How do you get to Pamukkale?

One can explore the natural beauties, take historical trips, and find healing with hot springs in Pamukkale. In order to do all these activities, there is one question that needs to be answered: How can one get to Pamukkale?

Briefly, you can get to Pamukkale by plane, by bus, by car, and by train. Pamukkale is in a developed region and there are lots of transportation options.

Nevertheless, the most comfortable way of getting to Pamukkale depends on where you are coming from and, in this article, I will elaborate on different ways and destinations that will help you plan your travel in a way that suits you the best. 

Where is Pamukkale? 

Pamukkale is the name of the most populated district and a natural site located in Denizli, which is the 15th biggest city of Turkey based on population. Pamukkale can be found on the Turkish map on southwestern Anatolia between the other two highly touristic cities of Turkey: İzmir and Antalya.

Transportation Options to get to Pamukkale

There are four different transportation options that one can take to get to Pamukkale depending on the departure place. One can get to Pamukkale by bus, by car, by plane, or by train. 

Getting to Pamukkale by bus

One of the best transportation options to get to Pamukkale is by bus, especially if you are going there from another city in Turkey. The transportation system by bus in Turkey is highly developed and convenient both in safety and comfort measures. Most of the bus companies in Turkey serve beverages and snacks, provide the passengers with the internet, power outlets, and mini-TVs.

However, in order to get to Pamukkale, one has to get to the Denizli bus station first. If you are traveling from another Turkish city to Denizli, it is very easy to find a bus at any time of the day with many options on bus companies except for the national and religious holidays. Once you get to Denizli bus station, transportation to Pamukkale is very easy. You reach Pamukkale natural site in approximately 25 minutes by means of Denizli-Pamukkale minibusses that you can take from the Denizli Bus station departing every 20 minutes.

Getting to Pamukkale by car

In Turkey, the roads are in good condition especially between the major cities such as Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya. Bearing in mind that Pamukkale/Denizli is in the middle of the triangle of Izmir, Antalya, and Ankara, the roads that one should take to get there are in good condition and safe for both morning and night trips. Depending on the passenger’s preference for the speed of the trip, there are toll roads and public roads that differ in the quality of the road and the distance of the destinations. If you do not have a car but still prefer a private trip by car, renting in Turkey is pretty easy in most Turkish cities as well. 

Getting to Pamukkale by plane

In order to get to Pamukkale by plane, one has to fly to Denizli first. Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Jet, and Pegasus Airlines fly to Denizli Çardak Airport from most of the Turkish cities regularly. Depending on the departure city, there can be direct or connected flights. When you get to Denizli Çardak Airport, you will be approximately 70 kilometers away from Pamukkale. It takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour from the airport to Pamukkale by bus or a minibus that departs every hour from the Airport. There is also the option of getting to Denizli city center from the airport first, and then going to Pamukkale.

In order to get to the city center from the Airport, the best option is to take the HAVAŞ, which is the main transportation method based on bus trips from Airports to city centers all around Turkey. In that case, transportation options from the city center to Pamukkale are bus, shuttle, taxi, or car rental. Some airline companies provide transportation from the airport to the city center and from the city center to the airport within their passenger services. It is always best to contact your airline company to learn whether they provide such a service. 

Getting to Pamukkale by train 

There are railway lines from Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir to Denizli. It is possible to reach Pamukkale by train from Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and other cities that have passenger destinations along these railway lines. The passengers can always prefer transportation by train if they want an even safer trip and as comfortable as a bus trip. However, the time of the transportation will be longer compared to the other three methods with one benefit, more sightseeing options. 

Denizli Train Station and Denizli Bus Station are located in the city center of Denizli and they are very close to each other. Thus, after reaching Denizli Train Station, passengers must go to the bus terminal and take the minibusses to Pamukkale as mentioned above as well. 

Recommended transportation options to Pamukkale from different places

So far, I have given you the basics of where Pamukkale is and what are the transportation options to get there. However, the convenience of these transportation methods can differ based on where the traveler is coming from. Now, I will be giving you my recommendations on which transportation you should use based on different departure points. 

From Istanbul

First of all, there are two options that I can recommend for someone who wants to go to Pamukkale from Istanbul. Before moving on to those, it would be best to mention the distance between the two cities, which is approximately 600 kilometers.

If you take the first option, which is airline transportation, it would be the cheapest and the fastest way. A normal flight from Istanbul to Denizli lasts about an hour. After you get to Denizli Çardak Airport, one can get to Pamukkale with the methods mentioned above in 45 to 60 minutes. So, if you take the airline transportation from Istanbul to Denizli, you can be in Pamukkale in about 2 hours which is both time and monetary efficient.

