TRAVELERS

SAKLI KENT

SAKLI KENT

Saklikent translates literally as hidden town. Here you will find a great gorge, with an icy stream which carries melted snow from the Taurus Mountains, and into the Xanthos River. But there's a second water-source at the gorge. A spring bubbles from the base of the limestone cliffs. Locally they call it Ulupinar, or holy spring, and it's said to endow the stream with miraculous powers. Now brace yourself, because you're about to embark on an adventure which will have you wading through these waters on the trail of an epic waterfall.

The largest in Turkey, Saklikent gorge is nearly 20 Kilometres in length. Its cliffs rise up to a height of 300 meters on either side. It's an awe-inspiring sight. Particularly with the penetrating sunlight that casts the rock-face in colours which change from one moment to the next. And as the cliffs close in, those colours turn deeper with such sublime hues. Some might call it surreal. Others, humbling. As you traverse further into the heart of the gorge you'll feel more and more like a trespasser in some other world. Here, we are pilgrims, on an arduous rite of passage, and at the mercy of the elements and the beings that govern them.

Visitors to the gorge also like to smother themselves with the grey sludge on the banks of the stream. We're told the mud has some mineral benefits. And because everyone leaves their cynicism at home before they come on holiday, no one's disputed the authenticity of our local legends yet.

A word of advice, the water reaches waist level in parts so be prepared. You'll also want to wear suitable shoes, because the current gets rough enough to have you losing your footing and flip flops in the interim. But don't let any of this put you off. Traversing through Saklikent Gorge will be one of those adventures to tell the grandkids about one day. And when you reach that waterfall, no amount of slipping and tumbling will make you regret you came. We dare you to dive right in. You'll only last a few seconds under the force of the icy torrent cascading from the rocks above. But you'll come out tripping on adrenaline.

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