Located on the southern coast of Turkey, the Gelidonya Lighthouse is a fascinating historical site that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The lighthouse was built in 1936 and used until 1985, when it was replaced by a new lighthouse nearby. The lighthouse was operated by a team of lighthouse keepers who lived on site and were responsible for maintaining and keeping the beacon operational.
Today, the Gelidonya Lighthouse is a popular destination for hikers and history enthusiasts who want to explore the rugged terrain and learn about the area’s rich maritime history.
The Gelidonya Lighthouse stands at the height of 27 meters and has a range of 25 nautical miles. Its characteristic white and red striped tower is a distinctive landmark for ships navigating the waters off the coast of Turkey.
The hike to the Gelidonya Lighthouse is a challenging but rewarding experience that takes visitors through some of Turkey’s most beautiful landscapes. The trail starts from the village of Adrasan, about 30 kilometers from the lighthouse. The trail is well-marked and takes hikers through a pine forest before reaching the rocky coastline. The hike can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on your fitness level.
As you approach the lighthouse, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. The lighthouse stands on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea, providing visitors with a panoramic view of the coastline. The site is particularly beautiful at sunset when the sky is painted with shades of pink, orange, and red.
Exploring the History
The Gelidonya Lighthouse has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The area was an important trading post for the ancient Greeks and Romans who sailed along the Mediterranean Sea. Since it is located on the historical Lycian Way, sunken ships are in the bay in front of Gelidonya Cape. In addition, the shipwreck of a Phoenician merchant ship in 1200 BC is also located here. The sunken ship, which is about 30 meters deep, was first discovered by an American diver in 1954 and was uncovered entirely and taken under protection in 1961.
Suluda and Five Islands, located in front of Taşlıkburnu, had great strategic importance in the Lycian Civilization. Because there were powerful reverse currents in this part of Antalya Bay, known as the Pamphylia Sea. For this reason, enemy ships couldn’t approach this region in those times. Due to these reverse currents, the area turned into an underwater ship graveyard.
The Gelidonya Lighthouse is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and nature. The hike to the site is a challenging but rewarding experience that takes visitors through some of Turkey’s most beautiful landscapes. In addition, the lighthouse is a fascinating historical site offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a hiker, or just looking for a beautiful spot to watch the sunset, the Gelidonya Lighthouse is worth a visit.
How to Get There
You need a vehicle if you do not go with a group (or tour) but want to reach it by your own means. Follow the Lycia – Gelidonya signs for about 6 km by entering the forest seaside road through Karaöz Town of Mavikent Town, which is connected to Kumluca district.
We parked at the Mavikent Panorama point to start our hike. As I reflect on this hiking excursion, this point was a little far from the ascending point up the mountain to see the lighthouse. From this point to the Deniz Feneri sign is about a 30-minute walk. The view is gorgeous, and the road is drivable by car.
Another point you might consider is starting your hike at Gelidonya Kayalik. Several people had parked here and enjoyed a picnic lunch while admiring the view of the water.
The final point before beginning your steep climb is at the Gelidonya Lighthouse (Deniz Feneri) sign, where you can park your vehicle in a suitable place on the side of the dirt road. Along the trail, you will see rocks or trees with red markings indicating you are on the correct trail to the lighthouse. Some areas have loose stones, so watch your step. The hike from this point forward will take 45 minutes to one hour, depending on your speed and fitness.
Things to Know Before Going to Gelidonya Lighthouse
- You do not have to pay any fees to see the Gelidonya Lighthouse. There is no parking fee as you park your car on the roadside. The interior of the Gelidonya Lighthouse is forbidden. However, walking around and taking photos is free.
- If you begin your hike at Mavikent Panorama or other points, you will not find a café, market, or facility offering water or food. So, pack water and snacks with you as you hike to the lighthouse. I brought water and dried fruit.
- No toilets or sink facilities nearby, so make sure to stop in Mavikent Town.
- Although we did not need accommodations, I saw several camping options nearby.
- If you start your hike late in the day, have a flashlight with you, as the trail is not lit after dark.
- Making fires is highly dangerous due to the thick forest. Avoid building fires!
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen when hiking in the summer. A walking/hiking stick will come in handy. Also, make sure to wear sturdy boots or hiking shoes.