‘Pamukkale’ means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, and it’s an apt name. Calcium oxide-rich thermal spring waters that flowed downhill here left deposits of white travertine. The result is a dramatic patchwork of calcium-formed shelves, basins, stalactites and petrified waterfalls, the whole area resembling a glacial ice floe marooned amidst Anatolia’s green hills. And the best bit: alongside Pamukkale’s white world are the ancient remains of Hierapolis. Mentioned in Paul’s epistle to the Colossians, Hierapolis features a superb Roman theatre and the impressive Temple of Apollo. But a highlight has to be the opportunity to swim here – paddling in thermal waters among ancient Roman remains is a decadent, unforgettable experience.