When you first encounter Salda Lake you may think you have been magically transported to some far distant shore. Often referred to as The Turkish Maldives, with its clear turquoise waters and white sand beaches, painted with a distant backdrop of pine trees beneath a brilliant blue sky, it is easy to see why.
This enchanting mountain lake, half way between Marmaris and Antalya, is one of Turkeys best kept secrets. With no construction allowed on its shores, the only way to stay here is by camping. No bars, restaurants or rowdy nightlife, just a 3.5 million year old crater lake, hidden high up in the mountains. The lake is 16.9 square miles of unadulterated beauty, you may never want to leave.
If this isn’t enough to satisfy your inner adventurer, the second part of your day takes you to Pamukkale, with its calcified white rock formations coming from the antique city of Hierapolis. The rock pools have been forming for millions of years and continue to do so today. Some are filled with what are said to be healing waters coming from the earth.
They form natural rock pools for you to walk, sit in and even swim, and as much as they look as though they are made of ice, the calcified rock is chalky and non slippery to walk on. One more of nature’s wonders to discover in Turkey. Then to satisfy history buffs you climb the rocks to arrive at the awesome remains of Hierapolis. Famed for its previous occupants. St Philip the Apostlewho preached christianity and is buried here. Queen Cleopatra stayed here many times too. You may even choose to bathe in the same spa waters as the famous lady.
In 2022, price of Marmaris Lake Salda & Pamukkale Tour is 40 € for adults, 20 € for children between age 6 and 12, free for children under 5 years old.
Every Thursday & Friday, between March to November from 04:30 to 20:00.
Your day starts with an air conditioned transport with English speaking guide, picking you up from your hotel in Marmaris. When everyone is on board you begin your journey north eastwards towards Denizli and the town of Kale, where you will stop for breakfast. From Kale you travel on to Salda Lake. This is perfect for swimming and photographs, with free time to explore and walk the beautiful shores, before returning to your coach and heading towards Pamukkale, with a lunch stop along the way.
The afternoon sees you arriving at the foothills of the Cotton Castles and with free time you can take a leisurely climb, stopping to cool off in the waters of the rock pools. As you begin to climb you can marvel at the distant scenery and understand why Hierapolis was such a well defended city of antiquity, known for its healing waters and cosmopolitan occupancy.
Once you arrive at the ancient city you can relax at the Tourist centre or continue to discover the ancient streets.
The tourist centre offers you the chance to swim in the healing spa waters of what is now known as Cleopatra’s Pool, said to ease rhumatic and arthritic pains, it is certainly worth a dip in the 35 degree centigrade waters.
The tourist centre also offers refreshments and sourvenir shops, plus a relaxing garden area where you may sit and take refreshment.
At the designated time you will meet your guide and rejoin your coach and fellow passengers to make the journey back to Marmaris and your hotel.
Cost of Marmaris Lake Salda & Pamukkale Tour is 40 € for adults, 20 € for children between age 6 and 12, free for children under 5 years old in 2022.
Wear your swimsuit beneath t shirt and shorts. Bring suncream, sunglasses and hat to maximise your day. Do wear appropriate footwear for walking.
Bring some money with you for the optional extras and your camera, for some of the most exciting scenery you can imagine.
Swimming in Lake Salda is from June to mid September. You are only allowed to swim in the designated areas. This is after all a lake and parts of the shore are swamplike. This should not deter you from enjoying the safe waters to their fullest.
Building construction has been prohibited on the lakeshore. There is one small hotel, which offers refreshments and toilet facilities to visitors.
To climb the travertines at Pamukkale you are not allowed to wear footwear of any kind. The rocks have taken thousands, if not millions of years to form, and only remain whitebecause you do not wear shoes to climb. There will be an official somewhere on site to make sure you conform to this ruling. The white rocks and pools are not slippery and are easy to walk barefoot.
Please note, if you see green algae in the rock pools, this can be slippery, take care, otherwise, enjoy!
Not necessarily. Although it is an easy climb for the able bodied you may wish to forego this part of the tour and join the coach taking you to the car park by the gardens and the ancient city. The views are equally as stunning, but the climb is breathtaking for those who can do it.
For all ages, children love the abundance of rock pools and tend to run on ahead of the parents who are taking time to enjoy the scenery. Salda Lake offers soft white sand and endlessly shallow water, perfect for a stretch out or even a sandcastle construction (the only type allowed).