In case of a way that gives you more sightseeing options, you could take the personal vehicle option, thus get to Pamukkale by your own or rental car. If you plan to travel to Denizli by car, you should follow the Istanbul-Izmit road and then proceed towards the Eskişehir route. You reach Pamukkale after a 9-hour journey by following the signs on Bursa, İnegöl, Bozüyük, Kütahya, Dumlupınar, Afyon, Çivril route. Alternatively, you can follow the Balıkesir, Akhisar, Alaşehir, and Denizli route after arriving at Bursa.

Both routes last similar times. In this option, you can stop at many beautiful and touristic places of Turkey such as Lake Kuş (Kuş Cenneti Milli Parkı) and Uludag National Park. On the way back, it would also be recommended to visit lake Salda which is a very attractive natural beauty.

From Izmir

The distance between Izmir and Pamukkale is approximately 200 kilometers.

The option that I would recommend you take to get to Pamukkale from Izmir is the railway option. It takes approximately 4 hours to get to Pamukkale by train, and the sightseeing on the way is definitely recommended to pay attention to.

Denizli-Izmir train services are carried out every day except Sundays. Izmir-Denizli train times are 07:45, 08:25, 11:25, 15:35, 16:45 and 18:25. For the way back, Denizli-Izmir train times are 04:20, 05:45, 08:25, 12:45, 14:35, 17:30.

If you have a car or you want to rent one, you have two alternative routes between Izmir and Pamukkale. The first one is the “İzmir, Turgutlu, Salihli, Alaşehir, Pamukkale route” which is 221 kilometers and takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.

As an alternative route, the “İzmir, Torbalı, Aydın, Nazillli, Pamukkale route” takes 244 kilometers and 3 hours.

Another option, traveling by bus, is also possible and it would also take you 3 hours. There are more than 10 companies that run the trip between İzmir and Pamukkale and it is possible to find a bus for almost every hour between 08.00-22.00. 

From Ephesus

The best option to travel to Pamukkale from Ephesus would be the railway option. The distance between the Selcuk Train Station and Denizli Train Station is 186 kilometers, and it would take 3 hours to get there by train.

Another option for getting to Pamukkale is by bus. There are a few bus companies that operate between Selcuk and Denizli. You can choose Kamil Koc or Akdeniz Seyahat. The bus trip takes 2-3 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a Dolmuş Bus from Selçuk to Aydın or Kuşadası. Especially there are lots of bus company options between Aydın and Denizli.

From Bodrum 

The distance between Bodrum and Pamukkale is approximately 250 kilometers. If you are in Bodrum, and you want to visit Pamukkale, I would recommend you to either use a personal vehicle, or take a bus in order to plan your trip comfortable, and time and money efficient. The road takes 4 hours in either option.

It is easy to find a bus in Bodrum Bus Terminal to Pamukkale every day. Also, you can always contact travel agencies in Bodrum for planned tours to Pamukkale which would provide you with a tour guide and extra services alongside residency options that vary for every tour.

From Antalya 

You can take all transportation options from Antalya to Pamukkale except train, however, I would recommend you to take the personal vehicle or a rental car method option for an amazing experience. If you take this option, when you take your departure point as Antalya Airport, you have to drive for 240 kilometers. It takes 2-3 hours if you do not want to visit anywhere on the road.

When you drive, it is recommended that you take a camera with you or with the person who will accompany you if you are not traveling alone, because a magnificent road awaits you. The road will never be boring and it is well maintained. You will not have any problems driving during the night as well due to well lighting of the roads. However, it would be best to watch out for the sharp bends and ramps that await you from time to time. Here are some natural beauties and touristic destinations you can visit on this road: Karain Cave (Antalya), Lake Salda (Burdur), Termessos National Park (Antalya), and finally Hierapolis Ancient City (Denizli). 

From Cappadocia

Many tourists tend to visit Pamukkale after they see Cappadocia or vice versa. In that case, the best option could be looking for options in tourism agencies. After visiting Cappadocia, when you go down to Ürgüp, you will see bus companies belonging to many tourism agencies. Many of them go directly to Pamukkale. I would recommend you to get on the buses that depart at 22:00 and be there at 06:00 in the morning, in order not to pay for overnight accommodation. The road takes 8 hours, and the distance is approximately 650 kilometers. 

From Abroad

If you are coming from abroad, in order to get to Pamukkale, you have to first get to Denizli. Denizli city center is only 17 kilometers away from Pamukkale.

Denizli has a small airport, but unfortunately there is no international flights to Denizli. If you would like to come to Pamukkale directly from abroad, the most comfortable way is by taking a connected flight via Istanbul.

Alternatively, you can fly to Izmir, Bodrum, or Antalya and use the ways that are told above.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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