Culture & Travel

4 June 2024

Akyaka, a town in the Ula district of Muğla, is located on the eastern shore of Gökova Bay. Situated exactly between Muğla and Marmaris, it is a very central location for travelers. Akyaka, which can be described as the most fertile, expansive, and tranquil face of Gökova, offers many natural beauties all in one place. On one side, you have endless green landscapes covered with pine forests, and on the other, a clean and clear sea that looks like a piece of paradise.

In the past, this area was home to one of the oldest settlements, the ancient city of Idyma. Later, it came under the rule of the Roman and Ottoman Empires, and its natural beauty has been preserved to this day. With its sea, forests, and opportunities for outdoor sports, Akyaka is now one of the most popular spots for both local and foreign tourists. Here are some natural wonders in Akyaka that you should not miss.

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Akyaka Beach

The first place you should visit to fully enjoy the magnificent sea of Akyaka is Akyaka Beach. Since the sea here is shallow, it is especially safe for families with children. In the early morning, the sea is very calm and peaceful, but it starts to get wavy in the afternoon. Besides swimming and sunbathing, it is very enjoyable to take a beach walk at sunset. The reddish hue that appears at sunset is a great opportunity for nature photography enthusiasts. You can have a drink at the cafes along the shore, set up your chair, and gaze at the amazing night sky full of stars. You will find everything you need at the beach, including sunbeds, restrooms, showers, and changing cabins. Although it gets very crowded in the summer, we definitely recommend a visit.

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Akyaka Forest Camp

Akyaka is famous not only for its sea but also for its green areas. Here, you can find both the blue of the sea and the green of the forest together. Akyaka Forest Camp is a favorite spot for nature and camping enthusiasts. Located very close to the town center, you can have a picnic and join nature walks at the camp. You might also want to capture the unique landscapes you encounter with your camera. Since the Akyaka Forest Camp does not have access to the sea, you will need to go to the center for swimming. However, if you go just for camping, it is undoubtedly a very enjoyable experience. The camp area has all the facilities that visitors might need, including showers, restrooms, electrical outlets, a park for children, and more.

Nail Çakırhan House and Akyaka Houses

Akyaka is impressive not only for its sea and nature but also for its houses with striking architectural features. This famous architectural identity of Akyaka was created by Nail Çakırhan. Not originally an architect but known more as a poet and writer, Çakırhan settled in Akyaka and added a unique color, texture, and spirit to the Muğla-Ula houses. Nail Çakırhan is the name that comes to mind when talking about the Akyaka Houses style. The house he designed in Akyaka was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983. Today, the Nail Çakırhan House is open to visitors as the Nail Çakırhan-Halet Çambel Culture and Art House. The wooden houses of Akyaka, designed in harmony with nature, are noteworthy. Generally designed as two-story houses, they are built using wood and stone. The famous Muğla Chimneys system is used in these houses, adding more grandeur and beauty.

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Idyma Ancient City Rock Tombs

The rock tombs located between Akyaka and Kozlukuyu Village (Gökova) are rare structures that have survived to the present day. These tombs are notable for their Lycian-style architecture and resemble a temple from the outside. It is believed that the construction of these stone tombs dates back to the 4th century BC. These tombs were usually made for high-ranking officials or aristocrats. It is said that burial gifts were also placed inside the tombs. You might want to see these historical relics during your visit to Akyaka.

Sedir Island (Ancient City of Kedrai)

One of the first places that come to mind when thinking of Gökova is Sedir Island. Transportation to Sedir Island is easily provided by boats departing from Akyaka harbor. These tours are a must-try as they reveal the unique scenery of Gökova Bay. It would not be wrong to describe Sedir Island as an open-air museum. It is the largest of the triple island group and hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Cedrae (Kedrai). The island, which has a fascinating view, is said to have been a place where Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius once had a love affair.

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Lovers' Road

Lovers' Road, adorned with giant eucalyptus trees and offering a very romantic atmosphere, is a must-visit for travelers and tourists. The road, surrounded by nearly a century-old trees, provides a visual feast. Of course, Lovers' Road, which has become a symbol of Gökova, has a story. This area, once a swamp, brought the malaria scourge to the village. However, thanks to the eucalyptus trees, which can hold hundreds of liters of water, the swamp slowly dried up, and the malaria problem disappeared. Lovers' Road is a beautiful place for both walking and morning exercises. For those who love taking photos, it offers colorful landscapes. We suggest adding Lovers' Road to your list when visiting Akyaka.

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