Cappadocia, you can sleep in a (boutique) cave hotel. Yes, really


Join us and explore Turkey in style on our 15-day Wonders of Turkey premium guided tour. As well as visiting Pamukkale and the best hot springs in the world, explore the striking landscapes of Cappadocia and step into a local resident’s cave house for a tour. Walk among rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient paintings in Göreme, and in Izmir see one of the world’s finest archaeological sites, Ephesus. In the capital Istanbul, see the Blue Mosque’s tiled domes and the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held. Try your hand at bargaining in the city’s Grand Bazaar, which includes more than 4,000 shops. All the way you will stay in hand-picked hotels and enjoy a delicious culinary journey through the unique flavors of Turkish cuisine.

Read more: 7 farm-to-table dining experiences you can enjoy with Insight

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our full collection of premium guided tours to Turkey