‘Slow city’ promises a calm holiday

‘Slow city’ promises a calm holiday

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
‘Slow city’ promises a calm holiday

Vacationers visiting Akyaka have the chance to sunbathe on the blue coast and cool off in the water of the Gökova Gulf, as well as the opportunity to take a boat tour. DHA photo

The town of Akyaka in the Aegean province of Muğla was designated a “slow city” by the “slow food”-inspired organization Cittaslow International in 2010, and is a great destination for those seeking to enjoy a calm and relaxing holiday.

Akyaka is a cute small town surrounded by pine trees on the Gökova Gulf. Its geographical location allows the town to offer opportunities to participate in many types of nature sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, biking, rock climbing, paragliding, sailing, walking, rafting and riding.

Vacationers visiting Akyaka during the Ramadan Holiday will have the chance to sunbathe on the blue coast and cool off in the water of the Gökova Gulf, as well as the opportunity to take a boat tour and see various types of tropical plants and animal species including sea otters and sea turtles in the Kadın Azmağı River, as it spills into the gulf. Locals call the river a “natural aquarium,” and visitors can swim in its mineral-rich waters with a temperature of eight degrees centigrade.

The town began to attract more attention from local and foreign tourists after becoming a ‘slow city’ in 2010, Akyaka Mayor Ahmet Çalca said. Among preparations for the bayram holiday, the town made a series of improvements on the riverside and around popular Sedir Island to help keep the environment clean, the mayor said, adding “We ask our visitors to be very careful when using the picnic areas. Our town’s natural environment has so far been preserved in the best possible way, and we are trying to do our best to preserve it for future generations. This place is a heritage for them.”

Akyaka’s tourist facilities include 2,200 hotel beds and 400-person tent camping area, Çalca said. “With bayram reservations, the occupancy rate in the town is at 90 percent.”

Akyaka also hosts day visitors from cities like Aydın and Denizli. “Day visitors generally go to Akbük, the kitesurfing area, and Azmak Beach. Akyaka is one of the most beautiful holiday towns in the country for those who want to spend a relaxing holiday,” Çalca said.

No development plans implemented

No new development plans have been implemented in Akyaka for 10 years, Çalca said, and visitors are fascinated by the town’s architecture. “Our municipality has a road map for the preservation of first-class archaeological sites and to maintain the area’s existing biological richness.”

Akyaka is largely visited by nature lovers and those who want to eat organic and natural foods, Çalca said. “We don’t allow motorized water sports in Akyaka. We only allow restaurants to present music without electric amplification. Otherwise, we don’t give them licenses.”