Visiting the Hot Springs and Ruins at Pamukkale in Southwestern Turkey

Of all of the interesting places that we visited during our trip to Kusadasi was the day trip that we took to see Pamukkale. It is both a destination for locals and visitors to spend time in the soothing hot springs or to glide off of the cliffs in a hang-glider as well as the location of several ancient ruins. If you take a tour to Pamukkale, feel free to bring a bathing suit and relax in the warm waters, which are rich with minerals and are said to provide healing qualities. You can also just take your shoes off and walk through the shallow pools that overlook the valley below.

Historic Amphitheatre
Cleopatra Pool at Pamukkale
View of the Calcium, Hot Spring, and the Valley Below
Some of the Ruins at the Site
The Two of Us Enjoying the Day at Pamukkale

We would definitely recommend making the hot springs your last stop during a tour of Pamukkale as you will do quite a bit of walking as you must walk all of the way to one end of the ruins and then return back to the parking area, which can take an hour or two. The ruins themselves are not the most impressive, but the ancient amphitheater is probably the highlight of the sites that you will see. The stunning pools with their white cliffs made up from the calcium from the water is what makes this location a worthwhile visit. In addition to the gorgeous springs along the cliff, there is also the Cleopatra Pool where you will find the largest number of bathers enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Lots of Crowds at the Hot Springs
Another View of Cleopatra Pool
People Looking the Town in the Valley
Ruin on the Hill
Close Up of the Calcium

We were fortunate to have several days in the port city of Kusadasi, so taking the day trip to Pamukkale was certainly worthwhile. We would recommend going to Ephesus and Aphrodisias before going to Pamukkale, but it was definitely an interesting destination to visit. As with many of the sites in southwestern Turkey, it is a World Heritage Site, making it a popular location for tourists to visit.

The Stage in the Amphitheatre
More Ruins
The Scenery was Dramatic
Statue of Poseidon
Mostly Restored Building

Geysir on the Golden Circle in Iceland

One of the highlights of the Golden Circle, which is a loop that takes you to several key tourist sights near Reykjavik in Iceland, is Gysir. It is a geyser that erupts every few minutes, often very dramatically, as well as a hot springs area with mud pits. Crowds gather around to watch Geysir as it bubbles and surges until it finally sprays hot water and steam hundreds of feet into the air. The area has been active for over a thousand years and there are many smaller thermal pots in addition to the impressive Gysir.

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It is More Dramatic Standing Away from Geysir

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Steam and Warm Ground Due to Thermal Activity Below the Ground

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You Can See the Power as Geysir Begins to Erupt

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Little Geysir

Upon arriving to the parking area, you will join large crowds that gather around the geyser to wait and watch for it to erupt. Visiting Geysir during the winter months will really give you a sense of how much the thermal activity effects the area as you go from a completely frozen landscape to one with vegetation and steam coming from the ground all around you. We are sure that it is equally dramatic at other times of year, but the contrast between the ice and snow to the steaming mud pits and grassy areas was quite fascinating.

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Dramatic Eruption

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Boiling Water

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Crowds Gathering

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Building Up to a Larger Eruption

As you stand around Geysir waiting for its next eruption, the bubbling and boiling of the water in the mouth of the geyser is almost mesmerizing to watch. Waves of water roll out towards the edges as the water literally seems to boil. We watched several smaller eruptions that only went several feet into the air, although you could still sense the power of the geyser, until finally the main attraction occurred and Geysir spewed water and steam hundreds of feet into the air. We have seen other geysers, including Old Faithful in Yellowstone, but seeing the power of Geysir was certainly an incredible sight.

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Little Geysir Eruption – Not as Dramatic as the Big Geysir

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Getting Closer to the Big Eruption

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Another Mini-Eruption

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Contrasting Landscapes