- Category: route
Akyaka is a coastal township in southwestern Turkey. The town is situated at the far end of the Gulf of Gökova, at the start of the fertile Gökova plain, and is a rising centre for international tourism due to its advantageous location and natural beauties. Sakar Pass, a favorite paragliders' spot where the road descends from an altitude of 670 m. to sea-level in the space of a pine-clad section of a dozen kilometers along very sharp curves. At the base of the hill is the intersection to Akyaka.
For most visitors the attraction of a holiday in Akyaka and Gokova is the peace and quiet. Turkeys Aegean Coast is simply stunning and the Gokova Gulf, which the villages front on to, is no exception. This is the kind of place where you can just sit back and relax, soaking in the views and the great weather, enjoying the beach. If and when you feel like getting active, There are beautiful pine clad mountains surrounding Akyaka and Gokova just waiting to be hiked and explored, and they are well of the usual beaten track. Though hiking into the mountains does take some effort you will be rewarded with some magnificent views.
The main village beach of hard sand is packed with sunbeds and umbrellas, and gets very busy throughout the Turkish school holidays from late June to August. Pedalos and kayaks are available for hire at the far end. However, a better choice is the picturesque Cinar beach, best reached by a 45-minute walk along the promenade and through the shady eucalyptus forest and campsite bordering the sea. Gokova Bay with its 6 months continuous wind and open space is naturally very suitable for kiteboarding and has become one of the most attractive locations for beginners as well as having made a memorable impression on professional kiteboarders.The fantastic bay located hidden amongst the high mountains gives a riding opportunity to all levels of riders due to its increasing onshore daily summer breeze throughout the day time.
Right on the east side of Akyaka Town, Akcapinar Beach can be considered as the best spot in Turkey to learn and improve kiteboarding with its 3 kilometre long unpopulated, structure-free, tree-free and rock-free coast line; and its 150 metre shallow water.
Southern Turkey is also famous for its many archaeological sites that show us evidence of the ancient civilisations who have called this place home over the millennia. Idyma: Safe altitude considerations governed the choice for settlements of the ancients as well. Gökova town, inland from Akyaka was the location of the historic city of Idyma, some of whose remains reaching back at least to the 4th century BC, when it was founded as a Carian city, are still visible. Idyma urban zone may have extended as large as the area between the immediate east of Akyaka well beyond the village of Kozlukuyu, a dependent neighborhood of the town of Gökova, 3 km away. The acropolis, city walls 200 meters in length and around fifty rock tombs are located along the steep climb (sea level to 400 meters) of Küçük Sakar at Kozlukuyu.
In 546 BC, the Persian armies under the command of Harpagos conquered the area, but the Carian customs and the religion remained unchanged. Delian League took over between 484 and 405 BC and Idyma is mentioned in the tax lists for the years 453-452 BC, the earliest written document on the city. The same reports mention a local sovereign by the name of Paktyes, whose descendants may have founded a dynasty which governed Idyma and to whose members the rock tombs could be attributable. A mint city, Idyma produced its own coins, one side of which was marked with the name Idimion, and the other side with the head of a Pan, hinting at a shepherd's cult.
From 167 BC to at least the 2nd century AD, Idyma, together with the entire region south of Muğla (Mobolla) was part of the Rhodes's mainland possessions (Peræa Rhodiorum). A Byzantine castle worth restoring also stands on the slopes of Sakar and an underground tunnel leads to the bank of the stream of Azmakdere or Kadın Azmak, possibly named Idymus in ancient times. Because of the extent of the ancient site, in terms both of its area and longevity, some of its archaeological finds are associated with Akyaka, while many with Gökova and particularly Kozlukuyu.
Azmak is the name in short of a short but deep stream which joins the sea in Akyaka and formed by springs extending about two miles from East to West. Its depth allows boats to ascend it for a considerable distance and the richness of its underwater fauna made it a favorite spot for daily boat tours around Akyaka and for scuba diving. The water is cold and slightly salty due its level course with the sea across the plain, but watercress and celery thrive in Azmak and restaurants along its course make the stream a symbol and an important point of attraction for Akyaka region.