Slow cities of Turkey: Akyaka

MIRAÇ TAPAN
Published 22.11.2019 10:31
Updated 22.11.2019 11:30
Visitors of Akyaka usually take boat tours to visit nearby beaches. (iStock)
Visitors of Akyaka usually take boat tours to visit nearby beaches. (iStock)

Turkey is lucky to have a long stretch of indented coast on the Aegean and Mediterranean. With sandy beaches and toasty sunshine, earthlings, to get the best bronze tan, flock to resort towns in Turkey. These spots not only lure Turkish holiday-makers but also those coming from around the world seeking the best summer experience. However, due to the popularity of top resort towns like Muğla's Bodrum and Fethiye, Antalya's Kaş and Alanya, they are always packed with people, making it sometimes hard to find a spot on the beaches.

Located in Muğla, just a two-hour drive from Marmaris, another popular resort town, the town of Akyaka has miraculously managed to hide in plain sight. Declared an Environmental Protection Area in 1988, the town has held on to its natural wonders, and the locals have worked hard to preserve their lifestyle and deeply rooted culture. In 2010, Akyaka was welcomed into the Cittaslow Network and became a top destination for people looking for a calm and relaxing holiday.

Akyaka is the perfect place for those in search of complete peace while enjoying the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. In Akyaka, there is no disturbing buzzing, annoying blasting music or street vendors shouting at the top of their lungs. This little slow city is where you can relax on sandy beaches and take a stroll in a beautiful pine forest. On Gökova Plain and in the nearby wetlands, home to some of the last European fish otters, you can sometimes spot herons, flamingoes and pelicans.

Kitesurfing is a popular sport in Akyaka thanks to its unique winds. (iStock)

What makes Akyaka a unique place is not its museums or restaurants. There are no must-see places in Akyaka; yet, just being there is enough to make you want to come back again. However, this does not mean there is nothing to see or do. With its red-roofed wooden houses, flower gardens and motorized fishing boats, Akyaka offers you chances to take the most-liked photos for your social media.

However, don't be fooled by its laid-back air. Akyaka might be a slow city, but it is also one of the best places to get your adrenalin pumping. Akçapınar Beach in Akyaka is one of the most famous beaches for surfers. Akyaka is famous for its 3-kilometer surfing course, sandy shallow waters and constant thermal winds. Kitesurfing is very popular on this beach. Thanks to the kitesurfing schools located onsite, even beginners can give the sport a shot.

Founded in 1999 and based in Italy, the Cittaslow Network helps small authentic cities protect their "personality." To be a slow city, a town must meet more than 50 criteria, such as eliminating noise pollution and fast traffic, increasing its green areas and pedestrian zones, supporting farmers engaged in local production and sellers of their products, and protecting local aesthetic elements.

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