Izmir is the nearest city to Pamukkale, the place that is famous for it’s cascading thermal water lakes and white hills. The scenery is so surreal that it almost seems like snowfall but once you step on the hills, they turn out to be rock solid mineral-rich white hills.
You can fly into Izmir from Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon and other major cities of Turkey. Izmir Airport is also well served by German and other European airlines.
Another famous tourist route is from Istanbul -> Izmir -> Ephesus -> Pamukkale -> Cappadocia where you either take buses, private coaches or car hire to drive around. The public bus network is strong in Turkey and you can easily get a minibus for local travel and big Mercedez or similar buses for inter-city travel.
Transport from Izmir to Pamukkale
There are two ways to get from Izmir to Pamukkale.
Pamukkale via Train
You can the train from main Izmir train station (Basemane), the train also stops at Izmir airport and Selçuk. You will have to take the train going to Denizli. Total journey time is in excess of 5 hours and then you can take a minibus from Denizli train station to the Pamukkale. Bear in mind that this is a local train and stops at many stations on the way.
Pamukkale via Bus
Many buses connect Izmir with Denizli (the gateway city to Pamukkale). Most famous is Kamil Koç and Pamukkale bus company. You can find free Pamukkale shuttle bus near Basemane station, total ticket cost for Denizli is 33 TRY. Total journey time is 3 and half hours from Izmir Otogar (4 hours from Basemane). The bus also makes a few stops on the way and refreshments are served on board.
Minibus Transfer from Denizli to Pamukkale
Once at Denizli bus stop, you can find your way to the basement and find minibusses going to the Pamukkale. Total cost per person for the transfer is 3 TRY. They drop you at the base of white mineral-rich hills. Bear in mind that for the return journey you will have to come to the same place where the minibus will drop you. There is no minibus facility at the top entrance of the site.
Total Cost Per Person
The entrance for the Pamukkale is 35 TRY per person. Add return Izmir journey to it and per person cost for the trip excluding food will be 107 TRY.