Slow city’s winds draw surfers to Turkey's Muğla
MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe Akçapınar coast in the southwestern province of Muğla’s town of Akyaka, which was declared a slow city in 2010 by the International Slow City Association (Cittaslow), is hosting windsurf and kitesurf aficionados from Turkey and European countries thanks to its constant strong winds.
Local and foreign visitors can take windsurf and kitesurf classes in 11 private schools in the area, which has been registered as a “kitesurf field” by the Muğla Governor’s Office.
One of the top eight coasts in this field, Akçapınar hosts 15,000 to 17,000 sportsmen and women every year.
Muğla Governor Amir Çiçek said the 3,500 meter-long coast in Ankaya, part of a first degree archaeological site, was registered as a “Kitesurf Field” with the permission of the Council of Monuments and the Agency for the Protection of Special Area.
Windsurf and kitesurf trainer Özgür Ceylan said the coast of Akçapınar had become one of the world’s most important surfing spots because of its constant winds.
Ceylan said people from around the world used the area to train because of its magnificent nature and suitable weather conditions.
“The most important advantage in Akyaka is its wind that blows all the time. Also its very clean sea, mountains, rivers, forests and geographical structure make this region distinctive. Alaçatı used to be a surf center three or four years ago but it has not even been able to open for this season yet. But here the coast is now full,” he added.
Ceylan said tourists were still coming to Akyaka, despite the recent alarming drop in the number of tourists coming to Turkey.
“It is a very important factor for us that people still see this place as a slow city and continue to come without any fear … Surfing is possible here nine months a year,” he added.
World famous surfers come to Akyaka
Ceylan said famous European windsurfers had opted to train in Akyaka in recent years and the town hosted 17,000 sportspeople last year.
He said visitors mostly came from Russia, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland.
A Russian windsurfer, Oksana Profomova, said she had come to Akçapınar for the last two years and described it as “one of the best windsurfing areas in Europe.”
“The wind is always blowing here. The atmosphere is great and people are warm. So I advise more people to come here,” Profomova said.
Liam Whaley, who became the Kiteboarding World Champion in 2015, said he came to Akyaka a few days ago and was amazed by strength of the wind.
“It is the most beautiful place … People here are very warm. I have joined competitions in many parts of the world but this is the best place. It’s a great place to learn and practice new moves. It also has magnificent conditions for beginners. I will come here from now on and take part if a championship is organized here,” Whaley said.
2015 French champion Antoine Fermont said Akyaka had all the features necessary for kite surfers, also praising its constant winds.
“Everything is great here. We can do all necessary kite surfing actions on the water. Also the people are very warm,” Fermont said.