Saklikent Gorge, Turkey: All You Need To Know

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Saklikent Gorge, Saklikent National Park, Turkey

Saklikent National Park, mostly known for its unique canyon, the Saklikent Gorge, is one of Turkey’s best natural wonders. The canyon is one of the deepest in the world. 

This article will give you information on everything you need to know before visiting the Saklikent Gorge.

About Saklikent Gorge

Saklikent Gorge, also known as Hidden City, is about 18 kilometers long and 300 meters deep, making it the longest canyon in Turkey and one of the deepest in the world. 

Saklikent Gorge, The deepest canyon in Turkey

The Saklikent National Park was established in the ’90s, and it attracts a significant number of visitors daily.

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Saklikent Gorge - One of the deepest canyons in the world

Trekking through Saklikent Gorge

This steep and narrow gorge offers two hiking trails, one for beginners, and another, a more challenging trail requiring climbing equipment. The second trail starts when the first one ends, as you would have to climb over a waterfall.

The out-and-back trail is about four kilometers long and ends with a small waterfall. Even though the waterfall isn’t that spectacular, the journey on getting there is quite fun as you have to climb over rocks.

The first part of the trail (about one or two kilometers) is suitable for everyone, while the second part (until the waterfall) requires a bit more climbing, but still nothing too serious.

The first part of the trail is on a wooden boardwalk. Here you can see the turquoise river, the most photographed part of Saklikent National Park. After passing the canyon passage to the more open part, there’s a small cafe. This is where you need to cross the water to get to the canyon. 

The water flow is powerful, and you might need to hold on to a rope that goes across the river to pass. This is the hardest part, especially if the river is high, which can happen in the rainy season (especially the wettest months – January and December).

Once you pass this part, you’re just trekking through the shallow water and mud. The water level is around ankle-deep and sometimes can get up to the knee. But this also depends on the season you’re visiting.

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Make sure to enjoy a free facial mask.

Saklikent Canyon has a few natural mud ponds along the trail, which you can use for a free facial mask. The minerals in the mud are supposed to soften the skin, tighten the pores and draw out toxins.

Tip: Try to take mud from the one where people didn’t walk over too much. 😀

You can also leave cool handprints over the canyon’s stone walls if a facial mask isn’t for you. It’s fun! 😀

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Where is Saklikent Gorge?

Saklikent Gorge is located in Mugla province, approximately 50 km away from Fethiye and 65 km away from Kas.

It takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach Saklikent National Park from Kas.

From Fethiye, it will take around 45 minutes to reach Saklikent National Park.

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How to get to Saklikent Gorge?

The easiest way to get to Saklikent Gorge is by renting a car and driving there yourself from either Kas or Fethiye.

A dolmus bus goes from Fethiye to Saklikent Gorge, which costs about $3-$5 and takes around 80 minutes. 📍 Click here for the location of the bus station in Fethiye

However, if going by yourself is not an option, don’t worry, as there are daily tours from both Kas and Fethiye. 

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Saklikent Gorge in Turkey

What should I wear for Saklikent Gorge?

For trekking through the Saklikent canyon, you should wear sporty clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. The walk is on the riverbed, so you’ll be getting your feet wet.

We had regular sports shoes, and we were just fine (so were the shoes). However, as we forgot to take spare socks, we wore the shoes barefoot. 

Some people recommend taking water shoes, but we found regular shoes much more reliable. However, this is totally up to you.

The park also rents rubber shoes for a small fee, but they didn’t seem as good, so it’s maybe best to avoid those. You can also rent a protective helmet, but we didn’t feel it was needed at all.

Tip: Don’t forget to take spare shoes and clothes to change after you’re done. 🙂

Walking through the ankle deep water in Saklikent Gorge

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What else to do in Saklikent National Park?

There’s more to do in the national park except trekking through the canyon if you have more time, like tubing, rafting, canyoning, bungee jumping, ziplining, etc.

There’s also Gizlikent Şelalesi or Gizlikent waterfall nearby, which you can check out, but we didn’t know about it all when we visited.

Let us know if you decide to do some of these in the comments. We, unfortunately, didn’t have enough time.

