CLEOPATRA’S POOL, also known as Pamukkale Antique Pool, is a man-made pool said to have been a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra. In the 7th century, a massive earthquake destroyed the Roman Temple to Apollo surrounding the pool, toppling the columns into the water, where they now remain for visitors to swim around.

A full-service facility—with bathrooms, changing rooms, lockers etc.—Cleopatra’s Pool is set within the well-preserved ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis. For over a thousand years, people have been coming to this region to soak in the mineral rich, geothermal waters. This particular hot spring is sometimes called a champagne pool, because of the bubbles that move through the water and dance across your skin.

How to get there:

Cleopatra’s Pool is located in the Hierapolis complex above the travertine terraces of the Pamukkale Thermal Pools. The nearest city to Pamukkale is Denizli—18km away—which has frequent minibuses running from the bus station and the pools. If you’re staying in the surrounding cities you can either take a bus to Denizli or rent a car and drive yourself. Kusadasi is three hours, Antalya and Marmaris are four, and Bodrum is five.

What to consider

  • The best way to experience the pool away from the crowds is to spend the night in Pamukkale village—the majority of the tours and day trippers don’t arrive until later in the day.
  • Peak hours are from 11am-4pm.
  • There is a separate entrance fee for swimming in the pool, but you’re welcome to sit around it for free.
  • The Antique Pool is open from Nov-March 8am-5:30pm, and April-Oct 8am-7:30pm. Entrance fee is TL33, around $10. Bring your own towel.
  • If you’re planning on a short swim, you might want to visit the pool near closing time for a discounted entrance fee and fewer people.