Traveling from Antalya to Pamukkale is one of the most popular day trips, and for good reason: the journey is relatively short, there are plenty of group tours that have daily departures, and there are many ways of getting from Antalya to Pamukkale. Oh, and did we mention that Pamukkale is absolutely beautiful? 😍
If you’re looking to take a day trip from Antalya to Pamukkale (or stay overnight!), you’re in the right place. This helpful guide will go over the best ways to reach Pamukkale from Antalya, including by bus, car, group or private tour, train, and plane. Each of these travel options have in-depth information, including links, departure times, pros/cons, and more.
Pamukkale is also an excellent midpoint, and you can continue your journey to other cities like Isparta, Konya, Izmir, and so on.
If you’re looking for how to get from Antalya to Pamukkale, we hope this guide will be helpful! 🙂
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY CAR
If you’re up for an adventure (and who isn’t?), then traveling from Antalya to Pamukkale by car is the best option!
The distance between Antalya to Pamukkale is about 240 kilometers (150 miles) and should take you about 3 to 4 hours depending on which route you take. Note that we used Antalya city center and Pamukkale city center as the start and end points, and your mileage may vary (literally) depending on where you start driving. 😁
There are a few different routes that you can take to drive from Antalya to Pamukkale, but we recommend the shortest (i.e. the default one that Google shows first). You’ll take the E87 for most of the way (200-some kilometers!) before switching to D585 and smaller local roads when you get close to Pamukkale. Just follow the signs to Denizli, and when you get to the city, follow signs for Pamukkale.
The roads in Turkey are fantastic and we’ve had no problems during the 10+ times we’ve gone on a road trip in Turkey (you can check all of our road trip blog posts here and get inspired :)).
Once you arrive at Pamukkale, there are a few parking areas near the entrance.
Booking a Rental Car
We’ve used RentalCars almost a dozen times during our road trips around Turkey and recommend them if you want to rent a car in Turkey. Click the button below to check out RentalCars’ available cars, prices, availability, and more. 🙂
- Flexibility: Driving gives you the freedom to set your own schedule and explore at your own pace — and stop at cool roadside places along the way!
- Convenience: You can take your luggage without any extra fees. This is especially great if you want to travel onward from Pamukkale (i.e. not return back to Antalya).
- Privacy: Enjoy your own company and without the need to share a tour with strangers.
- Budget-friendly: If you find a good deal on car rentals, traveling to Pamukkale by car may be cheaper than taking a group tour (especially if you’re in a larger group!)
- Best for Families & Groups: As mentioned above, splitting a car rental might be cheaper than buying individual tickets on a group tour. Traveling to Pamukkale by car is also great for families with small kids, as they won’t feel cramped and tired (compared to taking the bus or a tour).
- Distance and Time: If you’re not a fan of driving, this option might cause fatigue for you.
- Navigational Anxiety: If it’s your first time driving internationally, you might be anxious about driving in Turkey. (Although we personally wouldn’t worry, this route is very simple and doesn’t require many twists and turns)
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY BUS
If you’re looking for an option that’s budget-friendly, flexible, and eco-friendly, then we recommend traveling to Pamukkale from Antalya by bus!
There are 15+ daily departures from Antalya to Pamukkale, including early in the morning (1:00, 2:00, 7:00, 9:00, 10:00 am departures), afternoon (11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00), and evening (18:01, 21:00, 22:00, 23:00, 23:30, and 23:59).
The buses depart from Antalya’s Main Bus Station, which is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the city center. If you’re going by taxi, you can tell the driver Antalya Otogarı. Likewise, you can take the AntRay (Antalya’s light rail train) to the main bus station — just take the T1A or T1B line to the OTOGAR station.
If you’re planning to take the bus from Antalya to Pamukkale, your trip will consist of two parts. First, you’ll take the bus from Antalya to Denizli (the big city next to Pamukkale), which is the bulk of this trip and takes 3 to 4 hours.
You’ll arrive at Denizli Bus Station, where you’ll need to transfer to the next bus (Denizli to Pamukkale). The minibus departs from the lower level (around platform 74-76) and there are minibus departures every 15 to 20 minutes. The minibus trip from Denizli to Pamukkale takes about 20 minutes. Voila!
The total trip time from the moment you depart Antalya bus station and until you arrive at Pamukkale takes about 4 to 5 hours. Because of this, we recommend taking an early trip so you can see Pamukkale without rushing the trip.
Booking Bus Tickets
You can buy tickets for the first journey (Antalya to Denizli) online through Flixbus / Kamil Koç — just click the button below. Likewise, you’ll be able to buy tickets for the second part of the trip (Denizli to Pamukkale) at the Denizli Bus Station.
- Affordability: Bus travel is often more budget-friendly compared to other options.
- Flexible: There are more than 15+ daily bus departures from Antalya to Denizli, so you can choose when you want to go.
