Saklikent Gorge is a natural wonder located in the southwestern region of Turkey, near the city of Fethiye. The gorge is a popular spot for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and tourists looking to escape the crowds. For its stunning beauty and serene atmosphere, it is considered a must-visit destination for holidayers visiting the region.
This guide will explore the history of Saklikent canyon, how to get there, prices, and activities you can try out to make the most of your time while visiting this breathtaking natural landmark.
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What Is Saklikent Gorge?
Sakıkent gorge is 18 kilometers long and is the longest and deepest gorge in Turkey. It is formed by the melting water of the Taurus Mountains, slowly forming a stunning landscape of steep cliffs and crystal-clear water.
The walls of the gorge reach up to over 300 meters in some places, making it a truly breathtaking sight to see. But how did the land come to form into such a structure?
The Formation of Saklikent's Geography
Over millions of years, the flow of water through the area carved out a deep channel through the soft rock, gradually deepening and widening over time. The harder rock formations, such as granite and limestone, resisted erosion and remained as towering cliffs, creating the dramatic landscape that can be seen today.
Tectonic activity also played a role in the formation of the gorge. The movement of the Earth's crust in the region caused the uplift of the Taurus Mountains, which created the steep-walled and narrow gorge. This also caused the river to erode the softer rock layers and create the deep canyon.
The erosion process still continues today, as the water from the melting snow and glaciers of the Taurus Mountains, flows through the gorge, carving and shaping the landscape. This process created the 18 km long, 300 meters deep canyon, that can be seen today, making it the longest and deepest gorge in the imaginary region.
Additionally, due to the unique geographical location of the gorge, it also has a microclimate, that makes it a unique habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.
Where Is Saklıkent Gorge?
Saklikent Gorge is located in the southwestern region of Turkey, in the Muğla province, near the city of Fethiye. It is situated about 48 kilometers east of Fethiye, 150 kilometers west of Marmaris and about 200 kilometers east of Antalya.
How To Get to Saklikent Gorge From Fethiye
To get to Saklikent from Fethiye, you can take a bus or a dolmuş (a minibus) from the Fethiye bus station. The journey takes about 1 hour and the buses run regularly throughout the day. Alternatively, you can also rent a car or take a taxi to get there. From Fethiye, it's also possible to take a tour to the gorge, that usually includes pick up and drop off from the hotel.
How To Get to Saklıkent Gorge From Marmaris
From Marmaris, you can take a bus or a dolmuş from the Marmaris bus station. The journey takes about 3 hours and the buses run regularly throughout the day. You can also rent a car or take a taxi to get there, it will take around 2 hours.
How To Get to Saklıkent Gorge From Antalya
From Antalya, the easiest way to get to Saklikent is by renting a car, as it is 200 kilometers away and the bus journey takes around 4-5 hours with transfer. Alternatively, if you're planning to also visit Dalaman, you can take a bus or a dolmuş to Saklikent from there. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Fethiye and then another hour to get to Saklikent.
Please keep in mind that during the peak season, the gorge could get crowded, and it's recommended to visit early in the morning or late afternoon.
Looking to get to your hotel from Dalaman? Check out our Airport Transfer Guide!
Things To Do In Saklikent Gorge
1. Hiking: One of the most popular activities at Saklikent Gorge is hiking. The gorge is home to a beautiful hiking trail that takes visitors through the breathtaking scenery of the gorge. The trail is well-maintained and offers great views of the surrounding mountains and the sparkling water of the gorge.
You can also take a guided tour of the gorge, which includes a hike through the gorge and a visit to the nearby village of Sultaniye. You can register for one of these tours at one of the many excurison vendors that can be found in most of the nearby holiday towns. Be sure to get some gorge hiking tips to make the best of your time here.
2. Whitewater Rafting: Another popular activity at Saklikent Gorge is rafting. The gorge is home to a number of rapids and white water, making it a great destination for rafting enthusiasts. Visitors can take a guided rafting tour, which includes all necessary equipment and safety instructions. Rafting is a thrilling activity that provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the power of the gorge's water while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
3. Going for a Dip: Swimming is also a popular activity at Saklikent Gorge. Visitors can take a dip in the cool, clear waters of the gorge and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The water is usually very cold, but it's a refreshing experience in hot summer days.
