The Antalya area is the best and most extensive rock climbing area in Turkey, particularly the crags of Geyikbayiri and Olympos.
|Rock Climbing in Antalya and Geyikbayiri|
|Crag||Total No. of Routes||Number of Routes in Grade Range|
|Up to 4 +||5a to 5c+||6a to 6b||6b+ to 6c+||7a to 7b||7b+ to 7c+||Over 8a|
|Karataslar||70||No Information available|
The above information has been extracted from the current edition of the Rock climbing guide to Antalya (2011 – 4th Edition).
Geyikbayiri is the largest sports climbing area in Turkey. The crag itself is situated 25km from the busy tourist city of Antalya, with the only "tourists" being rock climbers!
The main crag is 1.5km long, plus several other buttresses, providing over 600 routes across at all grades. However there is still potential to develop many more! The climbing is on superb limestone rock, with many features such as slabs and faces with small crimps to bomber overhanging tufas and roofs. The majority of the routes are single pitch though there are some 2-pitch routes as well. The crag has only been developed since 2001 and therefore all of the routes have good quality bolts.
Within the Antalya area there are several other rock climbing areas. These are as follows:
Further inland from Geyikbayiri and high up in the mountains (2000m high) at a place called Feslekan Yayla is a fantastic limestone bouldering area. Though the bouldering is not fully developed, it does mean there are great opportunities to bag some first ascents. It is also an excellent place to escape the summer heat of Geyikbayiri.
Further south is another excellent sports climbing area at Olympos, with several crags. Here there are over 250 routes on perfect limestone rock across all grades. The rock climbing has slabs with small pockets that require technical moves and lots of balance through to tufas and huge roofs. Some of the crags also have the advantage of only being a few hundred metres from the beach. This area also has several walls that are suitable for deep water soloing (DWS) with the sea being deep enough to attempt routes from 8 to 20m long. The only down side is that these walls can only be approached by boat.
Akyarlar is a small limestone crag but it has the advantage that the climbing is straight off the beach! There are 17 short bolted routes here, ranging from 5b+ to 7a and plenty of bouldering.
The rock climbing at Karataslar is made up of 10 conglomerate towers with 70 routes ranging from 10m to 150m in length.
Okuzini is a recently developed crag close to Geyikbayiri, with the emphasis steep overhanging routes, many of which are waiting to be developed.
The guidebook for the area is called "Antalya Kaya Tirmanis Rehberi/A Rock Climbing Guide Antalya", written by Ozturk Kayikci, which covers all of rock climbing at Geyikbayiri, Olympos, Okuzini, Kas and Akyarlar. This guidebook is available to buy from our shop.
With many low cost airlines flying into Antalya airport, this is a great place for a budget rock climbing holiday. Geyikbayiri is situated 500m above sea level, making it less humid and cooler than Antalya. The best time to visit for rock climbing is from September through to June, though the rainy season is December and January. In the summer months it gets very hot though there are places to climb in the shade. For the other crags again the best time to visit is from September through to June. The locals say the best months for rock climbing are November and March.
For accommodation there are a number of campsites/bungalows to rent at Geyikbayiri and Olympos, see our accommodation in Antalya page for more information. There are many tourist areas/package destinations around Antalya such as Side, which offer cheap hotel/apartment accommodation. These are a good place to stay if you are planning to do a few days climbing as part of your general holiday.