Koprulu canyon is a nature reserve and a picturesque place loved by many tourists, located in the vicinity of Antalya (the settlement of Manavgat).
Judging by the name, you might think that this is an unremarkable river valley that runs between the mountain slopes. However, this is not at all the case. Köprülü Canyon is a canyon and park that occupies a huge area of 500 hectares.
The canyon is 14 km long, about a hundred meters wide, and its maximum canyon depth reaches 400 meters.
The canyon stretches along the mountain river Kopruchay, which is 183 km long. In addition to the Köprülü canyon, it forms six more canyons.
The national park is famous not only for its picturesque views, but also for its rich flora and fauna. On its territory you can see more than half a thousand of various plants and trees. Juniper, fir, cypress are only a small part of the tree species presented in the park. This amazing area is inhabited by one hundred species of birds, the most interesting and famous of which is considered to be a species of owl – the barn owl. Giant sea turtles, reaching one and a half meters in length, also cause curiosity. And in the reservoirs of the nature reserve you can see trout and mullet.
Excursions in the Köprülü National Park
The national park is considered a universal place – it will be equally interesting for young people, the older generation, and married couples with children. This is due to the fact that for each group of tourists in the park there is something to their liking. An extensive and varied program is offered to the tourists:
- rafting down a mountain river (rafting);
- horse riding;
- ordinary walks in the fresh air with the opportunity to admire the surviving ruins of the ancient city of Selge;
- visit to the karst cave Altynbeshek Magarashi;
- mountain climbing.
Horse-riding enthusiasts will be delighted with riding thoroughbred horses. If you do not consider yourself an experienced rider, you should not be upset. Especially for beginners and the smallest visitors, instructors work in the national park.
Altynbeshek Magarashi karst cave will not leave anyone indifferent – a place full of mysteries and secrets, completely unexplored by archaeologists. Unusually, the tour of the cave is carried out by boat. During the trip, tourists will discover numerous tunnels and branches, underground lakes, including one of the largest underground lakes in the world.
But that’s not all. In the national park, you can also see a historical monument – the Oluk bridge, which connects the two banks of the Kepruchay river. Once upon a time, he connected two ancient ancient worlds – the city of Pisidia and Pamphylia.
Lovers of ancient cities will love visiting the Selge ruins. This city was founded by the Greeks immediately after the end of the legendary Trojan War. The remains of the walls and gates, the colonnade and the ruins of the former amphitheater have survived to this day.
Most of the adherents of an active lifestyle come to the Köprülü Canyon National Park for the sake of exciting rafting.
The starting point for this “excursion” is the place where the Kepryuchay river overflows and forms a pool. It is located just above the Oluka Bridge. Here, rowing instructions are given for tourists and groups of eight to ten people are formed (this is how much a raft – a PVC boat can accommodate). True, you need to take care of the equipment a little earlier: pick up a life jacket, a helmet, sunscreen and a wetsuit.
Experienced rafters can start their descent from a higher point. It lasts, by the way, in the region of two hours, because the length of the route is rather big – 12 kilometers. The end of the descent for beginners is marked by a reinforced concrete bridge. Experienced rafters can continue driving until the second, more dangerous threshold.
As for the flow of the mountain river, it is different – in some places it is strong, in some places it slows down sharply, which in turn allows tourists to admire the local beauty to their fullest.
Descent along this mountain river is rated at two to three points on a scale of difficulty and is suitable even for children accompanied by adults.
How to get there
The easiest and most convenient way to get to the Köprülü Canyon National Park is by ordering an excursion tour.
You can get to the nature reserve on your own.
By car: you need to go to the highway “Antalya – Alanya – Mersin” (aka D400) and move straight until the “Serik” sign appears, after it you need to turn in the direction of the town of Tashagil, then turn left and go towards the small village of Beshkonak …
By bus: if you are coming from Antalya, you need to take a bus at the central station (original name “otogar”) to the city of Manavgat (there is a nature reserve), just do not forget to warn the driver to stop at the intersection near the village of Beshkonak.