Situated on the Taurus Mountains at an altitude of 1,000 meters in the İbradı district of Antalya, Ormana has been of strategic importance throughout history. Known as Erymna and once an ancient Roman city in the region of Pisidia, Ormana has been a settlement since the Hellenistic era, and is situated on the Seljuk Konya-Antalya Silk Road. Nowadays, it is a village with a population of 600 and is known for its unique house architecture. Ormana is also famous for its vineyards and wild horses. This beautiful village offers both natural and cultural wonders!
Discover the Button Houses
The village, which combines history, culture, and nature, bears traces of a seven-hundred-year-old history. The town’s famous “button houses” – built without any mortar, using solely stones and cedar wood – are today under protection as a component of cultural heritage. This particular architecture technique, specific to this part of Anatolia, is made possible thanks to materials easily available in the region. These houses’ wooden “buttons” ensure the equilibrium of the walls, diminish its load, and provide flexibility in case of an earthquake. As the inhabitants of the region make a living from agriculture and livestock breeding, the ground floor of the two-story button houses is generally designed to serve as a stable, hayloft, or cellar. The first floor is the living area. Houses have characteristic woodwork and trims that are signs of master craftsmanship. With more than 300 button houses and abundant natural beauty, Ormana is a hidden paradise on the foothill of the Taurus Mountains.
The 13th-century Tol Han, located on the Seljuk Konya-Antalya Silk Road, served as a place to stop while traveling through the Eynif Polje which stretches along the Taurus Mountains. To this day, its ruins welcome visitors. Surrounded by magnificent towering mountains renowned for their flourishing wildlife and vegetation, the Eynif Plain offers a visual feast and an unforgettable experience. Your journey through the black pines, spruces, and terebinths will be accompanied by squirrels, hares, goats, and the wild horses that roam free on the Taurus Mountains – these are known in Turkish as yılkı horses. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire almost a hundred years ago, many soldiers returned home and no longer had any use for their horses. Consequently, they released them into nature and today, almost 1,000 horses in multiple herds live and roam here freely.
Unforgettable Experiences around Ormana
Don’t forget to visit İbradı Arapastı Kestanesi, a colossal 1,100-year-old chestnut tree on the way to the “Melas” valley. Near the village of Üzümdere, you can find a peaceful place to take some stunning pictures and swim in the cold water that comes out of mountain – this is also the source of the Manavgat Waterfalls.
With its magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, Altınbeşik Cave, Türkiye’s largest subterranean lake, is another natural wonder. As stated by the scientists, the large quantity of oxygen in the cave combined with the cool air flow penetrates all body cells and has same effect as modern ozone therapy. The Altınbeşik National Park, where Altınbeşik Cave is situated, is also home to various wild animals such as foxes, wolves, boars, wild goats; and 605 different plant species including endemic ones.
Taste the local cuisine and experience the local nomad culture
Discover and gather morels, pick wild herbs, try out the famous grapes and molasses of Ormana, and attend the 50-year-old traditional grape festivals held in the first week of September. Ormana is also famous for its goats that live in the ridges of the Taurus Mountains and have a natural diet. As a result, goat cheese and goat milk are stars of the regional breakfast spread. Goat meat, a staple of nomad culture, will be present in different dishes like meatballs or tandoori which is cooked for hours in traditional brick ovens and served with the fresh, rustic bread.
Wonderful souvenirs: The traditional handicrafts of Ormana
Handicrafts are still part of the common life of Ormana, and woodwork, traditional fabrics, and blacksmith products are present along the streets. Gılamık is a part of Turkish cultural heritage and makes a wonderful souvenir to take back home.
Discover the Turkish culture
The village of Ormana on the Taurus Mountains promises a peaceful holiday in the heart of nature while avoiding the sometimes overbearing heat of the Mediterranean. You can opt to regain your energy surrounded by cedars and enjoy the wind on Eynif Plain. You can stay in one of the button houses, admire these perfect examples of woodwork, and experience the authentic life of a people living in a mountainous region of the Mediterranean. When you arrive in Ormana, we highly recommend heading to the observation terraces to admire the landscape, generously offering shades of blue and green. Make sure to meet locals and ask your guide to tell you the stories of the centuries-old button houses. Listen to the conversations of the villagers at the kıraathanes, the coffee houses on the village square. Visit the local vineyards, and discover the incredible combination of local goat cheese and grapes. Listen to the birdsongs from all corners of the valley, and savor the peace and calmness.