- Relaxation: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery without the stress of driving and/or social anxiety of taking a group tour. 😉
- Eco Friendly: This is one of the more eco-friendlier options.
- Two transfers: You’ll need to transfer (i.e. take the Antalya – Denizli bus then transfer to the Denizli – Pamukkale bus), which might be inconvenient and/or a hassle for those who are unaware of Turkey’s bus system.
- Might not be the best option for families with small kids: The journey is about 4 hours long and you’ll need to switch buses in Denizli. Kids might be fussy from having to stay onboard for so long.
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY GROUP TOUR
Traveling from Antalya to Pamukkale by group tour is an exciting and convenient option for exploring two of Turkey’s most captivating destinations. If you prefer the comfort of having everything already planned out, the camaraderie of meeting fellow travelers, and prefer not to stress over transportation and small details, then this option is for you!
Group tours are typically either half-day or full-day tours, and usually include a trip to other nearby places (like Salda Lake).
There are dozens of daily tours from Antalya to Pamukkale, but we’ve found the following to be the most popular and top-rated:
- Efficiency: Group tours streamline your itinerary and make sure you visit Pamukkale’s main attractions efficiently. This is especially helpful if you have limited time.
- Informative: By their very nature, group tours include guides that will talk in-depth about the destination and other interesting facts. This is a great choice for those who want to learn about Pamukkale beyond the surface.
- Meet Others: You’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded travelers and enhance your overall experience. Perfect for extroverts! 🙂
- Less Flexibility: Group tours follow set schedules, limiting your ability to explore Pamukkale at your own pace.
- Crowds: Since group tours usually arrive at Pamukkale at the same time, you might encounter crowds of other tourists.
- Subsidized: Some group tours are cheap because they do ‘shopping stops’ at places like rug stores, pottery studios, souvenir kiosks, and more. If you’re not a fan of shopping and/or wasting time, be sure to check the fine print beforehand.
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY PRIVATE TOUR
While group tours might be fun, taking a private tour allows you to enjoy a more personalized and tailored experience when traveling from Antalya to Pamukkale.
One of the maın advantages of a private tour is the flexibility it offers. You can customize your itinerary to match your interests and pace to ensure you get the most out of your trip to Pamukkale. Whether you want to spend more time exploring specific sites or simply prefer a relaxed schedule, a private tour caters to your preferences.
Likewise, you’ll have the full attention of your guide. This means you can ask questions, seek recommendations on the best restaurants and places in Pamukkale, and dive deeper into the history of the travertines. Finally, traveling with just your family or friends (or even solo!) ensures privacy and a more intimate atmosphere. Since you won’t have to share the experience with strangers, you’ll have a more relaxed and enjoyable journey.
Here are some private tour options for an Antalya to Pamukkale trip:
- Personalization: Tailor the itinerary to your interests and pace.
- Exclusive Attention: Enjoy undivided attention from your guide for in-depth insights.
- Cost: Private tours can be more expensive than group tours.
- Limited Social Interaction: You may miss out on the camaraderie of group travel.
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY AIRPLANE
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Antalya to Pamukkale (Denizli). The closest airport to Pamukkale is called Denizli Çardak Airport — or simply Denizli Airport (short code DNZ). The airport is about a 1-hour drive to Pamukkale.
At the moment, there are only a few flights to Denizli Airport. Most of them are from both Istanbul Airports (IST and SAW) on Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet, and Pegasus Airlines. There are some regular and seasonal routes from Tehran Airport on Iran Air, Iran Airtour, and Qeshm Air, plus seasonal routes from Shiraz (Iran) and Medina (Saudi Arabia).
Since there are no flights to Pamukkale from Antalya, you would need to fly to Istanbul first, take an Istanbul – Denizli flight, and then take a shuttle/taxi/car to Pamukkale. For this reason, we recommend picking another form of transport (above).
ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY TRAIN
While Turkey has an excellent train network, unfortunately Antalya isn’t included in that concept. 😅
There is no train (railway) station in Antalya — or most cities along the Turkish Mediterranean, for that matter (except Mersin and Adana).
Since there is no Antalya to Pamukkale train (and, therefore, taking the train from Antalya to Pamukkale is not an option), we recommend choosing another form of transport.
WHAT TO DO IN PAMUKKALE
Whether you’re driving, taking a bus, or taking a Pamukkale day trip from Antalya, you’re probably wondering what to do in Pamukkale once you get here. We’ve compiled some of the best things to see in Pamukkale and around the area. 🙂
Of course 😉
The main attraction of Pamukkale is none other than the beautiful white and blue mineral pools and travertines, and it’s no wonder why this landmark received the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors travel to Pamukkale to witness the surreal landscape of pristine white travertine terraces, reminiscent of a snow-covered mountain, cascading down the hillside. These terraces are not only a visual marvel but also offer the opportunity to soak in the rejuvenating mineral-rich waters. The hot spring waters are high in calcium, magnesium sulfate, and bicarbonate, and also have a positive effect on the skin!
