Many areas of the Middle East are now synonymous with luxury travel, less like the sandy, rugged environments portrayed in the past. Ker & Downey’s Tales of Turkey journey takes visitors through Istanbul and the wonders of the Hagia Sophia, to Cappodocia and the “fairy chimneys” of an alien landscape and to Pumukkale, the site of ancient mineral baths. Coveted for centuries by royalty, these ancient spas are yours to experience when you travel to Turkey.
Warm, calcium-laden mineral waters spring from the earth and cascade over a steep cliff, forming gleaming white travertine pools. Believed to be first used in the second century BCE, these pools have been frequented for thousands of years by those seeking the curative properties of the waters and hot springs found here. Similar to other mineral springs found around the world, the waters are thought to help alleviate skin diseases, nervous disorders, heart disease and circulatory issues. Though open for tourism, the area is subject to stringent conservation laws to help preserve the site for thousands more generations. Those wishing to venture into the pools, whether for bathing or hiking, are required to remove their shoes to reduce pollutants in the waters and keep the travertine a shining white.
City of Hierapolis
Trek to the top of the cliffside pools to see the ruins of Greek city Hierapolis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features several temples, a large theatre and hundreds of tombs. Raiding armies and earthquakes plagued the city and it was eventually decimated by a final tremor. Over time the ruins became partially buried in limestone, and after excavation began in the 20th century, many of the intricate bas-reliefs of mythological events found inside the theatre were transported to museums all over the world. A few original pieces from the city remain in the museum, housed inside an ancient Roman bathhouse. Evidence of past earthquakes can be seen throughout the ruins, with numbers of sarcophagi and buildings open to reveal their interiors.
The Spa Hotel is located in Karahayit near Pamukkale and Hierapolis. A licensed thermal spa and physical therapy laboratory, this hotel is a welcome night’s relaxation on your trip along the Turkish coast. The hotel provides a vast number of health and wellness services utilizing the area’s natural wonders. Experienced specialists perform anti-stress and relaxation therapies as well as doctor-controlled physical therapy programs for a variety of ailments. Indulge in one of the hotel’s beauty programs or relax sore muscles and joints in the spa.
Explore the coast of Turkey with Ker & Downey for unforgettable experiential travel. Hungry for more Turkey? Read on about Cappodocia or contact our travel experts to start planning your luxury getaway.