If you haven't already been, you may want to start thinking about planning your next trip to Turkey.

Sure, the country has incredible, deep-seated culture, delicious food and breathtaking architecture, but there's one thing there that is making its way to the top of traveller's bucket lists: Surreal, brilliant white thermal pools that are literally like heaven on Earth.

Translating to ‘Cotton Castle,’ Pamukkale is truly spectacular in its own right. The mineral-rich thermal waters are a true spectacle of nature, with pure white travertine terraces and warm, blue waters cascading down 2,700 metres.

And the best part? They're not just for looking at. You can swim in them, too.

via @estravelgram

The white terraces, which are now a major tourist attraction, were formed over centuries from the buildup of calcium carbonate in the water. Now, Pamukkale has around 17 hot water springs with temperatures that range between 35 and 100 degrees Celsius, and the waters are reputed for its benefits to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.

So what sets these thermal pools apart from the rest dotted around the world, from China to Costa Rice and the USA to Iceland? The UNESCO World Heritage site is also the remarkably well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis.

FinnSnow

You can even still bathe as the Romans did at a warm, picturesque pool filled with mineral-rich water.

And don't forget to check out the town's striking Roman amphitheater, which could hold up to 12,000 people in its glory days.  

Of course, with all this charm comes a lot of attention, and Pamukkale has been no stranger to travellers over the past few years.

via @chloe_t

Want to avoid boatloads of other tourists crowding up your Instagram-worthy photos? A tip for enjoying an uncrowded visit is to spend a night in Pamukkale village and head over to the pools early morning. Most tourists don't arrive until the afternoon.

Have you packed your bags yet?

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