Idanre Hills – Beautiful Tourist Attraction in Ondo

idanre hills

Idanre Hills also known as Oke Idanre is one of the popular tourist attractions in Ondo. It is an ancient city set upon A hill located in the city of Idanre Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Idanre Hills has become one of the popular tourist attractions in Ondo State. The story of Idanre Hills is proof of ancient civilization in South-West Nigeria. The Hills are located on hundreds of hectares of land surrounded by beautiful vegetation, high hills, ancient settlements etc.

Climbing the Hills is not a journey for the faint-hearted. The journey requires strength, resilience and stamina. Sit back as I take you through the journey to this mysterious hills.

idanre hills

How The City Got Its Name

The city of Idanre is truly a wonder to behold. This is obvious from the landscape, the people and the culture. There are so many wonders surrounding this ancient city. According to the history folklore, a Royal member from Ife once visited Idanre Hills. Upon seeing the gigantic hills, and seeing the community which is known for its magic and black powers. He exclaimed in Yoruba language Idan re (this is magic). That was how the city got its name.

Idanre Hills –

Idanre Hills has different hills surrounding the city. These hills served as a protection for its inhabitants.

Carter Hills: One of the famous hills is Carter Hill. Carter Hill named after the Colonial Governor in 1891. This was after the colonial Governor signed a treaty with the then Oba of Idanre.

idanre hills

Ajimoba Hill: Another Hill is the Ajimoba Hill named after one of the ancient Kings Guard who served him well.

Orosun Hill: The Orosun hill was named after the daughter of a great warrior. in fulfilment of the vow he made to the gods. He made a vow that if he is victorious in the battle, he will sacrifice the first living thing that comes out of his home. The warrior sacrificed his first daughter, she was buried beside the hill.

Video From Idanre Hills

The City of Idanre History

Idanre is an ancient community that once resided in the hills of Idanre before they relocated to the lower part of the hill. The city is said to be over 800 years old. The city is located in the town of Akure. This city is known for its cultivation of cocoa an important raw material for beverages. The major occupation of the residence of this city is farming.

hills in Akure ondo state

In the year 1923, Idanre city which once dwelled on this magnificent rock decided to move downhill to give room for development and civilization. Ascending the hills that once served as protection which prevented them from invasion has now become a threat to their development. However, since the city moved downhill, much has not changed within the city uphill. The old city is left undisturbed while maintaining its old natural state. The City boasts of relics from its old civilization. The City boasts of ancient ruins which are present till date which serves as a remembrance of the once glorious ancient city.

The missionaries came to Idanre Hills in 1894.

The culture and Tradition at Idanre

The people of Idanre have a beautiful culture and tradition. One of the Popular traditions at Idanre is the marriage rites for men. This involves the test of adulthood for men. Back in the ancient city of Idanre, before a man is allowed to get married. The man will have to undergo a physical test to ascertain that he is physically fit. The man will undergo a physical test where he is asked to carry a rock which weighs about 40kg. Ability to properly lift this rock above your waist level qualified you for marriage. Inability to lift the rock would mean you are not matured to get married.

Attractions at The Hill

Idanre Hills is full of so many attractions that will keep your stay an interesting one. These are some of the many attractions:
The White man’s house: This is the place the missionaries and the colonial masters lived while they were at Idanre Hills.

The Steps: This is the first attraction, it has 682 steps and 5 resting points from the top to bottom.

682 steps at Idanre hills

The first school: The first primary school in Idanre is also located on the hill. The school was built in 1896 and it is still in existence till day. However, it is now a rusty place with no form of educational activity.

first school at idanre hills

The Court: The city also has an ancient court of law where local matters are settled. The court was built in 1906 by the British missionaries. This is to ensure law and order within the community. It has the main court, the judge’s chamber etc.

first court at Idanre Hills

The Prison: The court also has a prison yard located opposite the court where prisoners and offenders are kept.

the prison

The Ancient Palace: Another place to visit is the Owa’s Palace. Before the city moved downhill, this city has its first palace here. This palace is dated as far back as the 17th century.

ancient palace at Idanre

The House of Lorin: Lorin is the custodian of Idanre. The Home of the Custodian of the Mountain. The mountain has a custodian known as Lorin. According to tradition, the tradition forbids him to wear cloth. He can only tie wrapper. This is why clothes and shoes are forbidden in his house and you can not enter his house unless you are invited. His house uphill still respect the tradition till date.

lorins house

The Arun River: This river is believed to have supernatural powers to heal various sickness and diseases. Arun river is located on top of the mountain.
Thunder River: This is the place where warriors gather for a drink before they set out for a battle.

arun river

Thunder River: This is another source of water at the Hill

Features of Idanre Hills

Idanre Hills is over 3,000 feet above the sea level, The hill is a perfect blend of a savannah, high hills mountains, rivers, beautiful vegetations integrated with the ancient cultural landscape. This gave it some very unique features. These are some of the features of Idanre Hills.

