Pamukkale is a hot spring that flows over terraces made from calcium deposits. The geothermally heated water dissolves the calcium when it is underground and then deposits it again when it reaches the surface and cools. The water is too hot for soaking in some of the pools, but in lower pools, where it cools to around 95 degrees, people can take a dip. Health benefits include relief from asthma, rheumatism and circulatory and respiratory diseases.
Once only known among locals, Pamukkale became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1980s and started gaining attention from international travelers. To protect the pools from damage, visitors cannot wear shoes in the water, and only certain pools are open for swimming.