Dilek National Park (Dilek Milli Parki)
Comprising pine forests, canyons, waterfalls, and valleys dotted with walking paths and coves, Dilek National Park is a dream for nature, walking, and beach enthusiasts. The park is also a haven for wildlife, with everything from rare plants to wild boar, monk seals, and abundant birds, including cormorants and pelicans.
Dilek is one of Kusadasi’s premier attractions, with visitors foregoing its busy beaches to savor the park’s beautiful scenery. Visit independently by boat, bus, or rental car; or skip any hassles and see more of Dilek than you could independently in a day by booking a tour from Kusadasi—you’ll cover more ground in one fun, easy, and seamless outing. Most are off-road 4WD trips into Dilek’s forests to visit its ancient ruins, beaches, and famous Zeus Cave and usually include a barbecue lunch and handy hotel pickup and drop-off.
Things to Know Before You Go
Dilek National Park draws beach, wildlife, and adventure aficionados.
Bring sunscreen, water, and flip-flops for the beaches.
The walking trails are not wheelchair-accessible.
Most beaches have picnic tables, restaurants, restrooms, showers, and rentable sun loungers.
There is a modest admission fee to the park.
The park is often called “Milli Park”—which means “national park” in Turkish.
How to Get There
The park lies 14 miles (23 kilometers) from Kusadasi, jutting out from Turkey’s Aegean coast into the waters south of the Greek island of Samos. Many visitors arrive by car or on a 4WD tour from Kusadasi. Regular boats from Kusadasi also run to Dilek’s beaches, while frequentdolmus minibuses transport visitors to the park entrance and back.
When to Get There
The park is open 8am–7pm in summer and 8am–5pm in the off-season. The beaches and trails get busy in July and August, especially on weekends. During these times, plan to arrive early or later in the afternoon. Spring and fall see the main crowds disappear, making them perfect for peaceful visits.
What Not to Miss in Dilek National Park
There’s much to do in Dilek National Park. Tackle the challenging canyon hiking trail, explore the ruined ancient city of Karina, enjoy the azure waters of Zeus Cave, discover quaint Doganbey village, or hit a beach. Whichever you choose, watch for the free-roaming wild boars—they can be spotted almost everywhere.
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