  • The 682 steps
  • The Ancient Owa palace
  • The Ark of Noah
  • Unreadable letters of the flood
  • Aghara Hill
  • The shrines
  • Agboogun footprints
  • Arun river
  • Thunder River
  • Mausoleum
  • Old court
  • The Smoking hills where the rock kisses the sky
  • The Wonderful mat
  • Belfry
  • First primary school in Idanre Hills
  • Cocao Farms etc

Life at Idanre

Since the emigration downhill, not much has changed at Idanre Hill. The flora and fauna have remained unchanged. The hills have some of the finest plants and animals. Idanre hill is home to hundreds of plant and animal species.

Animals found at Idanre Hills

  • Antelope
  • Snakes
  • Hyrax
  • Mona Monkeys
  • bats
  • Bush Pigs
  • Buffalos
  • African Civet
  • Birds

Festival in Idanre

old palace idanre

Festival is a major part of every Nigerian culture and Idanre Hills is not left behind. Every year there are two major festivals in Idanre hills, the Ogun Festival which is usually held in October and the Ije festival.
Another popular festival in Idanre Hills is the festival of the golden crown which is celebrated in February.

Things to Do at Idanre Hills

  1. Climb the 682 steps to reach the peak of the hill.
  2. Hike through Idanre Hills.
  3. Enjoy the beautiful landscape.
  4. Learn about the history of Idanre hills.
  5. Take beautiful pictures.
  6. You need a tour guide.

Amazing facts about Idanre hills

It has 682 steps to reach the peak
There are five resting points before the top of the hill
They moved downhill in 1928
Idanre Hills is listed on the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage site
The hill is located in Ondo State
25 Kings have ruled this city, the current one is the 26th.

Idanre Hills Steps

Ascending the hill takes about 682 steps with 5 resting points. It journey involves hiking along the hills, valleys, plains and forested regions before heading to the peak of the Hill. The landscape comes with one of the most beautiful views ever. The 682 steps are set at 10 metres apart to give room for users to climb at their own pace. But for the strong can decide to take the walk at a stretch.

  • The First Resting Point is at Step 75
  • The Second Resting Point is at Step 225
  • The third Resting Point
  • The fourth resting Point is 473 Steps
  • The Fifth Resting Point is at 580 steps

Getting to the top of the hills is the hardest part of the journey. On the apex is the plain hills which do not involve climbing. At the apex, you ushered into the community that holds the history of this once bubbling ancient settlement.
The journey around Idanre hills involves passing through bush parts, forested regions, high hills, mountain parts etc.

Tour Around Idanre Hills


On getting to the top of the hills which gives us a view of the entire city. It makes you appreciate the city even more. The entire city is surrounded by these gigantic mountains. Our tour guide took us to the Colonial master’s houses which they call the white mans house. We also visited the old palace, the customary courts, the old prison, the house of the custodian, the place where the kings of Idanre were buried.

Idanre Hills Gate fee

Access to Idanre hills is 1,000 naira flat, no extra charges. However, to make your journey an interesting one, you will need a tour guide. The tour guide will take you through the different part of the ancient city and tell you the story behind it. Lastly, you should reward the local guides for their hard work. I always emphasize on tipping them well just to appreciate their effort.

Where is Idanre Hills Located in Nigeria?

Idanre Hills is located at the city of Idanre, Akure, Ondo State, South West, Nigeria.

How to get to Idanre Hills

Coming From Outside Nigeria.

Firstly, you will need to take a flight to Lagos International airport, from Lagos you can decide to do a 5-hour drive to Idanre or an hour flight to Akure airport where you can then take a cab to Idanre Hills. To make this tour more memorable, it will be best to combine it with other destinations close to Idanre Hills.

From Lagos

Idanre is a 5 hours drive from the city of Lagos. It makes more sense to combine this visit with other tourist attractions like Erin Ijesha waterfalls, Osun Osogbo grove, Arinta waterfall, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Osun city tour etc
From Lagos, you will have to drive to Akure via Ogun state via Ore road. Which is less than an hour drive from Idanre.

Duration of the tour

The duration of the tour depends on your pace and if you would like to do a full city tour of Idanre hills. It will average take between 2 to 3 hours.

UNESCO Heritage Tentative List

Idanre Hills is on UNESCO heritage tentative list. It has not been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Nigeria yet. Idanre Hills made it to the tentative of UNESCO World Heritage site on 8th October 2007.

Tips When climbing Idanre Hills

  • Wear something smart and comfortable
  • Wear a suitable shoe for hiking
  • Be careful when crossing the Arun rive it often gets slippery, the river flows across of the rock.
  • Pack light when climbing the hills
  • Make sure you have enough cash that will last you throughout your trip.
  • Get water handy

Things to take along during the visit

  1. Wear face cap
  2. Get water before you start the climb
  3. A face towel
  4. Snacks
  5. Your phone
  6. Enough cash
  7. And of course, bring your adventurous self.

Want Us to take you on A tour?

At Travelwake tour, we organize both group and private tours to any location in Nigeria. If you want to visit this tourist attraction, kindly reach out to us. You can also book to Idanre Hills and other locations.
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In conclusion, a visit to Idanre Hills is worth it and please feel free to share your experience with us.

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Idanre Hills Pictures

These are beautiful pictures from Idanre Hills

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