Imagine swimming in crystal clear teal water, pretending to be Cleopatra, all while sitting on antique columns submerged underwater… Doesn’t it sound lovely? Unfortunately, hundreds of other tourists think so too. 😅
While we won’t stop you from taking a dip in the pool, we will note that it’s one of Pamukkale’s biggest tourist traps — the entrance fee is fairly steep, there are huge crowds by midday, and the water isn’t as clean as expected.
Stroll through the ancient city of Hierapolis
Although only ruins remain of this once-great city, Hierapolis has quite the interesting history. It was originally built by the Phrygians and used as a thermal spa resort around the 2nd century BC, although some groups thought it was a ‘gateway to the underworld’ thanks to the noxious gasses that erupted from the nearby caves. 🙂
The city was buried around the 1300s due to an earthquake, and only excavated in the late 1800s.
There are still a handful of landmarks still standing, including the main street, two gates, a theater, some temples and shrines, baths and natural thermal pools, and even a necropolis. If possible, we recommend hiring a guide when visiting Hierapolis, as this place is quite interesting and full of history!
Hierapolis Archaeological Museum
If you can’t get enough of Hierapolis’ history, make sure to take a trip to the nearby archaeological museum to learn more. There are three halls with artifacts and excavations from the ancient city, including rock tombs, sculptures, coins, and more.
Karahayit Hot Springs
Also known as Karahayit Red Springs, this natural wonder is only 5 kilometers north of Pamukkale and has similar characteristics — but is totally off the beaten path! You won’t find many tourists here, and instead, there are volcano-like hot springs and mineral-rich mud!
If you’re visiting Pamukkale by car, this is definitely one of the coolest stops along the way! In fact, you might notice that the travertines inside the cave look just like the ones in Pamukkale, which is why Kaklik Cave is nicknamed ‘Cave Pamukkale’ or ‘Little Pamukkale.’ 🙂
Take a Hot Air Balloon Fight
You’ve probably heard of hot air balloon flights in Cappadocia, but did you know it’s also possible to go on a hot air balloon flight in Pamukkale as well? You’ll get to see the beautiful blue travertines from above as the sunset comes up, and as a bonus, the rest of your day is free to explore Pamukkale. As a bonus, the hot air balloons in Pamukkale are usually 2 to 3 times cheaper than those in Cappadocia. 🙂 CLICK HERE TO BOOK →
If you want something a little more adventurous, you can also take to the skies with a tandem paraglide experience! CLICK HERE TO BOOK →
Watch a Whirling Dervish Show
Watching a Whirling Dervish show in Pamukkale is a mesmerizing cultural experience. Rooted in the 13th-century Sufi tradition of Mevlana Rumi, these graceful dancers perform the “Sema” ritual, symbolizing spiritual ascent and union with the divine. The music and clothing are beautiful, and it’s definitely an experience not to miss! CLICK HERE TO BOOK →
Definitely one of the most unique activities in Pamukkale, taking a gyrocopter tour lets you see the area’s most famous spots in style! CLICK HERE TO BOOK →
Q&A | QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Can you do a day trip from Antalya to Pamukkale?
Of course! Pamukkale is only 3 hours from Antalya and completely doable in a day trip.
What is the easiest way to get to Pamukkale from Antalya?
The easiest and best way to reach Pamukkale from Antalya is by taking a tour, since it’s convenient (no need to plan anything!), informational (with a licensed guide), and fun (you get to meet fellow travelers). <LINK TO TOUR>
Otherwise, renting a car and going on a fun Antalya to Pamukkale journey / road trip is another great option. 🙂
Is 1 day enough in Pamukkale?
Yes, one day in Pamukkale is definitely enough to visit the main attractions like the terraces and the ancient city of Hierapolis, walk around the center, and even do an activity like paragliding or watching a whirling dervish show.
How much time is required in Pamukkale?
The amount of time required in Pamukkale depends on your interests, but at least one full day is recommended to see all the sites. You can check our Pamukkale travel tips and what to see in the section above.
Can you fly to Pamukkale?
Pamukkale does not have an airport, but you can fly to Denizli Cardak Airport (DNZ), which is the nearest airport to Pamukkale, and then take a taxi, bus, or car to Pamukkale. The trip is less than an hour.
Is Pamukkale worth visiting?
Of course! We guarantee it’s nothing like you’ve seen before: imagine dazzling white travertines, crystal blue waters, and unique natural formations all in one place. 🙂
How long is the bus from Antalya to Pamukkale?
The total trip time from Antalya to Pamukkale by bus takes about 4 to 5 hours. Because of this, we recommend taking an early trip so you can see Pamukkale without rushing the trip. Check our section above titled “ANTALYA TO PAMUKKALE BY BUS” for all the details.