With its warm winter climate and perfect limestone, Turkey is becoming the holiday destination of choice for the rain-washed European climber.
Beautiful scenery, amazing weather and fantastic routes all add up to make an ideal sun-rock venue. The climbing at the main spot of Geyikbayiri is extremely accessible - falling within a 3km square area. That means if you're staying on the campsites you can park the car and forget about driving - with less than 15 minutes walk to any sector. There are enough routes in this one area to keep you occupied for a good few weeks, but if you feel a bout of wander-lust setting in, some coastal crags might fit the bill.
The crags have been developed recently with good quality 12mm stainless steel bolts. On most of the routes a 60m rope will be adequate, but there are some longer adventures dotted around, especially at Sarkit, which is the largest crag at the main area of Geyikbayiri, where a 70m rope can be useful. Some of the mega routes in this area require stopping half way down and re-threading the rope. The steeper routes tend to follow brilliant orange tufas of all sizes, giving varied, three dimensional climbing and lots of opportunities to rest with foot hooks and knee bars. The less steep routes follow perfect grey limestone on crimps and pockets, featuring delicate, technical and balancy moves.
Route Climbing Information
The main climbing spot is Geyikbayiri which is the name of a nearby village. Geyikbayiri is a relatively young climbing area and was discovered by Öztürk Kayikci in 2000. Öztürk, as well as many local and foreign route-openers have developed an incredible climbing region. At the moment there are almost 300 routes of various difficulties and grades (Fr 4 to 8c). Routes up to Fr 4 grades are relatively few, but more exist between Fr 4 and Fr 6a+. Main difficulties are between Fr 6a+ to Fr 7c. There is a campsite less than 10 minute from the cliffs.
Akyarlar is 25 minutes from the campsite at Geyikbayiri and is situated directly on the sea front. It is relatively small, (around 20 routes) but a nice climbing area situated in a beautiful bay. The rather steep rocky footpath down to the bay frightens most non-climbers, which means you normally have the whole bay for yourself. In summer it is the perfect place to climb, boulder, bathe and to hang out. With the first moves you are faced with boulder problems on rocks washed smooth and rounded by the sea, after that you'll find climbing on vertical walls.
Bouldering Information by Jost Hüttenhain
Feslekan Yayla (yayla means meadow) lies at about 2000m above sea level and can be reached from the campsite at Geyikbayiri either by car (30 min), or by mountain bike (time depending on your stamina!). The bouldering area is surrounded by mountain pastures and even in summer, snow covered summits. The air is fresh and clear. Thousands of blocks, some knobby mountain pines and small Alpine huts make this area unique. The rock is compact and not too sharp, the gneiss-limestone mix resembles granite. There are boulders of all difficulties and variations.
When to Go
The summers in Antalya are blisteringly hot and as most of the crags enjoy a sunny, Southern outlook then this time is best avoided. The rest of the year provides perfect warm climbing conditions, with most people climbing in t-shirts right through the winter .
How to Get There
Low cost flights to Antalya airport are easy to find on the web, just Google "Flights Antalya". The airport is located 3km East of Antalya centre. It's possible to hire cars at the airport with several different companies - a quick web search throws up lots of results. From Antalya airport follow signs to Antalya, and get on the main D650 road heading West. You should see signs for Cakilar when you have travelled around 8km from Antalya centre. Travel through Cakilar and head for the village of Feslikan (signed). This road then leads to Akdamar, where a right turn at the market brings you on to the road up to the village of Geyikbairi. Feslikan is located around 10 km after Geyikbayiri, on the same road.
Geyikbayiri village is around 38km from the airport.
Accommodation Advertise here
No Premier Listings found in this area
There are many accommodation options in the Antalya area, with cheap package holiday deals from the UK meaning that apartments by the coast can be booked for a low price. All the usual travel websites offer packages here and a quick web search will give hundreds of results. Most visiting climbers prefer to stay in the village of Geyibayiri itself and a few different options are available here.
Food and Supplies
Geyikbayiri is a small, quiet village selling fruit and basic food products. There isn't really much else on offer in the area, so making sure you're stocked up on essentials before you arrive is a good idea. The village of Akdamar has a large open air market and is about 10 minutes drive or 40 minutes walk down the valley from where the climbing is situated. There is a beautiful woodland path following the river from Trebenna to the village centre which is an ideal rest day activity.
The campsites offer food and this is by far the most convenient option for the short term visitor. There is also a small cafe-shack on the road below the main crags that sells coffee and bread and a few very basic items. JoSiTo campground stock a small range of climbing equipment, including chalk.
15 quickdraws and a 70m rope should suffice for most routes.
Outdoor Shops Advertise here
No Premier Listings found in this area
Due to Turkeys amazing history, there are many archaeological excursions available in the surrounding areas. To experience an overview of Turkeys' worthiest destinations, tours can be found in local travel-guides.
Mountain biking: The Mountains rise directly from sea level to a height of almost 3000 metres, offering you routes through various vegetation and climatic regions. There are a few asphalt roads in the mountains thus allowing you an indefinite number of tours and trails of various difficulties. At the moment a guidebook is being put together with the most worthwhile routes.
Skiing/Ski tours: From the middle of January to the end of May the mountains over 1500m are taken over by winter weather with snow often over several metres in depth. Occasionally in April and May you can go skiing and swimming on the same day. Further information about snow conditions and tours can be found in local guides. Half an hour from Geyikbayiri you can find the ski town of ski town of Saklikent where you can enjoy the luxury of ski lifts.
- EC citizens don't need a visa to travel to Turkey. With a tourist visa you can stay up to 3 month in the country.
- Money: In Antalya you find a lot cash points and change offices. Don't change directly in the airport, it is expensive! The campsite accepts Turkish Lira as well as Euro. The cost of living is low in Turkey compared to the UK. The currency is the New Turkish Lira.
The most up-to-date guidebook is A Rock Climbing Guide to Antalya (2014).
Instructor/Guides Advertise here
No Premier Listings found in this area
- SKILLS: Building Fast Belays When Multipitch Sport Climbing 9 Nov, 2016
- SKILLS: Abseil Knots Explained 2 Oct, 2016
- FEATURE: Colm Shannon's Deserted DWS Heaven - Irish West Coast 7 Aug, 2016
- SKILLS: Acclimatising for the European Alps 5 Jun, 2016
- Terra Unfirma! Adventures on the Lleyn Peninsula 1 Jun, 2016
- VIDEO: Fiesta De Los Biceps 8 May, 2016
- REVIEW: Evolv Shaman 2016 18 Mar, 2016
- REVIEW: Doug Scott - Up and About 2 Feb, 2016
- ARTICLE: 12 Climbing Adventures That Won't Break The Bank 26 Jan, 2016
- DESTINATION GUIDE: 10 Routes to Climb in Chamonix in Winter 20 Jan, 2016
Many thanks to UKClimbing.com users Alan Rubin, Jon Redshaw, Mel H and Rich Kirby for help with updating this article.