In the early morning, when still long shadows from tall pines and fiery pyracantha bushes laid on the road, we drove into the coastal summer cottage town of Akyaka. All the way we were accompanied by high mountains covered with forests as true guardians of the place, protecting and hiding this piece of paradise from the world.
On one side of the town, the mighty Sakartepe Mountain opened up to us, densely covered with coniferous forests and hiding the main road. On the other - a valley of wide fields and orange orchards with the purest fragrant air.
Akyaka is located in the heart of Gyokova Bay - one of the most beautiful harbors of the Turkish Riviera on the Aegean coast. At the end of the last century, Akyaka was a small fishing village, and now more than 10 thousand people live here. In the summer, this figure increases several times. It is almost impossible to meet foreign tourists because there are no huge hotels with an all-inclusive system, but this did not stop us from renting a magnificent 2-storey villa with all amenities very quickly.
The main attraction of Akyak is the underground mineral water of the crystal clear river Azmak. The river flows along the lower part of the town among tall eucalyptus trees and evergreen bushes. Along the river, in the shadow of the forest, local tourists relax. The water is very cold but from time to time there are those who want to swim. Along the river, not far from the cafe that is located along the shore, beautiful ducks and white geese swim in a flock, boldly sailing to tourists for refreshments. The water in the river is so clean and transparent that you can see the bottom dotted with pebbles, a variety of algae and fish - like in an aquarium.
If you wish, you can take a small boat tour on the river, duration - 20-30 minutes on both sides with views of the terraces of coastal cafes and restaurants, luxury hotels and villas, as well as flora and fauna, in some places resembling a jungle. Boats depart from the city promenade every 5-10 minutes all year round.
Many Akyaki buildings are very similar to each other and this is why: In the 70s of the last century, Nail Chakyrkhan, a Turkish poet and journalist, created a project for himself and his wife, in which he combined Ottoman, Aegean and Turkish motifs with traditional for this area style. The craftsmen and builders of Akyaka brought Chakyrkhan's vision to life. And in 1983, the writer, who did not have a special education as an architect, but had a great love for building art and science, was awarded the prestigious international prize for his creation. Gradually, this style took root in the city. And for more than thirty years, almost no other buildings have been erected in the city. In my opinion, it is very harmonious, as if all are related to each other.
In 1988, the city of Akyaka was declared a protected reserve, thanks to which it successfully avoided the fate of many resort towns on the coast affected by mass tourism. In 2010, the city was admitted to the international Cittaslow network and officially named the slow city.
Natural splendor and delicious food - not all that this small town can please its guests with. There are many small family restaurants where you can try authentic Turkish cuisine, the menu of which includes local vegetables and fish. Along the river there are many fish restaurants, with wooden terraces and lanterns hanging over the water on trees.
Akyaka is not suitable for lovers of noisy and crowded sea resorts. There are no discos, shopping centers, large shops, restaurants with a show program, but there is a magnificent clear Aegean sea and sun with equipped beaches, high panoramic mountains, silence for meditation and a measured lifestyle of the "province". You do not like to sit still? There are "where to go" options:
If you are keen on kitesurfing and kiteboard then you are in luck - Akyaka is famous for its steady winds, and for beginners there is a school where they are taught this.
Hiking, such as hiking and trekking, through the mountains and hills around Akyaka.
You can also visit the city of Marmaris, the island of Cleopatra paved with "pearl sand" or go 150 kilometers from Akyak to Pamukkale with thermal springs, travertines and the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis.