(While access to the canyon is free for the most part, viewing platforms and some picnic grounds charge an entrance fee)
Great for: Hiking, Nature Walks, Picnics, Vistas, People Who Love to Overestimate
Cutting its way across the Turkish countryside, the Ulubey Canyon stretches from shallow valleys near the city of Uşak and becomes a deep canyon in the south where it meets up with the Menderes River (Menderes is the Turkish for the Meander River, whose winding route is the source of our English word “meander”). The steep cliff faces and green canyon floor attract visitors who come to hike, picnic, or just enjoy the view.
The Canyon is made up of one main channel with many smaller arms carved by smaller streams flowing into the Banaz river. According to signs at the canyon itself, the Ulubey Canyon is 45 kilometers long, up to 100 meters wide, and up to 170 meters deep. The claim is also made that it’s the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.
Unfortunately, there are two canyons in Turkey that make this claim and neither of them are accurate. Measuring a canyons largeness is a tricky business; do we look at length? Depth? Width? Volume? And where do we measure from? No matter how you measure it though, Ulubey Canyon fall quite short of many other canyons around the world. For context Yarlang Tampo Canyon in Tibet is 504 kilometers long with an average depth of 2200 meters, and a deepest point of 6000 meters.
While Ulubey may not rank on a world scale, it’s still beautiful. Along its branching arms you can find the ruins of Blaundus Ancient City, a city founded by Alexander the Great during his campaign across Anatolia, as well as the beautiful Clandras bridge and waterfall.
The Clandras Bridge is actually an ancient aqueduct spanning the Banaz stream, thought to have been built during the Phrygian Period around 500 BC.
Next to the bridge and waterfall is small hydro-electric plant built in the 1960s. The local village built the plant making it the first village in Turkey to produce its own power.
Note: While these places are nice, they are fairly remote and really only worth visiting if you happen to be in the area already.
How To Get There
As most of these sights are fairly remote, you will need to have a car or be willing to pay a taxi from the town of Ulubey.
Ulubey Glass Viewing Platform
On the Eastern edge of the Town of Ulubey, the Ulubey Canyon Glass Terrace is only about a kilometer from the center of town. Taking public transit from Uşak to Ulubey, then taking a taxi here is possible.
To get to the Ulubey Canyon Glass Terrace follow Kıllı street eastward out of the town center, across the Karahallı – Ulubey road and straight to the canyon.
From the Town of Ulubey head South on the Karahallı – Ulubey road. This road will take you down into the canyon where you’ll turn left towards the village of Avgan. Pass through Avgan and a few kilometers later in the village of Karayakuplu, turn right down the Karayakuplu Köyü İç road. A few Kilometers later, when you’ve again descended back into the canyon, take a right following the brown signs marked for Clandras Köprüsü.
Where To Stay
As far as we have been able to find out there are no accommodation options in the area of Blaundus or the Ulubey Canyon area, though camping in the Ulubey Canyon should be possible. The closest hotels that we were able to find were in the city of Uşak, 31 kms to the north.
Planning on visiting Ulubey Canyon? Make sure to check out Blaundus Ancient City and the other sights of the Aegean!
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