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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Saklikent Gorge: A Child's Paradise

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

We drove from Kalkan toward Fethiye, stopping at Saklikent Gorge along the way. It ended up being the perfect pit stop during our journey and one of the top highlights of our time in Turkey.

Parking & Admission

When we arrived we immediately saw all different little restaurants and other businesses pop up. We arrived around 11 a.m. and didn’t have any problems finding a parking spot or getting in the gorge (later on our way back it seemed like there was more people - I think because many of the tourist buses start to arrive later in the morning). It was only 5 TL (about $1) to park on site and admission was 24.50 TL total for 4 of us (about $1.50 CDN per person) to get in the gorge. The first part of the journey was just walking along a boardwalk that adhered to the canyon wall. Once you got to the end of that, you reached an area that has some tables and food, as well as some shoe rentals. The kids were well outfitted in their crocs, but Alex and I only had flip flops so we opted for renting some water shoes. They weren’t the most comfortable by any means, but they did the job well and I’m 90% sure I would have lost my flip flop in the river or along the hike somewhere.....or at the very least they would have gotten muddy. The rentals were so dirt cheap - approximately 4 TL ($1 CDN). There were countless other places that rented water shoes as well.

Crossing the River to Start

The man who helped us with the water shoe rentals walked us down to the river and showed us how to cross, which ended up being a different path than everyone else. He offered to take Connor across for me, but I felt fairly certain that I would be fine, as I had our Ergo baby Carrier for the sections where I needed both hands. We crossed successfully - Alex carrying our Clara and me carrying Connor - although the water was ice cold! However, it was only about 2 minutes that we were in the freezing water so it wasn’t too bad. He gave us a heads up that we would only be able to go as far as approximately 1 km when the water gets so deep that it would come up to an adult’s waistline. He thought we might need a guide, but he wanted a little more money than we were willing to spend. We gave him a small tip for his assistance and then parted ways.

Exploring the Gorge

Once we crossed the river, we started the trek down the gorge. It was absolutely amazing. The canyon walls stretched high above us with a little stream of water running through the floor of the canyon and sections of mud and rock surrounding the water. We had done a hike similar in Malaga, Spain, but it was only a short section that we were in the gorge - whereas here it was the entire hike.

The gorge was a kids’ paradise! Our kids loved stomping through the water and playing in the mud. They thought it was pretty funny when their crocs got stuck in the mud. Connor was immediately enthralled with the trek; probably because I normally don’t let him jump in puddles very often and he could jump to his hearts’ delight here! There was also gorge-art where they enjoyed drawing/writing with mud on the side of the canyon. They had an absolute blast!

As we journeyed further into the canyon there was some rain that fell for a brief minute or two and Clara exclaimed, “It’s snowing!” With the rain drops falling and the sun shining it did look pretty magical. There was thunder further up the valley, but it echoed right through the canyon making for some interesting booms.

The kids actually walked almost the entire way themselves. There were a few sections, especially at the end, where you had to climb over some large rocks. We definitely had to help them in those parts, but overall was a great kid-friendly activity for them! We did reach the spot where the water came up to the waist so we turned around to return. The hike took us about 2.5 hours, but that was moving at a 4-year-old and almost 2-year-old’s pace and letting them taking time to stop and play. If it had been just my husband and I we could have probably done the same portion in half the time. We did come back muddy, but there were lots of ample opportunities to rinse off in water! ;-)

Post Trek Refreshments & River View

After we returned to the beginning, we went to visit one of the cafes along the river. There were several cute cafes where they set up platforms along the riverbank - some had cushions and others had hammocks. The one we sat at you could hang your feet in the water, although due to the cold temps our feet didn’t say in too long. It really was a cool concept!

There were all kinds of adventure trips you could do from Saklikent - Jeep rides, ziplining, bungee jumping and little river raft adventures. If we didn’t have such small kids I think we definitely would have tried out the river rafting - it was quite intriguing to watch as we sat on our riverside cafe spot! The rafters were inside a single inter tube with an oar and they were just released into the river to float down and navigate! It actually looked like quite a bit of fun!

The Greatest Chinese Restaurant - Toys & Puzzles for Kids

We continued onto Fethiye to settle into our new Airbnb. On our drive - we experienced a first - a turtle crossing the road! Once arriving, we headed out for a walk on the boardwalk of Calis Beach, which was within walking distance of our Airbnb. We decided to eat at a Turkish-Chinese Restaurant (they served both cuisines). We had some Turkish beef stir fry and the kids shared a stone oven pizza - they devoured it!! Out stir fry was super delicious too! However, one of the best parts was that they had lots of puzzles for the kids to do while we waited for the food. They were very entertained and studious working on their puzzles, which was a win for mom and dad! :-)



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