Top 10 Canyons in Turkey That Should Be Visited
A canyon is a deep and long valley that is typically formed over time by the erosion of a river, stream, or glacier. They are also known as gorges or ravines and are characterized by their natural beauty, imposing landscapes, and diverse ecosystems. Canyons can be found in various regions around the world and can be classified into several types. Top 10 Canyons in Turkey That Should Be Visited :
Şahinkaya Canyon / Samsun
The Şahinkaya Canyon is located in the Vezirköprü district of Samsun province in Turkey. Extending over the Kızılırmak River, the Şahinkaya Canyon stands out as one of the popular tourist attractions where boat tours are offered. Situated in Altınkaya Dam Lake, the canyon provides visitors with breathtaking visual scenery. With a distance of 13 kilometers from Vezirköprü district, the canyon also draws significant attention for being the deepest point of Altınkaya Dam.
As the longest and narrowest passage on the Kızılırmak River, the Şahinkaya Canyon spans a length of 2.5 kilometers. The steep cliffs in the canyon are at a distance of 324 meters from the water surface. The water depth reaches 80 meters, which might awe those who see it due to its impressive depth. Since the construction of the Altınkaya Dam, boat tours have been organized in the Şahinkaya Canyon, allowing visitors to explore it more closely.
Köprülü Canyon National Park/ Antalya
The Köprülü Canyon National Park is located in the northeast of Antalya and is approximately 90 km away from the city center. The canyon is situated within the boundaries of Manavgat district, which is renowned for its waterfalls. The distance to the center of Manavgat is around 65 km.
The Köprülü Canyon National Park covers an area of 366,140 hectares. This rich region was declared a national park in the year 1973. Within the national park, the canyon itself, the Köprüçay (Köprü) River flowing through its center, the historical Oluk Bridge on the river, and the ancient city of Selge, situated at an altitude of 1250 meters, add significant visual beauty and mystery to this area.
Arapapıştı Canyon / Aydın
The Arapapıştı Canyon is located 90 kilometers away from the center of Aydın, Turkey. Due to its promotion as a world wonder canyon in the public and on social media, it has been perceived as a marvel of a canyon. As a result, it was recently developed for tourism by the Aydın municipality in 2017. Recognized as a natural conservation area, the Arapapıştı Canyon has been placed under the protection of the government.
The Arapapıştı Canyon is a canyon with a height of 380 meters. It stretches for 6 kilometers in length. This canyon is highly suitable for camping, and there are specific facilities available for campers. The Arapapıştı Canyon is characterized by its turquoise waters; however, it is not suitable for swimming. You also have the opportunity to go rafting in this canyon. Above the Arapapıştı Canyon, there is the Kemer Dam. The depth of the Arapapıştı Canyon is 50 meters. While the water level in this canyon is 50 meters, during the summer season, this level drops to as low as 30 meters.
İncesu Kanyonu / Çorum
The İncesu Canyon is located in the village of İncesu, in the Ortaköy District. Especially known for having a single entrance and exit, the İncesu Canyon measures 12.5 kilometers in length and varies in width between 40 to 60 meters. Both sides of the canyon consist of steep rocky cliffs with occasional areas of forested land. The canyon offers suitable conditions for rafting and trekking sports. Being a natural wonder, the canyon is a beauty worth seeing.
The canyon, which also hosts the largest relief of Cybele in Anatolia, offers opportunities for nature lovers to enjoy activities such as rafting and hiking. It is located in a quite challenging geographical region. The relief of Kybele dating back to the Hellenistic period goes back to the 2nd century BC.
Yazılı Canyon Nature Park / Isparta
Located 20 km away from the Sütçüler District, Yazılı Canyon Nature Park covers an area of 600 hectares. The canyon’s sidewalls contain sections used for worship during the Byzantine period, with altars and inscriptions. Due to these inscriptions, the canyon is called “Yazılı Kanyon” (Written Canyon). The depth of the canyon ranges from 100 to 400 meters. The park, situated within the boundaries of Çandır Village, was designated as a nature park in 1989.
The nature park is a place of constant visitation by tourists due to its rich vegetation and wildlife, offering breathtaking natural beauty that never ceases to amaze. The historical “Royal Road” also passes through the canyon, adding to its historical significance with temples and rock inscriptions. Saint Paul passed through this canyon on his way from Perge to Pisidia Antioch. Within the park area, there is a camping area suitable for public relaxation.
Çatak Canyon / Kastamonu
The Çatak Canyon, one of the most important tourism attractions of Kastamonu, is located 7 kilometers away from the city center. Six kilometers can be covered by vehicle, and the remaining one kilometer involves a hiking trail through the mountains to reach the observation point at a height of 900 meters in the canyon. Watching the kilometers-long canyon from the observation point is a great pleasure.
The canyon starts just below the Çatak Bridge, approximately 1-2 kilometers downstream. It is interrupted in the Nalbantoğlu village but continues uninterrupted until İnönü.
Ihlara Canyon / Aksaray
Ihlara Valley, located within the borders of Güzelyurt District in Aksaray Province, holds a significant place among canyons worldwide. Stretching for 18 kilometers, with an average depth of 150 meters and a width of 200 meters, Ihlara Valley is home to thousands of living spaces, making it the largest canyon in the world where people once lived in the past, setting it apart from other canyons. The life-giving force shaping Ihlara Valley and sustaining its existence is the Melendiz River.
Hundreds of churches and rock-carved spaces surrounding the valley, easily hewn from the surrounding rocks, have turned the area into one of the world’s most important cultural and civilization centers.
Sapadere Canyon/ Antalya
The Sapadere Canyon, located in Sapadere Village to the east of Alanya District, is approximately 750 meters long and has a height of around 400 meters. The canyon, situated at the starting point of the Sapadere Creek, has been transformed into a remarkable tourist area with investments such as a walking path supported by steel structures and a recreational area with picnic spots and a countryside restaurant. Sapadere Canyon is located 40 kilometers from Alanya and 175 kilometers from Antalya Airport, and it can easily be reached via the asphalt road leading from Alanya-Gazipaşa highway to Demirtaş Town. About 300 meters inside the entrance of Sapadere Canyon, there is a noteworthy waterfall to be seen.
Kapıkaya Canyon / Adana
The Kapıkaya Canyon, located in Kapıkaya Village within the boundaries of the Karaisalı District, is situated 72 kilometers away from Adana and 5 kilometers from the center of Karaisalı. With a height of approximately 200 meters, the canyon is crossed by the Çakıt Creek, which originates from Niğde-Ulukışla. Kapıkaya Canyon is a natural beauty that nature enthusiasts, rock climbers, and photography enthusiasts should definitely visit. It offers a 7,250-meter hiking trail, and there are safety railings for about 400 meters of the canyon for security purposes.
Ulubey Canyon / Uşak
The world’s second longest canyon: Uşak Ulubey Canyon.
The “Ulubey Canyon,” formed by the subsidence of the Büyük Menderes graben, reaches depths ranging from 140 to 170 meters in some places, with the Banaz Creek and Dokusele Stream flowing through its bottom. The glass terrace, measuring 135 square meters and standing 150 meters high, was constructed in 2015 by the Uşak Governorship, Uşak Provincial Administration, and Ulubey District Governorate. It attracts thousands of tourists every year.