The Altnkaya Dam, which was built and put into use in 1988 in the Vezirköprü district of SAMSUN, filled the canyon with water, transforming it into the natural gem that it is today. This year, the canyon has already welcomed 70,000 people. Ahinkaya Canyon, the second-largest canyon in Turkey, is a tourist haven, according to Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mustafa Demir.
“By the end of the year, the canyon alone will have more than 100,000 tourists. We are conducting research to determine Samsun’s tourism potential.”
Ahinkaya Canyon, which was created by the years-long erosion of the mountains, rocks, and streams, was filled with water in 1988 when the Altnkaya Dam was built, giving it its current aspect. This natural beauty draws both domestic and international tourists. The canyon, which is located 25 kilometers from Samsun’s Vezirköprü district headquarters, draws attention with its 3,250-meter length, 106-meter average water depth, and 340-meter canyon height.
Visitors can go boating, participating in water sports, and hiking in the canyon, which is the second-largest canyon in Turkey and was designated a “National Tourism Zone” by the Council of Ministers in 2012 and a “Natural Park” in 2015. Adrenaline junkies like the canyon, which also serves as the venue for the “Falcon Fest” extreme sports festival.
Around the canyon, there exist historical remnants and signs of the civilization’s past dating to the Hittite era. There are services with the Metropolitan Municipality and independently owned ferries in the canyon, which is surrounded by picnic and camping places, restaurants, and cafes.
Mustafa Demir, the mayor of Samsun Metropolitan Municipality, said:
“There is a beautiful canyon there. Only sight can identify this location. There is currently a significant increase in the number of tourists there. The goal of 100,000 visitors per year to the canyon is being met. There are now close to 100,000 visitors just to Vezirköprü ahinkaya Canyon. Our objective is to bring one million more visitors to Samsun. You become a tourist city once your population hits 1 million.”