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Enjoy A Wet And Wild Exciting Day Out Near Antalya

We drive inland from the Kemer – Antalya road up a dusty, rough-hewn track towards the foothills of the mountains where we lumber to a stop at a dead end. There’s no other cars around and the only sign of life are a few people gossiping in the shade of a huge gate draped with a supersize Eco-Fun Adventure Park sign.

We were drawn here by tempting pictures of waterfalls, azure green waters and the tantalising prospect of a dip in cool waters far from the madding crowds but are wondering if we are in the wrong place…again!

Goynuk Canyon
Goynuk Canyon

Want to go canyoneering?

We wander perplexed to the Eco-Fun Adventure Park desk, which also seems to serve as a ticket office for general entry to the canyon. We ask about swimming and are advised that we can go canyoneering for 35TL (around £9). They don’t seem overly keen on selling us a 6TL entrance ticket to go gorge walking, clearly sensing the prospect of being able to seduce us with other more adventurous options.

After some discussion we decide to take the plunge. It is my birthday after all! The kids looks unsure but we hand over the cash and jump into a jeep for a bouncy ride up the mountainside. We pass a canyon zipline suspended above emerald pools in the lower valley, eerily silent at this hour, before the 4×4 starts ascending. It careers around corners with steep drop offs, tears through a shallow riverbed, spraying us with water, which has us squealing with joy as we imagine ourselves stars in an Indiana Jones movie.

A short while later we are deposited above a steep incline leading to pools of fresh water, dramatic sculptured cliffs jutting from the water reaching up to heather clad peaks towering above.

The shallow pool by the entrance to Goynuk Canyon
Shallow pool at Goynuk Canyon

A brief briefing

We are kitted out in wetsuits, bootees, helmets and life vests and given the shortest briefing imaginable. Our simple instructions – ‘swim 40m into the canyon then head to the waterfall and return’. We have no idea what to expect, raging waterfalls, steep climbs or a serene, lazy river experience? Only time will tell.

Into the canyon

We wade into the refreshing pool of water by the Eco-Adventure base and lazily kick our way into the narrow canyon entrance. Here sheer walls rise from the water casting shadows on the twinkling water below. It’s easier to navigate on our backs, with the tight life vests restricting our movement, so we float along until our feet touch rocks and the water suddenly disappears.

Canyoning in Goynuk Canyon
Canyoning in Goynuk Canyon

From here, we clamber over rocks and boulders, big and large through pools shallow and deep always within the sanctuary of the thin canyon, a sliver of blue sky just visible above. At times we have to help one another awkwardly climb through mini waterfalls and at one stage navigate a rope ladder up a small, steep incline from one pool to another.

It’s not overly challenging but enough to provide a frisson of excitement as we anticipate reaching the waterfall, our Jewel in the crown.

Wading through Goynuk Canyon
Wading through Goynuk Canyon

The waterfall crescendo

Forty minutes later, we start to hear the distant thunder of water crashing over the rocks and round a corner to glimpse a deep, green pool of water nestled in a wide area beneath an unconquerable waterfall. We slink into the underbelly of the falls where we balance on rocks under the full pelt of the torrents.

We find ourselves laughing like young children and before you know it my husband is encouraging us to climb up the rocks and jump carefree into the depths of this hidden pool. We whoop and holler, our voices echoing around the canyon walls, faint vestiges of our words reverberating back at us.

We compete to see who can create the biggest splash, the loudest celebration or the best memento of our day but all too soon we hear other voices, and make to leave, wanting to preserve the memories of our time alone in this hidden water pool.

We slide, clamber and swim our way back to the start, pausing to use a mini waterfall as a makeshift slide, but all too soon we are drifting through the deeper water of the canyon entrance passing more and more people starting to arrive as morning heads into lunchtime. Blinking, we re-emerge into bright sunshine casting patterns on the shallow pool, discard our safety equipment and descend the hillside in search of our next adventure (or cocktail! It is my birthday after all!)

wading through the waters of Goynuk canyon
wading through the waters of Goynuk canyon

Top travel hacks for the Goynuk Canyon

    1. Buses pass the off-shoot road from Antalya to Kemer so you can jump off by the road and walk to the entrance (around 1.5 miles) or you can hire a car as we did through Holiday Extras. Click through from Top Cashback to earn money back in the process which can be used as travel spending money, or converted into AVIOS air miles)
    2. The entrance fee is 6TL a head (around £1.50) if you just want to make your way up the hillside to either the deeper pools near the entrance or the shallower pools by the canyon entrance. I highly recommend the canyoning as a fun-filled outing which is ideal for families.
    3. A taxi from the airport to Konyaalti, where we were based, costs around £20 which is less than what any hotel will charge you for arranging a cab. Simply follow the taxi signs within the airport.
    4. Search for Antalya hotels on Hotels.com to earn one free night in ten or see what options are available on AirBNB.
    5. Use a international supercard such as Curve card to cut out international card fees.
    6. Book flights using a search engine such as Skypicker to search all airlines in one easy enquiry!
    7. Book extras such as car parking through the companies offered through Top Cashback so you can use your cashback as holiday spend or convert to air miles.

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Canyoning in Antalya
Canyoning in Antalya

 

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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13 comments

  1. How fun! We would love to go canyoneering sometime! We’ve been climbing, waterfall hiking, rappelling, cliff jumping and such but never canyoneering. Looks like a fantastic adventure–hope we can check it out sometime!

  2. Outdoor activities are always a thrill. This, however, looks exceptional! For the first time I read a post about outdoor life in Turkey. Its great you guys had fun and a jolly day on your birthday!

  3. Sounds like a great experience. When I’ve heard of canyoneering I wasn’t ever sure of it. Glad to have read this post and seen the photos since I think I’d actually enjoy it.

  4. The water in the canyon looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to do something like this but haven’t yet had the chance. I’ll definitely keep this place in mind!

  5. That looks like a lot of fun! I went to Turkey twice and loved it, and I hope to go back one day. Where else did you travel in Turkey? Any recommendations?

    • I’ve previously been to Istanbul, Fethiye, and Bodrum and loved them all. I would love to hire q car and simply explore for a month as there is so much to see. It’s lush.

  6. What a neat experience! I live in Canada so our canyoning is normally of the cold variety- neat to see that you can do it with a swimsuit on too! 🙂

    • Oh I’d love to try that in Canada but yes I suspect the water might be quite icy. It was pretty cool water here too so a wetsuit was needed as the water is coming straight off mountains over 2,000 metres high but the air temperature is so warm it is really refreshing.

  7. Nice video, it looks like a great place to visit. Doesn’t appear to have too many people visiting the place which is nice, you get to enjoy it.

    • Definitely makes a difference – I guess many people have been put off Turkey recently but we had no trouble and love the fact there are these hidden gems that can be explored in peace

  8. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What a fantastic way to celebrate! I will surely keep Antalya in mind when my family and I finally pay a visit to Turkey. Thanks for all the great travel tips.

  9. Wow the waterfall it’s beautiful i love it, nice photos.

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