The price for tubing at Saklikent Gorge is just a few dollars per person, and you cruise down the river for about 20 minutes.

Make sure to take some clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and a water bag to keep valuables dry.

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What is the entrance fee for Saklikent?

The entrance fee for Saklikent National Park is 10 TL per person, which is less than $1, and they only accept cash.

When does Saklikent National Park open?

Saklikent National Park opens up at 8:45 am and works until 7 pm. 

Winter working hours of the Saklikent Gorge may be a bit shorter, so check beforehand.

Saklikent National Park entrance
Ticket counter at Saklikent National Park

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What is the best time to visit Saklikent Gorge?

You can visit Saklikent National Park all year round, but April, May, October, and November are the best months. The temperatures are pleasant, and the canyon isn’t so crowded.

We visited at the end of October, and even though the water was a bit cold at first, it didn’t bother us at all. 

During the summer months, it’s very hot and humid, and many tourists come to Saklikent to refresh themselves. June, July, August, and September are the hottest months in Saklikent and the driest.

Tip: Apparently, sometimes the canyon can be closed due to the floods, so try to check that beforehand. This can happen in the rainy season, during the winter months.

How long should I spend in Saklikent Gorge?

Count on spending at least 2 hours in the Saklikent Gorge. The trail itself isn’t that long, but there are many cafes and restaurants at the entrance, so you might want to chill there after you’re done. 

If you want to try some other activities in the national park, count on half a day or even a full day at Saklikent.

Cafes at Saklikent National Park
Cafe at Saklikent National Park.

Can I bring food and drinks into Saklikent Gorge?

Food or drinks aren’t allowed within Saklikent Gorge. However, there’s no need to worry – they have a cafe area where you can buy water bottles and snacks.

There are also numerous restaurants and cafes just outside Saklikent Gorge to give you an option for lunch/snacks. We would recommend enjoying one of them after you’re done with activities.

Tip: The roads leading to the Saklikent Gorge pass through many villages, and you can find all kinds of local delicacies in shops along the route.

Arijana Tkalčec and Matej Špan on a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia

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For digital nomads or full-time travelers, we recommend SafetyWing, which includes brief visits to your home country every 3 months abroad.

Is Saklikent Gorge worth visiting?

The Saklikent Gorge is worth visiting because it’s a fun outdoor activity, especially if you need a break from relaxing at the beach.

Initially, we didn’t expect much, but we ended up loving it. There were few people when we visited (end of October), the temperature was perfect, and we just enjoyed a bit of trekking through the water. 

Are you ready to visit this beautiful canyon?

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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6 Responses

  1. Hi Mateij

    I am planning to visit the canyon next week. Do you think it will be safe because of the risk of flooding in winter?

    Karim

    1. Hi Karim,

      You should be able to enter the canyon area just fine, but you can not walk the whole way up as the water level will likely be too high.

      So you would only be able to see a part of it like in the photo below:
      Saklikent Gorge Boardwalk

      I’d say if you’re in the area, it’s still very much worth a visit though.

      Hope this helps, and have a nice trip!

      Sunny regards from Vietnam ☀
      Matej

  2. Hi i am visiting Fethiye for a week in mid april this year will the Park and the Rafting bit be open ( small rubber ring). Also what is the dress code for Rafting snd how much does it cost?

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Mid-April is already the time when the gorge should be walkable. For the tubing, we can’t confirm it, but it’s also very likely that it will be operational already.

      The price for tubing at Saklikent Gorge is just a few dollars per person, and you cruise down the river for about 20 minutes.

      Make sure to take some clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and a water bag to keep valuables dry.

      1. Hello, do you end up back where you started from? Or is it a big walk back?
        How far into the gorge is the rafting ??
        And how far into the gorge is the cafe with all the bright coloured cushions and ducks?
        Thank you

        1. Hi Cara,

          You end up back where you started, and it’s really not such a long walk to the end or back. It’s easily doable for everyone, including kids.

          The rafting is actually done outside the gorge, where the water picks up speed. It begins at the area near the entrance.

          The cafe with colored cushions is also right at the entrance to the gorge, so before you enter it.

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