Turkey has many canyons that have been carved out over millions of years by water. These narrow gorges are indeed a gift of nature and a central attraction for adventure seekers and professional photographers. To experience a refreshing adventure in Turkey, head to one of the following canyons, where you can enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature.
Nested among cedar trees and the Köprü River, the Köprülü Canyon embraces adventurous spirits looking to explore an unsoiled place in Antalya, one of the most popular touristic destinations in Turkey. After passing through the mountains where green streams flow and virgin forests grow, Köprülü Canyon shows all of its beauty to its visitors. Resembling another natural wonder of Turkey, the Fairy Chimneys, Köprülü Canyon one-ups this thanks to its river. You can feel the adrenaline from river rafting and enjoy getting wet in the crystal clear spring water and rapid waves of all sizes. When you arrive at the canyon for camping, you will be mesmerized with the spectacular view of Taurus Mountain and the surrounding national park. Marked as the longest canyon in Turkey at 14 kilometers, Köprülü Canyon's walls are as high as 100 meters.
What makes the canyon fascinating is also its historical sites dating back to ancient times. There are still the remains of ancient theaters and temples of Zeus and Artemis within the canyon region. Two bridges called Oluk Bridge and Bugrum Bridge still stand as a testament to the engineering wonder of the ancients. The canyon is nearly 92 kilometers away from Antalya's city center, and the best way to reach the canyon is by car.
Located only 50 kilometers away from the popular holiday district of Fethiye in the southwestern Turkey, Saklıkent Canyon lies in the middle of the Saklıkent Natural Park. It is the magical greenery there that takes you into the heart of nature. When you get into the national park after paying the entrance fee, you have to cross over a bridge with the water from the Saklıkent River flowing under your feet.
Just like its name suggests, Saklıkent is a hidden beauty in Fethiye. As you may know, Fethiye is a highly popular travel destination, even in the winter season, but Saklıkent is not as well known as Fethiye and it offers wonderful views of nature's beauty. The canyon is 300 meters deep and 18 kilometers long. This makes it one of the deepest in the world. The canyon was formed through the abrasion of rocks over thousands of years. You should know that walking in winter over the canyon is not that easy since the water rises during these months. The only suitable time that you can visit the canyon is after April.
Located near Gebze highway, Ballıkayalar is among the few canyons in Turkey that you can visit all 12 months of the year. Its location is between Turkey's commercial capital, Istanbul and the capital Ankara, so it is not too far to reach. Ballıkayalar is where you can climb all year round, especially from March to June and September to November, you can easily climb over the canyon. Apart from discovering the natural beauties of the canyon, it is also possible to camp in the Ballıkayalar Natural Park. You should bear in mind that there is no lodging facility in Ballıkayalar, but camping is always the first choice of travelers when they visit there. The highest point of the canyon is the best place to camp. The Ballıkayalar canyon is actually a stopover for migrant birds and if you are lucky enough, you can catch some incredible photos, so bring your cameras and arrange your time schedule. To reach Ballıkayalar Canyon, you need to go over the highway E-5 to Gebze and then you should turn to Tavşanlı village.
Nestled within the greenery of Altınoluk, a popular holiday destination on the skirts of Kaz Mountains, Şahinderesi Canyon is the exact reason why this region is called an oxygen haven for people. The canyon is located in a place mostly known for the "Kaz Dağları." Also called "Mount Ida," the mountains separate the Aegean and Marmara regions in Turkey, and it is referred to as "the house of Gods" by Homer in Ancient Greece.
With all its greenery and amazing richness of oxygen, Şahinderesi Canyon is mostly preferred by nature lovers. The height of the canyon is around 27 kilometers long and it has reciprocal air circulation around 600 meters. With healing plants and herbs, Şahinderesi Canyon is reminiscent of a heaven. You should know that the only way to reach those herbs is to get permission from the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and Natural Parks. It is a little bit problematic to reach the canyon. It is only possible with jeep-like cars, so you are recommended to join a guide tour if you would like to discover the area in more depth.