The 297-square-kilometer Gökçeada, Turkey's largest island, was declared a "slow city" a few years earlier. Despite its slow nature, the island is also a popular destination for adrenaline junkies.
Over the last couple of years, Gökçeada has become Turkey's windsurfing and kitesurfing capital. Located on the shores of western Turkey's Çanakkale, the island has been a favorite with adrenaline junkies from Turkey and the Balkans. With its unmatched nature, the island also offers opportunities for camping and enjoying the waves in the summer.
Volkan Günel, who runs a surfing school in Gökçeada, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he left his business and life in the city just to settle down in this beautiful island.
"I had a surfing school in Kilyos, Istanbul," said Günel. "I always wanted to come to Gökçeada and try surfing. When I came here for the first time, I fell in love. The wind, the waves and the weather here is perfect for surfing. So, I decided to move here and open a surfing school."
Günel said the interest in Gökçeada has been growing in the last few years. Surfers from around the world are promoting the island and the word spread. "People from all over Turkey come here. There are also people from Germany, the U.K. and even Australia who want to surf in Gökçeada. You can do kitesurfing here throughout the year. The weather is always mild, which makes Gökçeada a year-round destination for surfers," he added.
Thirteen-year-old Ozan Timur is one of the youngest surfers on the island. He came to Gökçeada from Istanbul and said it is one of the best places to surf in Turkey. He was discovered by his teacher at a very early age and Timur has since come to the island every year to practice for the world tournaments.
Apart from the professionals, Gökçeada hosts amateur surfers as well. Zlatina Goranova and her husband are visiting from Bulgaria. "I am just a beginner but the waves in Gökçeada make it easy to practice," she said.
Goranova and her husband Vladimir have been coming to Gökçeada for years now. They come every year and stay for two months to enjoy the best surfing experience in the region.