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A beautiful and mysterious landscape full of tradition
The best kept secret in Turkey

Akyaka is a small coastal township located in Mugla in south western Turkey It is situated at the far end of the deep Gulf of Gokova , and at the start of the fertile Gökova plain. Specutular views of the Gulf of Gokova out to Kos can be seen as you travel from Mugla through the Sakar Pass and the The area is quite stunning with its pine clad mountains rising steeply from the blue waters of the Gulf.   The township of Akyaka is also sometimes confusingly referred to as Gokova which is the next inland township.

Ancient Idyma

Because of its altitude the area was settled as far back as 4th century BC and was the location for the city of Idyma. a Carian city. Remains of the city are still visible along the Gokova-Akyaka road with some rock tombs located right on the road.   The remains of the acropolis are located beyond Gokova at Kozlukuyu. In 546 BC, the Persian armies under the command of Harpagos  conquered the area, but the Carian customs and the religion remained unchanged.

The Delian League took over between 484 and 405 BC and Idyma is mentioned in the tax lists for the years 453-452 BC, the earliest written document on the city.  Alexander the Great is purported to have marched along the road on his way further east in 330AD.   From 167 BC to at least the 2nd century AD, Idyma (Mobolla) was part of the Rhodes mainland possessions  The remains of a Byzantine  castle also stands on the slopes of Sakar and an underground tunnel leads to the bank of the stream of Azmakdere or Kadin Azmak, possibly named Idymus in ancient times.

What to See and Do

Azmak is the name in short of a short but deep stream which joins the sea in Akyaka and formed by springs extending about two miles from East to West. Its depth allows boats to travel up it for a considerable distance. This allows you to see the richness of its underwater fauna watercress and celery thrive which feeds the fish and small turtles..   The water is very cold and slightly salty due its level course with the sea across the plain.

Small boat trips take you up the length of the river – either hire your own or join in for 5 tl with the local Turkish tourists.   Children love this little trip where you can see directly the bottom of the deep river and its fish.   On a hot day jump into its cold refreshing water and let the stream force carry you down to join with the salty waters of the gulf.

Over the past few years kite surfing has become very popular with both Turkish and International guests and in the afternoon as the winds rise at the end of the gulf the area is dotted with many colourful kites.

Paragliding is also popular from the surrounding cliffs as Is kayaking and boating.   Many boats do daily trips to Cleopatra Island where Cleopatra and Mark Anthonly lived – it is said the sand was brought to the island from Egypt.

What to Buy

At the local market there are local handicrafts – table clothes of all s’zes and cushion covers. Village clothing abounds so you can grab a pair of the comfortable shalwar pants that the village women wear and a scarf to match. Fresh food from the local fields, watermelons, vegetables, local fruits, cheeses and olive ill.   Honey from beehives from the local pine forests.   Walnuts and nuts of all description are on sale – all these at very reasonable prices.

Shopping at the local markets gives you the chance to interact wıth the local villages Fresh breads and cakes from the bakery up the hill! There is a wonderful jewellery shop in the main street and only one carpet and kilim shop.   And of course you can buy seaside beach gear for yourself and the family down by the sea!

What to Eat

Along the Azmak River (the word “azmak”,means (“running wild in Turkish refers to the stream’s strong, and violent, current) there are fish restaurants where you can enjoy fresh fish from the Gulf and watch the geese and ducks go gliding by.

On Wednesday and Saturdays local markets take place in Akyaka and nearby Gokova with fresh local produce straight from the local fields   At the markets there are stalls selling delicious home made burek (pastries filled with cheese and spinach) and village gosleme, a delicious pancake. And of course fresh cay and ayran (a refreshing drink made from local yogurt). On the outskirts of the town there is an Olive Farm, where you can enjoy a Turkish style breakfast by the river, and meander through the beautiful shop selling all sorts of organic creams and olive products.

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