Chasing waterfalls in Turkey

Day two in Turkey we woke up bright and early. At around 6 am we departed the hostel to find a taxi to take us to a nearby bus station. The taxi was easy enough to find, but unfortunately once we arrived at the bus station (Medan) we asked around and couldn’t find the bus that was recommended to us by the Turkey Tourism lady the day before in Antalya. We got more instructions to take a tram to Kursunlu, and then find a bus to there. We figured we might as well try, so we got a tram/bus card for 12 lira ($2) and we were on our way. Once we arrived in Kursunlu we were so confused on where to go, as there were no bus stops or stations. Fortunately, we found a tram worker who had google translate and we were able to find out what we were supposed to look for a small bus, number 81, who could bring us to the waterfall. We stood on the main road and got ready to wave down the bus. Fortunately, about 10 minutes later it passed and we got on. Our tram cards worked and paid for the trip! It was about 20 minutes until we arrived at the park, and we were the first ones to arrive. Gates opened at 8 am and we got there at around 7:50, so we waited on the benches until they gave us the go ahead to get in. I am super happy we went early because we had the whole waterfall to ourselves. The park was absolutely beautiful, never would have expected such a gem. The waterfall was pretty wide, and there was a little area where we could even stand underneath it. It was absolutely spectacular and I highly recommend. There were beautiful pink flower trees and the water was a beautiful turquoise color, and having it to ourselves was truly magical. I highly suggest coming here early so you can experience it.  After the waterfall you can follow a little trail that took us maybe 20 minutes to complete, and it brought you back to a second series of smaller waterfalls.  I’d recommend this because it was easy, and being in nature right outside of a city is so special so you might as well enjoy the tranquility while you are here! 

We spent about two hours total at this park, taking a rest to enjoy the views and have a snack, as well as taking many photos. We had somewhat limited time since we wanted to do two other waterfalls the same day.  If we had time I would have loved to have a meal in the café that was overlooking one of the smaller waterfalls, it looked beautiful. We wanted to be at the marine in Antalya by 12 or earlier to book a boat to Lower Duden waterfall, so we asked the man working the front desk about the best way to get there and he told us we could take the bus that comes every half hour. A taxi man waiting outside the park told us that he could drive us, and at first we said no thank you, since we wanted to save money.  But then we looked at the time (10:40ish) and we figured that getting back might be tricky so we bartered the price down and we were on our way in the taxi.  It was perfect because it cut down a lot on time and we were able to have time to talk to the people selling boat trips and barter on a price before grabbing lunch.  The day before we walked around the area and saw a cute set of cafes and restaurants with beautiful views.  It was called Mermerli Restaurant, and it overlooked a beach down below with crystal clear Mediterranean water.  There was mostly Italian food on the menu, so we both got vegetarian pasta dishes and then shared them.  

After lunch we headed down to the harbor and purchased our boat trip, and had about a half hour to kill so we went to another restaurant for cocktails and ice cream.  The boat trip was about two hours to a beautiful waterfall which drops from a cliff into the sea, it is truly dreamy.  Both George and I fell asleep for a bit on the way there, but then enjoyed the views on the way home.  We passed by several smaller waterfalls and some seacaves.

Upstream of Lower Duden waterfall is a more visited park called Upper Duden, which can also be reached by public transport.  We walked from the harbor to a bus station called Dogu Garaji.  We tried asking around for a bit and finally found a kind Turkish man who had an app with all of the routes and listed our possibility.  A bus pulled up which said “Duden” and he pointed and said it was correct, so we hopped on and we were on our way.  We found the bus drivers and most people on the bus to be super helpful and telling us where to get off, although most people didn’t speak English. This waterfall was a lot busier than Kursunlu, although the park itself was smaller. You only had to walk a few minutes until you heard the rushing sound of the falls.  This one wasn’t as lush and tropical looking as the other but it was taller with more water, it was super impressive and beautiful.  A really cool aspect was that we could walk on a path into the cliff and literally get behind the waterfall.  It was wet but super cool!  Highly recommend.

After spending an hour here we headed back on the bus to go back to the hostel.  We rested, googled how to get to Pamukkale the next day.  We also did a quick google search on vegetarian food nearby.  We found a really good restaurant just 5 minutes away, called Rocca.  Their vegan and vegetarian menu was amazing highly recommend. We both got pizza and lemonade. After dinner we packed up our belongings and got ready for yet another early morning!  

All of the places we went in Antalya seemed to have very few tourists.  I loved taking public transport to get places and it was interesting to note that we rarely saw other tourists using this mode of transport.  I was happy about how friendly people were and how safe I felt.  I wasn’t worried or feeling bad vibes a single time on this trip. George and I were not expecting all the beauty in Turkey and it truly blew us away, it was incredible. 

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