Two city of Antalya waterfalls: Upper Düden Waterfalls and Lower Düden Waterfalls. Both tumbling from the same river – but two completely different personalities!
One – Upper Düden Waterfall – is the natural beauty of a tranquil green space. The other – its lower counterpart – is all about the beauty of the ferocious power of nature.
Both are easy to visit, either on an organised tour or under your own steam, as they’re in the Antalya city environs.
They’re also two of Antalya’s top tourist attractions.
And, however you prefer to travel, we do highly recommend seeing these two beautiful top sights.
If you follow our tales of travels around Turkey, you’ll know we like to do things our own way, in our own time – preferably making use of the country’s comprehensive public transportation networks.
So, after a wander to Düden Park and the lower falls during the annual Runtalya weekend, it would be some years before we finally got around to creating our own little day trip and visiting its counterpart, further upstream.
Thankfully, that has now happened. So it’s here where we’ll begin…
Upper Düden Waterfall, Antalya
Barry’s birthday is in late July; not the best time for travel.
We’re sure you’re all too aware of the temperatures during the hot summer days of the Southern Anatolia region.
But there are places of wondrous escape from the intense heat of the summer months.
In Search Of An Oasis
When we decided on a birthday weekend break to Antalya, we hoped from photos we’d seen online that the Upper Düden Waterfall would be that oasis for us.
The park proved to be just that!
The dolmuş had dropped us off right by the entrance gates where a row of stalls had chest fridges packed with very welcome bottles of freshly squeezed fruit juice and water.
Gözleme makers were doing good trade as a steady stream of both domestic and foreign tourists filed through the entrance gates.
And, once we’d left that main road and paid the unexpectedly small fee (10 Turkish Lira in 2022), we were immediately transported into a world of shaded leafy greenery and the sound of the cascading waters and gushing rapids.
Bizarrely, just beyond the gated entrance of the waterfall, there’s a model of the famous Yıvlı Minare (fluted minaret), that stands next to Kaleiçi; the old town of Antalya.
But don’t worry, that’s about as themed as it gets in here.
The rest of your time in the Lower Düden Waterfall park is all about following the walkways along gushing rapids. And, if you like, stopping for a while at the small picnic areas.
Sighting The Prize
Eventually, through the low hanging boughs and tendrils of the trees, the soothing sound of the waterfall and telltale vistas told us we were getting close. We continued along with anticipation.
As the vista becomes an open view of the cascading waterfall, the spray is cooling and soothing on your skin.
We stopped for a while at the observation decks to enjoy the spray as much as the filming and taking of multiple photographs.
This waterfall is also known as Alexander Waterfall because it’s said that Alexander the Great passed through this region and stopped here to let his horses drink the fresh water in the period 334-333 BC.
We could see why he felt compelled to stop here for a while!
Today, the park which is home to the Upper Düden waterfall is in Antalya’s Kepez district; a built up residential area of the city.
Yet the park feels a million miles away from any sort of city life.
Into The Cave
And there’s more to this beautiful waterfall than admiring it from the viewing terraces.
Visitors are invited to climb the cool, dark, damp pathway upwards through the natural cave – and are asked not to disturb the bats in the process!
No bats in sight when we were there. But we did wish we had a more sturdy tread on our shoes. It’s slippery!
From the cave, we peered through the gaps in the rock face, offering vistas of the waterfall and views downstream.
The short climb through the cave takes you behind the waterfall where you can see the water tumbling downwards to continue its journey south.
We exited the cave and climbed the steep spiral staircase to the top of the park and the exit.
We’d timed this morning visit perfectly.
The steady stream of people that were heading into the park on our arrival had now become a flood of lunchtime visitors.
Upper Düden Waterfall is a very popular place!
Lower Düden Waterfall
From lush greenery to rocky cliff faces plunging vertically into the Mediterranean Sea.
The Düden River flows south through the city of Antalya and ends 40 metres above sea level – generously giving us the wonder that is the Lower Düden Waterfall (also called the Karpuzkaldıran Şelalesi).
The power of nature is on full display here as the force of the foaming water surges and tumbles to the turquoise sea, below.
Aside from a one time summer visit, our trips to Antalya are always around early March.
No doubt this is why we were able to enjoy the beauty of the lower waterfall without having to share it with anyone else.
Düden Park is dramatically perched along the edge of the high cliffs and you can follow the undulating walkways and picnic areas.
The waterfall isn’t visible from much of the park. But the views out across the Mediterranean are stunning.
You can see from the photo how high up you are when you enjoy this park and the waterfall.
This is the regular boat trip you can take from the ancient harbour and is no doubt the best way to witness and experience the waterfall.
We’ll do one of these short boat tours one day…
No Entrance Fee
From land, though, we still get a dramatic view from the safety of the viewing terrace.
No charge for Düden Park and the lower falls, either.
Happy days for budget travellers. This is a great place to pack a picnic and soak in that scenery.
Düden Waterfalls FAQs
There is a small entrance fee to the Upper Düden Waterfall (10 TL in 2022).
Lower Düden Waterfall is free to visit.
There is no need to prebook your trips to Düden Waterfalls if you are travelling there under your own steam.
There are organised tours that visit Antalya’s group of waterfalls, taking in Lower Düden Waterfall, the upper falls and nearby Kurşunlu Waterfalls.
Lower Düden Waterfalls can be visited by a 2 hour boat trip from the old harbour at the base of Kaleiçi old city.
If you are staying in the Lara Beach area, the Lower Düden Waterfall is a short walk, west, along the coast.
We visited both waterfalls by public bus from the Kaleiçi area. We use the Moovit journey planner app for bus information.
We visited Upper Düden Waterfalls in high season but managed to avoid crowds by getting there in the morning. Most people arrive from lunchtime onwards.
If you don’t want crowds, low season and winter season will give you more solace – and higher water volume.
Weather conditions permitting, the 2 hour boat trip from the old harbour to Lower Düden Waterfall takes place year round.
At Upper Düden Waterfall, whilst it might look tempting to jump into the water in the summer months, there are clear signs indicating that swimming is forbidden.
There is no swimming at Lower Düden Waterfall but the beach isn’t too far away.
Upper Düden Waterfall is located around 12 km northeast of Antalya centre in the Kepez neighbourhood.
Lower Düden Waterfall is around 8km from the city centre in the Lara neighbourhood.
The map below is centred on Upper Düden Waterfall, but if you scroll south (and a little bit east) towards the sea you should also be able to see the location of Lower Düden Waterfall.