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Gizlikent Şelalesi – A Hidden City Waterfall Near Fethiye

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Have you visited Gizlikent Waterfall yet?

If you’re in the area, and you’re feeling a bit adventurous, it’s well worth a chunk of your time.

A diagonal shot of water tumbling at Gizlikent Waterfall
A climb down the steps and through the river to the waterfall

When we say ‘the area,’ we mean the stunning natural beauty of the surroundings of the Xanthos Valley, south of Seydikemer, near Fethiye.

Until a few years ago, the main reason for daytripping in this area was to experience the icy cold waters of the stunning Saklıkent Gorge.

Energetic appreciators of archaeology and history then clamber via Lycian tombs to the top of the acropolis of ancient Tlos before driving – or being driven – further up the hill to the village of Yaka.

Here, cafes and restaurants such as Yakapark are set on the lush green hillside where springwater tumbles all around.

These days, Gizlikent Waterfall can also be added to that day trip itinerary.

More Than Just The Waterfall Area

We were finally compelled to make the trip to Gizlikent Waterfall because friends were visiting on holiday and we just knew they and their young son would love it.

Because Gizlikent is not just about a trudge to a waterfall.

Following their account on Instagram revealed to us a whole activity centre.

And when we pulled up in the car park on the day of the visit, we were really pleasantly surprised.

This is a very impressive place and not what we were expecting.

Souvenirs for sale. Mobiles hang from the ceiling.
You can buy souvenirs as well as be adventurous

Souvenir shops marked the entrance before we were welcomed by friendly staff.

Nothing pushy. Just a ‘Hoşgeldiniz,’ (welcome) and a smile.

And from there, signposts pointed in various directions – the activity booking desk, the restaurant and bar area – and, of course, the waterfall area.

To Gizlikent Waterfall

And let’s deal with the waterfall first.

If you’re visiting Gizlikent in the hot summer months, the ravine that you descend into will be such a welcome feeling for you.

It’s depth and coverage of mature trees and fauna mean it has its own cool climate where you are wonderfully sheltered and you can almost forget about the stifling hot weather up above.

Steps & Stream

We made our descent down the steps; first the sloped concrete pathway of long stairs and then the steep metal steps before eventually reaching the stream bed.

Here, we were in beautiful nature – but also a tourist attraction with practicalities.

The rest of the walk to Gizlikent Waterfall is approximately 500 metres through the stream.

We all had shoes on that we didn’t mind getting wet – our friends were prepared and had their own water shoes.

People walking through a stream surrounded by trees at Gizlikent
In the hot summer months, the water is ankle deep

Barry and I were just happy to trudge through the water in what we were wearing.

If you don’t want to get your shoes wet, there’s a platform here where you can use some of their water shoes and leave yours behind.

And there’s also a little tea area where you can sit and drink çay in the shade if you don’t want to continue through the stream.

The cold water here is not like the waters of the Saklıkent national park. It was pleasantly cooling rather than take-your-breath-away icy cold.

But we should mention our visit was in the height of summer – the end of July – and the water was only ankle deep. In spring, the water will be colder and a bit deeper.

It’s also not easy underfoot. Big pebble stones and rocks with a bit of shingle thrown in for good measure.

Our 500 metres felt quite a bit further. But if you’re comfortable with that sort of thing, it’s all very cooling and pleasant.

The Big Reveal

And then, we finally rounded the final corner for the big reveal: Gizlikent Şelalesi.

Gizlikent waterfall
Cool off by standing under the Gizlikent waterfall

We’ve read reviews online about Gizlikent Waterfall and whilst many people have really enjoyed their experience, a handful have said the waterfall is underwhelming.

So, this is about expectations.

We loved it. A beautiful natural waterfall in the woodlands of a ravine.

A waterfall that you can stand under and let the tumbling powerful spray pummel you for as long as you can stand it.

Barry and our friends did a few seconds each before we all made the trek back down the stream.

Back To The Top

And what comes down, must go back up again.

I counted the steps back to the top – just shy of 200 steps. Just so you’re prepared!

The good thing is, as you arrive at the top of the pathway, you’re just a few steps from the bar and restaurant area so you can refuel easily.

Sit in the large dining area or you can sit in the raised köşk seating amongst the trees. That’s what we did.

We didn’t eat at Gizlikent but food is reasonably priced. And, during our visit, there was a further discount on food prices if you could show your carpark receipt.

Get there early and you could opt for the substantial Turkish breakfast before you visit the waterfall and do whatever other activities you feel like doing.

Other dishes include pastas (we even spotted a dish that resembled our famous Turkish spaghetti), burgers, salads and usual staples of that area like köfte, trout and chicken shish.

Gizlikent Activities

Gizlikent Waterfall is on the itinerary for a lot of the jeep safari tours that visit this area from places like Fethiye and Kaş.

However, if you go there under your own steam, it’s a good-sized activity centre where you can spend half a day, at least, depending on what you want to do.

We suggested coming to the Gizlikent to our friends and their son, not just because we knew they’d love the waterfall but because they love other activities, too.

A lady waves on a zip line as she comes through the trees.
Our friend loving the zip line across the ravine

They went straight to the booking desk and paid for the zip line experience: There and back, amongst the trees and across the deep ravine.

Mum and son both went across separately and loved it.

Other activities that you can do as well as enjoying the Gizlikent Waterfall are:

  • Giant swing – two or three of you will be harnessed to a huge swing and winched high into the air. From there, the swing is released. And, yes, you’ll swing
  • Pony trekking
  • Off road buggy circuit
  • River tubing

Over the years, we’ve more than had our fill of trips to Saklıkent; beautiful as it is. We were expecting nearby Gizlikent waterfall to be pretty much the same thing but we were happily wrong.

This is a completely different set up and is a great activity centre in its own right.

Gizlikent Waterfall – Useful Info

  • Gizlikent Waterfall is highlighted on the map below. The centre is approximately 1 kilometre off the road, just before Saklıkent.
  • Although it isn’t on the bus route, in cooler weather, you can take the Fethiye to Saklıkent dolmuş and walk along the road the extra kilometre or so to the site.
  • Entrance to the centre and to the waterfall are free. There is a separate charge for any of the activities you choose to do.
  • There is a restaurant and bar as well as ice cream stands etc.
  • If you are driving here, there is a large car park for which there is a small fee.
  • You can also get to Gizlikent Waterfall as part of a jeep safari tour which will give you some free time to explore when you’re there.
  • Although Gizlikent Şelalesi means ‘Hidden / Secret City Waterfall’ there is nothing secret or hidden about it. For now, at least, it only receives a fraction of the visitors of its neighbour Saklıkent – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get busy. The best time to visit is mid and low season. If you visit in July or August, like we did, try to get there early if you want a quiet river walk, waterfall and nature photos.

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