A natural heaven offers alternative tourism

Published 02.06.2015 00:05
Updated 02.06.2015 00:11
A natural heaven offers alternative tourism

Located in the Ula district of Muğla province, Geyik Canyon is a significant natural area with inns and native plants as well as many different animal species

With its large and small waterfalls, rich flora, wild life and recreational areas, Geyik (Deer) Canyon in Muğla's Ula district is said to be a secret, natural heaven. In recent years, the canyon, which is 20 kilometers long, is attracting great interest from photographers, tourists and outdoor sports enthusiasts. A trekking event was organized with the participation of Muğla Governor Amir Çiçek, Deputy Governors Mevlüt Kurban, Fikret Çavuş and Fatih Ürkmezer; Ula District Governor Ali Yılmaz, Menteşe District Mayor Zeki Arslan, Ula Mayor Ümit Karaarslan, Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Halil Çelik and hikers from the provincial youth center and the Sıktı Koçman University Mountain Climbing Society.

Prior to trekking, group participants tasted traditional food prepared by villagers along with tea, rice, ayran, gözleme (pastry with filling) and kavurma (fried meat).

Stressing the district's alternative tourism potential, Çiçek said that Geyik Canyon offers a healthy, stress-free and fresh atmosphere with water sports opportunities, sea, sand and rich wildlife. Çiçek said the crowded group gathered to discover the canyon's beauty while hiking at the same time. He said the canyon needs to be promoted: "The governorship prioritizes alternative tourism. A number of projects will be carried out to introduce this natural beauty to tourism." During his speech, Yılmaz said Geyik Canyon also stands out among significant natural areas with inns and endemic plants. The governorship will properly examine the region's tourism values and create projects to fulfill visitor requirements in a healthy way. As part of these initiatives, the governorship submitted the Natural Heaven Geyik Canyon Project to the South Aegean Development Agency (GEKA) in 2013. The project was successful enough to receive financial funding. Following a landscape design, recreational areas were established at the canyon's entrance and water infrastructure was established. As part of the project, promotional activities were carried out including press meetings, leaflets, tourism guides and other sub-events. In addition to these, local residents who earn their livings from beekeeping were offered English lessons and tourism communication and apiculture courses. Yılmaz further said that their principal aim is to boost local potential in the region through tourism. The governorship intends to increase visitor number and offer high quality service to tourists. "Geyik Canyon will then turn into a center of attraction," Yılmaz said.

As a part of the 20-kilometer-long Natural Heaven Geyik Canyon Project initiated by the Ula district governor and GEKA with funding of TL 700,000 ($260,000), events were organized. Çiçek and his company took a walk in Geyik Canyon, located on the border of the Arıcılar neighborhood in the Ula district. He said: "Today we are meeting here, not holding a ceremony. We came here to be active and take a walk in the canyon. Here we are introducing one of the alternative tourism routes of Muğla through the project carried out by GEKA." Çiçek said Ula is a very rich district whose canyon shelters many different animal species and a beautiful and unique forest, enabling people to enjoy more oxygen, relieve stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle, in addition to its shores, buildings and historical places. "You all know about Geyik Canyon, but it should be promoted more. The governorate places great importance on alternative tourism routes. We will continue to conduct a series of projects to promote and integrate Geyik Canyon into tourism as an alternative tourism route," he said.

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