If one day, while relaxing in Antalya, enjoying the sun, sea and All Inclusive, you feel that your soul asks for something unusual, know that the amazing Kursunlu Şelalesi waterfall is very close. Just 20 minutes drive, and you are in a fairy tale – Kurshunlu National Park (sometimes called Tabiat Park), located 22 kilometers northeast of Antalya. Mighty trunks of coniferous trees, braided with lianas, narrow paths, an emerald surface of the lake and, finally, a pearl – all this is the Kursunlu waterfall.
Depending on the weather, the color of the water changes from emerald green to lead gray, and depending on the rains, the waterfall itself transforms from babbling rivulets into roaring streams.
It’s not that big. It is just a tributary of the Aksu River, once long blocked by a fallen rock and divided into several branches. But this is not a dull, noisy mass of water falling in a stream from an 18-meter height. This is a magnificent cascade of waterfalls scattering around the spray of crystal drops. And if suddenly the sun disappears behind an accidentally running cloud, you will understand where the name of the waterfall comes from. Kurshunlu means lead.
Kurshunlu Park was opened to visitors not so long ago – in 1986. But this amazing place itself is many hundreds of years old. Excavations carried out on the territory of the park (and this is about 33 hectares!) Indicate that this magical corner existed already at the dawn of our era – in the II-III centuries.
It’s easy to feel like a time traveler here, because all the trails (don’t forget about comfortable hiking shoes) are laid in such a way as to preserve the impression of wilderness as much as possible. Pine trees, oaks, moss-covered stones, lakes with cool water, where colorful fish and white ducks swim – everything is as it was centuries ago.
Things to do
This place will be interesting for children. The carefully preserved nature will help them feel like pioneers. It is possible to meet turtles, hares and even wild boars here. And if you are unlucky, then you can admire plenty of colorful fish at the foot of the waterfall. It is also allowed to feed the white ducks swimming in the lake, so do not forget to bring a couple of rolls with you.
Wander slowly along narrow paths and bridges, go down a stone, moss-covered staircase to the foot of the waterfall, where an emerald lake beckons with clear, cool water. True, it will not work to swim in it – this is very closely monitored and a fine is charged from violators. If you are experienced travelers and are full of energy, you can walk along narrow paths into an almost wild part of the park and find there another small waterfall, a turquoise lagoon, an old mill and a small house hidden among dense vegetation.
Once you have nibbled, you can snuggle up at the picnic table and grab a bite to eat with your brought along supplies, best bought somewhere in the local market. And those who love hearty food have the opportunity to taste freshly caught trout in one of the restaurants with a local flavor to the sound of a rushing stream.
Romantic natures should definitely visit the waterfall. After all, only here, along a narrow path, you can walk behind the shroud of falling water and, touching it with your hand, make your most cherished wish. And then take a break from the scorching sun in a cool grotto hidden behind a stream of water. You can explore several caves at once located behind the branches of the waterfall.
There are few places where you can take such bright, picturesque photographs as in Kurshunlu. You will amaze your friends with them and be surprised yourself, looking at the prints of the magical world on cold winter evenings. And, of course, various souvenirs bought in numerous shops near the Kursunlu waterfall will help you to preserve vivid impressions for a long time.
Prices and opening hours of Kursunlu waterfall
The park is open for visits daily from 08:00 to 19:00. If you are looking for some privacy, it is better to come in the late afternoon, so as not to meet the many local nature lovers.
The entrance to the park is paid – 9 Turkish liras. Payment is accepted in local currency only. Therefore, just in case, have the required amount in lira in cash with you. This price includes parking (outside the reserve). For children under the age of 6, the waterfall is free of charge.
Sometimes tourists devote the whole day to the waterfalls, visiting the Upper Duden first, and only after that they go to Tabiat Park. The Upper Duden waterfall is an equally amazing natural wonder. It is incredibly beautiful and also has a long history. This is evidenced by the giant plane tree, which has spread its branches at the entrance to the park. There is reason to believe that it took root over 700 years ago. The cleanest air, coolness even on the hottest day, many viewing platforms offering stunning views of the thundering stream of water – all this will create a wonderful mood.
The journey to the Kursunlu waterfall can be made after visiting the ancient city of Perge. This settlement, which combines elements of ancient Greek and Roman culture, is a real find for history buffs. Agora, amphitheater, baths, stadium, acropolis, ruins of residential buildings keep the spirit of millennia. However, remember that there is almost no shadow in the ancient city. If you are traveling in the summer, then you will be immersed in history under the scorching sun, so do not forget a hat and a couple of bottles of water. And the more pleasant it will then be to dive into the shady coolness of Kurshunlu Park.
An excursion to the waterfalls and the ancient city of Perge can be booked from the tour operator from which you go on the trip or on site from companies that organize a variety of tours.
How to get to Kursunlu waterfall
If you do not want to join one of the many excursions, you will need a taxi or a rented car. The road D685 leads to the waterfall, you need to turn onto which you need to take a circle near the airport. Moving in the direction of Alanya, you will reach the Isparta – Kursunlu intersection and after 6 km you can turn towards the waterfall.
You can also use public transport.
Bus no. MK81, which runs from Meydan Depolama stop every 40-50 minutes, passes by the large Mall of Antalya. The road to the station “Kurşunlu Şelalesi”, located right at the entrance to the park, will take about 40-45 minutes. If you are combining a visit to the national park with a tour of the ancient city of Perge, return to the D400 highway, then walk or drive a few kilometers until the intersection with the road to Ispartu and wait for the MK81 bus running to the waterfall.
In Antalya, none of the popular mobile applications for ordering a taxi is working yet. You can order a car from a hotel or restaurant, and there are many special parking lots in the city where taxi drivers are on duty, ready to hit the road right away. You can find out the approximate cost of a trip using the Taksiyle service.