Welcome to Halfeti & Rumkale
Licensed restaurants now dot the riverside, and accommodation is available in the Socrates Boutique Hotel. Visit on a weekday for a quieter stay. On summer weekends, the peace can be ambushed by jet-skiing, water-skiing, and wakeboarding. Kayaking is also available.
From Halfeti, boats to Rumkale can be organised (about TL100 for the whole boat). Individual travellers can join a group for about TL30. Boats travel 20 minutes to the base of the rocky bluff on top of which sits a ruined fortress. The fortress features a mosque, church and monastery, all relatively well-preserved, but closed for restoration at the time of writing. Boats continue for 10 minutes until Savaş, another partly inundated village.
Regular dolmuş departures leave from Gaziantep's otogar to Birecik (TL12), and there are also minbuses to Birecik from Urfa (TL14). Minbuses ply the route between Birecik and Halfeti (TL6), leaving from the Birecik market, around 300m past the Hotel Acar. Make sure you stress you want to go Eski Halfeti though, as many of the minibuses stop at Yeni Halfeti, the newer village around 9km from Eski Halfeti.
Halfeti is relatively accessible by public transport on weekdays, but we definitely recommend an early start from Gaziantep or Urfa. Dolmuş traffic from Birecik to Eski Halfeti slows to a trickle on weekends, but the site's popularity as a destination for Turkish tourists means that hitching is a viable option.