Antalya attracting new breed of underwater tourist
ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoThe Mediterranean hotspot of Antalya has long been known for its tourist activities located on or near the water, but it is now attracting an increasing number of visitors to its riches below the sea as well.
“We have become one of the best places in the world for diving tourism,” said the head of the Maritime Trade Chamber’s Antalya branch, İnanç Kendiroğlu.
The Side Underwater Museum in the province has become popular among divers since the opening of the season, offering natural diving spots as well as the wreckages of some war plane and ships for diving enthusiasts.
“The Side Underwater Museum, which opened last summer with the initiative of our chamber, offers a unique environment to diving fans. It is possible to see tourists diving in all museums underwater in every season. Areas of war planes and shipwrecks have provided a big boost to tourism in Antalya,” Kendiroğlu.
“We will open a second underwater museum in the Kemer Üç Adalar area in September and October,” he said.
Daily tours are organized to diving spots, and tourists generally make reservations a number of days in advance of tours, he said.
Kendiroğlu said diving companies affiliated to the chamber were operating in Antalya and its vicinity.
“Last season, more than 100,000 tourists dove in these spots. We expect 200,000-250,000 people this year,” he added.
Large and small diving spots
The Üç Adalar (Thee Islands) area, located off the coast from Tekirova, is a diving spot consisting of small islands.
It is one of the most popular diving spots in the area because it offers good visibility and is close to many diving centers.
The Gök Cave in Finike also draws the attention of cave divers, while Gelidonya in the north of the Gulf of Antalya is famous for offering shipwrecks from the Early Bronze Age. The Paris shipwreck 1.5 kilometer off the port of Kemer is another favorite among tourists.
Thirty-one spots to the south of Kekova have been declared as diving courses for underwater aficionados, while the diving spots in the Demre area include Deniz Feneri, Blue Cave, Antrum, the Iberian shipwreck, Yelkenli shipwreck, Buzalık Cove, Buzalık Cape, Ambar, Gökkaya, Arda, Duvar, Duvar 2, Eğri Liman, Kara Ada, Sualtı Tepesi, Reef 1, Shark’s Point, Kara Burnu, Son Nokta (The End), Bora, Çapa, Akar, Sıçan, Akıntı, Ufuk, İç Ada Cove and Taşucu.
Permission necessary to dive in some spots
Kaş and Kalkan are among the most notable diving spots in the Antalya region, offering divers the chance to peruse numerous shipwrecks. The Paris 2 shipwreck in Kemer and an American war plane named Hadley’s Harley in Manavgat are other popular spots in province.
Those wishing to dive to a French shipwreck called San Didier, which lies one kilometer from the Antalya Yacht Harbor, must first receive permission from the Antalya Governor’s Office and the Maritime Police.