4. Plan a Relaxing Picnic: Saklikent Gorge is also home to a number of picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal and take in the stunning views of the gorge. These areas are well-maintained and offer visitors a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
In addition to these activities, Saklikent canyon also offers a number of other activities for visitors to enjoy. There are fishing spots, where visitors can catch trout and other fish in the gorge's waters. There are also horseback riding trails, where visitors can explore the area on horseback.
Overall, whether going with the family, as a couple, or with a group of friends, there will defintely be many activities for you to try out at Saklikent canyon.
Wondering Where to stay? Head over to our Top 10 Best Hotels in Marmaris!
Prices At Saklikent Gorge
As with everywhere else in the region, pricesvary greaty depending on the location, season, availability, and of course, whether you haggle or not. However, most things in Saklikent tend to fit into the certain price ranges listed below.
Drinks: There are only a handful pubs around the region of Saklikent but you can find a beer for around £5, and cocktails for between £6 - £8. If looking to conserve your budget, you can also raid one of the corner shops called "tekel" which sell single cans for around the equivalent of £2.50.
Dining: Saklikent Paradise Restaurant is pretty much the only restaurant near the gorge. The prices are higher than in the towns, but you can expect to enjoy a decent meal and drink for around £10.
Guided Hikes: Visitors take one of the many guided tours that last anything from a couple hours to half a day. These tours typically range from £15 to £25 per person, depending on the provider. You can expect these prices to fall drastically in the off -season.
Whitewater Rafting: The gorge is home to a number of rapids and white water, making it a great destination for rafting enthusiasts. Visitors can take a guided rafting tour, which includes all necessary equipment and safety instructions. Guided rafting tours typically range from £30 to £50 per person. These are relatively more expensive than the other activities, which means that there is a bit more room for haggling, especially for larger groups.
Horseback Riding: Saklikent Gorge also offers horseback riding trails, where visitors can explore the area on horseback. The prices for horseback riding trails usually start at £25 per person and can go up to £50 per person depending on the provider. This is an especially exciting one for those looking to enoy the sceneries.
Exploring the Nearby Historical Sites: The canyon is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites. Visitors can take a tour of the nearby village of Sultaniye, which is home to a number of traditional houses and ancient ruins. The prices for these tours usually start at £25 per person and can go up to £35 per person depending on the provider.
Saklikent Gorge Village - Sultaniye
Sultaniye is the small village near Saklikent. It is home to a number of historical and cultural sites. Here, holidayers can explore the ancient ruins, including an old mosque and a traditional Ottoman bathhouse.
There are also a number of artisans in the village who specialize in traditional crafts, such as pottery and weaving. During your time here, you can observe these crafts being made and even purchase some as souvenirs.
The village is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes, where you can try traditional Turkish cuisine. Traditional food, particularly the local trout dishes are served commonly here. Holidayers can sample these dishes and enjoy the local flavors.
Best Time To Visit Saklikent Gorge
The best time to visit Saklikent Gorge is usually during the spring and summer months, from April to September. This is when the weather is warm and sunny, making it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and swimming. During this time, the water flow is also high and the scenery is at its best.
Autumn can also be a great time to visit Saklikent Gorge. The weather is generally mild and the crowds are typically smaller than in the summer. During the autumn, the leaves of the trees start to change color, creating a beautiful display of fall foliage. This can add an extra layer of beauty to the already spectacular natural scenery of the gorge.
However, it's worth noting that as the water flow in the gorge is seasonal, the rafting and swimming experiences may be different. In the autumn, the water level can be lower than in the summer and the water temperature can be colder. Visitors should be prepared for these conditions and plan accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an entrance fee to Saklikent Gorge?
Yes, there is a small entrance fee of 30 TRY for the gorge.
How long is the hike through Saklikent Gorge?
The hike through Saklikent Gorge is roughly around 2.5-3 km long and can take around 2-3 hours to complete. However, it is highly recommended that you take the time to do pit stops at some of the more well-known locations aound the gorge.
Is it safe to swim in Saklikent Gorge?
Swimming in Saklikent Gorge is safe, but the water can be cold, especially in the early season. It's important to be cautious, as the rocks can be slippery and the current can be strong in some areas.
Can I bring my own food and drinks to Saklikent Gorge?
What should I wear to Saklikent Gorge?
If you're planning to explore the hiking route, it may be a good idea to wear weather-appropriate clothes and durable shoes. A hat and sunscreen are also recommended.
Is there a place to change clothes at Saklikent Gorge?
Yes, there are places to change and shower at the entrance of the canyon.
Are there any restrictions on photography at Saklikent Gorge?
No, you can feel free to capture the views in the canyon.