Elmali is a city in Antalya Province.
Elmalı is a town of around 15,000, high in the western Taurus mountains of Antalya province. As it is far inland from the Antalya-Fethiye coastal road, it has little tourist development. Nonetheless as a prosperous regional hub for agriculture and trade, it has plenty of facilities. At an altitude of around 1000m, it is pleasantly cool in summer compared to the coastal towns. It is an excellent starting point for exploring the spectacular mountains and traditional villages around.
The name Elmalı means "of apples", reflecting the fact that 10% of Turkey's apple crop is produced in the surrounding area.
Dolmus (minibus) services run to Elmalı from Antalya city, as well as Kaş, Kalkan, Patara, Kemer, Gombe and other towns in the region.
From Kaş, buses leave at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2:30pm and 5:30pm. A return service leaves at 9:15am, 12:30pm and 5:15pm. The trip takes 2.5 hours and costs 12 TL.
Elmalı is one starting point for hiking Mt. Kizlarsivrisi. This 3000m peak, the highest in western Antalya, is a fairly challenging 2-3 day hike. Most of the route, up to around 2200m, follows one of various dirt tracks in good condition. These tracks are regularly used by locals in tractors (but not so regularly that you can rely on one passing on any given day.)
The hike starts from the village of Söğle ("Serlay"), 10km east of Elmalı. Expect to be harrassed by large shepherds' dogs in the first few kilometres; carry a strong stick and be prepared to throw stones, and keep walking as they are defending their territory.
There are a number of wells along the route. Bucket and rope is NOT provided - bring at least 10m of cord. Check with locals about water availability, as these wells run dry in the summer before the first rains.
The final stage curves around from a comma-shaped valley (clearly visible on Google Earth), follows a footpath over a southbound pass, then breaks off to ascend the eastern ridge. This part is difficult talus and scree.
There's a reasonable selection of shops including supermarkets, ATMs, hunting shops (which may stock some outdoor/hiking gear, clothes shops etc.
Three hotels are available towards the north-western end of the main street, all on the left side of the street when coming from the bus station.
Tuba Hotel is 40TL for a single.
Yorukoglu Pansiyon is a comfortable and clean pension opposite the large mosque. Rooms are heated, have balcony and tv and soft mattresses! The shared bathrooms have 24hr water, which will be appreciated as even summer nights are cool. 30 TL for a single. Wireless internet is available. The friendly staff speak a little English. The entrance is signed but slightly obscure, around the corner next to a square, and upstairs from the Belediye office. Tel: 0242 618 8477. Email: [email protected]
Arzu Hotel is 40TL for a single, and is the choice of foreign tour groups.