After the photo of the view along Karaçay, we promised photos of Saklıkent Gorge yesterday. Well, we’re a day late, so to compensate, we’ve added a video too, just for good measure. Saklıkent Gorge, meaning Hidden City Gorge, really is a place that you just have to see for yourself because, no matter how many photos you take of these colossal cliff faces, it’s impossible to capture their height and the sounds of the rapids gushing beneath you.
Visitors enter the gorge via turnstiles that lead directly onto a raised walkway attached to the rocks and no matter how many times we walk along here, we can never become blasé about the sights, sounds and feelings that fill your body. You suddenly become aware of yourself; how tiny and insignificant you are amongst this powerful statement of nature.
If you visit Saklıkent Gorge in high season, you will feel immediate relief from the sun’s scorching rays. Welcome shade, cool rock faces and spray from the icy cold water below all work together to cool the body. However, if you visit Saklıkent Gorge in high season, you will also be sharing the narrow walk ways with countless other tourists, many of whom have an uncanny knack of stopping dead, right in front of you to take a photo.
“Our tip for visiting Saklıkent: We’ve never been so late in the season until last Friday. Look at the walkways in the photos. We almost had the gorge to ourselves. If you can, visit this place towards the end of the season!”
Once you reach the end of the walkway, it’s possible to continue trekking through the gorge by wading through this small section of rapids. This water is forcing itself straight out of the rocks and trust us when we say it’s freezing!
We didn’t cross the rapids on Friday as we’ve done it many times before but the times are changing. In days gone by, one could wonder through the water to continue the stroll, willy nilly. Not anymore! We were completely shocked to see safety warnings (they’re not a common sight in Turkey). Signs warn tourists of the potential dangers both of possible tumbling rocks from above and of danger to yourself – well, you wouldn’t want to fall into the river now, would you?
And for that reason, a guide now shows you the best path across the water. It’s worth noting that our friends visited Saklıkent Gorge for the first time last year. Their guide stayed with them all the time as they wanted to walk as far as it’s possible to go and reach the waterfall at the end. They were glad of the guide’s help in a couple of places as there’s a bit of scrambling involved where a huge boulder blocks the path and they happily tipped him at the end.
And it’s not all rock scrambling and gorge walking at Saklıkent. These legs belong to Barry and in two weeks’ time, he’s going to attempt to run his first ever marathon in Istanbul. Shin splints have prevented him from doing all of his training – but half an hour sitting on a rock allowing freezing, gushing water to pummel his legs - he had a bottle of Efes Pilsen in the other hand, of course! – and he’s been able to get a good, long practise run in before we head off for the run. Magic!
It’s cool, it’s shaded and it’s loud. Click ‘play’ on the video above and enjoy a stroll with us along the walkway of Saklıkent Gorge.
Saklıkent – Useful Info
- We went to Saklıkent Gorge by dolmuş from Fethiye. The price is 7.50 TL per person, each way. Journey time: approx 40 minutes.
- Entrance to Saklıkent Gorge costs 4.50 TL per person.
- If you’re intending to cross the water to walk the rest of the gorge, make sure you’re wearing shoes with a good grip – NOT FLIP FLOPS!
- NB: In very early season (April) after the heavy winter rains it may not be possible to enter the gorge due to high water levels. Check before setting off.