For those who have been to the natural hot springs at Pamukkale, when you are walking in the pools, is it ok to use bare feet or should you be wearing aqua shoes? Is the bottom pretty smooth or are there sharp stones? Thanks.
The bottom naturally is smooth and soft with silt. The more trod-upon pools can get broken pieces that are not really sharp but annoying, and I think that may be caused by people wearing shoes. When I was in an Italian hot spring (more recently than Pamukkale), I didn't wear my sandals in but used a work-around of floating and "walking on my hands" because there was so much broken debris in the first pools that it was uncomfortable to put my weight on my feet.
We were just there. The pools at the top of the mountain were a little bit sharp. The pools further down the mountain were smooth. I would guess is was due to the added traffic at the top of the mountain. I didn't see any signs regarding footwear. When we first arrived the water was off and there weren't any pools. They had some sort of system that stopped the water. We were told it was so the calcification could reform. The water isn't always on. When we got there they turned the water on later in the morning and the pools started forming. I suggest going to the lower pools as soon as possible to avoid the crowds. Same goes for the Antique Pool (fee for this special pool was I think 50 TL). Our guide got us to the Antique Pool early which was nice because later a tour bus of Russian tourists piled into the pool and we were told it was like standing in a can of sardines.
Jim V, sounds like “swim shoes” would be good to wear. Do you think those would be allowed?
I am not sure about the swimming pool, but no shoes allowed in the shallow pools. I have tender feet and did not find that it was a problem. Be careful close to the edge where you take your shoes off as it is in the shade and there is some algae which causes it to be slippery. A few feet out and it is fine.
I was just there a couple of weeks ago. I did not see anyone with shoes on in the pools. All were barefoot.
We went in the hot springs to take some photos. We didn't wear any bathing suits, so we were in the water up to knee height. You MUST wear some kind of shoes because it was really SLIPPERY! Although there are no signs that say you have to wear them, please do. You may easily slip and fall, especially when entering. I saw a lot of people leaving their shoes before they got in, but I am pretty sure you can wear swim shoes. Take care!
There seems to be confusion about "pool". The Cleopatra Pool also called the Antique Pool is like a swimming pool. It is NOT a travertine pool. You may be able to wear swim shoes in there. You are not permitted to wear any shoes while walking on the white travertine surface or in the pools that form on the travertine.
Last answer is the right one.
Vandrabrud is correct. I was in Pamukkale three months ago. Absolutely no shoes of any kind allowed in the Tavertine “pools”. It can be a little sharp and slippery in the Tavertine “pools”.