Saklikent, meaning “hidden city” in Turkish, is approximately 50km from Fethiye. At approximately 20km long, it is one of the most cavernous canyons in the world.
It was opened as a National Park in 1996 and is a popular destination with both locals and tourists alike. The National Park is open all year, although from November to March/ April, the water levels are very high and liable to flash floods from water coming down from the Taurus mountains. Therefore, entry to walk through the canyon is prohibited during these months.
From April onwards, when the snow on the mountain range has melted and passed through the gorge, about 4km of the gorge is passable. The stones underfoot can be slippery so sea shoes are advisable if you plan on walking through the gorge. Shoes can be hired at the entrance for a nominal fee if you don’t have any with you.
The first thing you will see as you enter the gorge is a 10 metre crevice in the rock, towering above you, with the rushing waters of the gorge below you. A pathway is been built against the left wall of the crevice, which you must navigate to get inside the gorge itself. The mountain water will be noticeably cold and, although shallow in parts, can reach waist height, depending on the time of year. After around a 30/ 40 minute walk you will find a waterfall and it is possible to continue further from here, should you wish. There are plenty of photo opportunities along that the way, as well as photographers at the ready to take your photo. You can purchase these at the entrance of the gorge upon leaving.
After you have finished circumnavigating the gorge, you can try your hand at the zip lining or rafting, or simply relax in one of the riverside cafes, some with elevated seating platforms above the rushing waters.
Saklikent, combined with a visit to the ancient city of Tlos, is a popular excursion offered by most travel agencies in and around Fethiye. There is also the opportunity to sample a fresh, locally made pomegranate juice at one of the stop off points along the way.
Should you wish to make more of an adventure of your trip to Saklikent, there is an opportunity to stay overnight in a variety of different style accommodation, including bungalows and treehouses. Bookings can be made here.
All in all, Saklikent is a great day out for all the family, although it is not recommended for those with limited mobility or those with young children.