CONTRIBUTED BY EMILY SMITH
A few months ago, my husband and I were searching Google Earth in the Adana area for anything interesting that might be fun to explore. We were excited to find a photo of some ruins about 1.5-2 hours north of Adana. Our thoughts were that if these photos and coordinates were actually the real deal, it would be an incredible find and a fun hike.
So one Saturday afternoon, we plugged the coordinates into our GPS and off we went in search of these ancient monastery ruins.
The name of the ruins is Akner Monastery. It was an active monastery until the early 1900’s, but due to earthquakes and local disturbances it was destroyed, except for what remains today.
It is located right outside of a small sleepy town called Akoren. Much of the drive to Akoren shares the same road that you would take to İmamoğlu or Kozan, but then once you reach Imamoglu, you head northwest.
I have visited the site two times now, once with my toddler and once with just my husband. It is possible to bring children on this hike, but for children under two, I would use a hiking pack. My three-year-old did fantastic on the hike.
There are no facilities in the vicinity of the monastery. The town of Akören is very small, so resources such as restaurants and bathrooms are very limited. Be sure to stop in Imamoglu before and after if you need these places!
Once you reach the town of Akören and head up to the monastery, the roads become more and more rustic. Some parts of the road are paved, others are not.
I am including visual directions to the ruins site as well as coordinates, because there is a hiking trail to the monastery, but it is a little difficult to find the start to the trail.
The local people have laid barbed wire along the path; start looking for the barbed wire at the first set of ruins (#2 on the map). They line the path up to the monastery, and then if you continue to follow them, they will lead you to another set of ruins further back past the monastery about ¾-1 mile (#4, 37.467752, 35.461708).
The hike past the monastery does get challenging, but with careful guidance, my 3 year old was able to traverse the rocky ground. There are ruins and evidence of ruins all over this hill. I like to imagine that it used to be a huge community just due to the amount of ruins located here– but the actual written history of this area is very limited.
Free activity! Bring TL for any snacks you might need in Akören or İmamoğlu.
Allow 1-2 hours for the drive to the monastery. And allow 2-3 hours for hiking and exploring.
Town of Akören: 37.4561, 35.4471
Parking: 37.463645, 35.466294
Actual monastery site: 37.465219, 35.460889
More ruins past the monastery: 37.467752, 35.461708