Hiking Near Antalya (Part 2)
Antalya is overflowing with beautiful landscapes such as golden beaches, mountains, valleys, lakes, canyons, and national parks. With all this natural beauty, it is an excellent place for the outdoor enthusiasts. However, if hiking is your thing, finding hiking trails that are well marked can be a challenge, even with online resources. Therefore, I have put together some of my favorite hiking spots to make it easier for others to enjoy, along with direct locations as well as hiking tips.
Here are a few hiking locations to consider:
Köprülü Canyon and Selge
Most people head to Köprülü Canyon National Park to enjoy the many watersports available, but the national park is perfect for hiking or exploring the ancient ruins. Köprülü Canyon extends for 14 km along the Köprü River, reaching approximately 400 m.
My husband and I always love to drive up into the forest area and hike. Turkey offers some of the most beautiful natural landscapes to spend the day exploring. As you arrive at Köprülü Canyon, you will cross the historical Oluk Köprü Bridge. Make sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful river below. Hiking in these refreshing pine trees, we were able to see a variety of plants, trees and breathtaking panoramic views over the canyon. Here is a seven-mile loop you can explore.
Make sure to plan a picnic as you will find many spots along the way to take a break to enjoy lunch in nature.
Ancient City of Selge
Nestled in Koprulu Canyon National Park is the important Selge Ancient City. It was a city that fiercely guarded its independence against the time of Alexander the Great – to the marauding Goths just before the fall of Rome. Although the site is almost untouched by archeologists, it offers stunning scenery above the village of Zerk. The most important remains are the theatre which held productions of Greek plays.
Note: To get to Selge, take the Antalya-Alanya highway and turn left after 5 km from Aspendos, then drive another 55 km in a forested area towards the mountains. Hiking ability is moderately easy. No toilet facilities.
Kovada Lake National Park
This gorgeous lake is surrounded by 6534 acres of a national park. Although the lake is relatively shallow (about 6-7 m), with sediments that give it a green color, it is a hidden gem to spend a day hiking.
Kovada Lake is a recreational lake for those who love to fish or hang out in nature. Many trees, from red pine to juniper, can be seen on the property. As a result, the diversity of flora can be observed. Walking the water’s edge, you may see wild ducks or a grey heron scouting for food. If you enjoy bird watching, this is the place for you!
Start at the visitor information center, where you will find a small museum. The path that starts in front of the information center reaches a small pier you can climb and get a view of the lake—a perfect place for photos. A second pier can be reached on the right of the junction pathway, about 1.5 km. Here you will find the watchtower, where magnificent lake photos can be taken.
Along the edge of the water are picnic tables for you to enjoy a BBQ or bring a packed lunch and admire the view
Note: Easy hiking terrain. Make sure to bring water and if you wish to eat lunch, include a picnic basket as you will find tables to sit and enjoy a meal. Toilet facilities are at the entrance of the park.
Where to Eat: Before or after visiting Kovada Lake, stop at Gölbaşı Restaurant for a fresh trout dish.
Ekşili Pond (Eksili Goleti)
Located near the Hatipler region of Antalya’s district of Dosemealti is Ekşili Pond. Many locals have taken to this large pond for camping and a day fishing, surrounded by the beautiful natural forest. So, we decided to drive to the area to get some fresh air and spend the day hiking.
My husband and I hiked around the lake and down a few nearby roads, where we came across a few olive orchards. It is a great place to get away from technology, have a picnic, and enjoy the sounds of the trees while breathing in the fresh air. Ekşili Pond is approximately 43.7 km from Antalya city center.
- Note: No toilet facilities. Bring chairs and a picnic! While in the area, you could add a visit to Kocaçay Waterfall, as it is a short distance from the pond.
One of the most challenging locations to find is the Kocaçay Waterfall. Nearby is a nature reserve called Gavurun Suyu, where some of the most beautiful freshwater streams wander through the trees.
Kocaçay Waterfall is a hidden corner of paradise located on Kocaçay Stream. The waterfall is approximately 10 m high, falling into a deep pond. To get to the waterfall, you will follow the stream that climbs over rocks with a narrow pathway that leads to an area where you can see the remains of a campfire.
The relaxing view of the pristine water cascading over the edge of the rock will put your mind at ease as you will want to stay awhile and enjoy the sounds of the falling water. You will want to wear hiking boots or good outdoor sneakers as the ground is uneven. This is a photographer’s paradise!
Kocaçay Waterfall is part of the Aksu Municipality near Dosemealti, about 45.3 km from Antalya city center. You cannot reach it by public transportation. We discovered that part of the dirt road was washed out, but a local offered us a ride in her tractor to get us across.
- Note: No toilet facilities. Bring something to sit on (blanket/chair) and a picnic. To reach the waterfall from your car will take approximately 30 minutes. Hiking requires climbing a few rocks, but most trails are easy terrain. On google map you may also see this waterfall called Eksili Selalesi or Kiremit Oluk Kanyonu or Gavurun Pinari.
At the top of the peak of Upper Ucansu Falls in the district of Serik, about 60 km from Antalya city center, is a hidden lagoon called King’s Pool. The pool can be reached via a wandering pathway through the forest marked by ‘red’ spray paint marking along the trail. Within the pines in a hole where limestone deposits formed 20 m wide is a natural wonder of mesmerizing turquoise waters, King’s Pool.
It took my husband and I two tries to find it, but we found King’s Pool with much determination. There are no signs to guide you, so along the drive, my husband would stop and ask locals if we were heading in the right direction. Here is where you should park your car and hike down towards the water. From your vehicle to King’s Pool is about a 20–30-minute walk.
As you walk along the trail that follows a stream, you will come upon a few small, fresh waterfalls to enjoy. When the summer days become hot and unbearable, this is a nice place to escape and swim in the cool refreshing water. Depending on how long you wish to stay and swim or enjoy the view, it is a full-day activity of trekking and swimming.
- Note: No toilet facilities. Bring water shoes if you plan to swim. I also recommend bringing a picnic and something to sit on, as you will have a panoramic view of the valley below. The hiking pathway is moderate but getting to the water will require climbing rocks.
- Be aware of markings along the trail which will guide you in and out of the area. Make sure to have a marked spot on your GPS. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi is not always accessible.
- Consider bringing food to eat and pack it with you to enjoy once you reach your destination (or when you return to your vehicle). Most locations are in remote areas with no facilities to purchase food or water. You will need it for a boost of energy!
- Make sure to always carry with you drinking water. If possible, carry additional water bottles in your backpack.
- Never hike alone in Turkey for safety reasons. Also, be aware of the time of day. Once it is dark, finding your way to your vehicle won’t be easy.
To keep our nature clean and enjoyable, please be sure to take all your trash with you.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.