Dalaman River in Muğla province, a favorite spot for tourists with its long coastline stretching 1,440 kilometers, offers rafting experiences for local and foreign adrenaline enthusiasts.
Tourists visiting the region are taking different tours to lend a little color to their holiday. Rafting in cold waters is one of the most popular tourism activities, especially for thrill-seeking visitors.
The 229-kilometer Dalaman River, known as the Indos in ancient times, is fed by a combination of tributaries descending from the mountains of Göktepe and Yaylacık, west of the Taurus Mountains. The river, flowing through a narrow and deep valley, offers a perfect environment for rafting. Dalaman River, which spills into the sea 8 kilometers south of the Ortaca district, attracts rafting enthusiasts throughout the year thanks to its proximity to touristic areas in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions.
Tourists arriving early in the morning at Dalaman River, considered to be one of the most important rafting routes in Turkey, wear life jackets, helmets and water shoes and start rowing at Akköprü Dam. After passing the dam, adventurers reach the trail through the mountains by minibuses and walk through the footpaths to the starting point of the trail on Dalaman River.
After being briefed by guides about the route, visitors paddle boats and relax, ready to cool off on the water for an exciting day. During the trip, tourists also get a break to swim. Participants, whose transportation, food, rafting clothes, helmets and other tools and equipment are provided by the tourism companies, have an exciting and fun day on the 13-kilometer challenging trail.
Challenging rafting route
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Dalaman Rafting Center guide Fethi Keskin said anyone in good health between the ages of 14 and 70 can go rafting.
Underlining that rafting on the Dalaman River appeals to around 15,000 nature lovers annually, Keskin said the tours are conducted once a day, providing an exciting experience on one of the most challenging routes in Turkey. Highlighting that they welcome thousands of tourists per, Keskin added: "We are trying to introduce rafting as much as we can to increase this participation." Indicating that they take strict safety measures, Keskin stated: "It is not an easy river. It is rocky and stony everywhere. July and August are the months of the lowest water level, but still adrenaline is at the highest level here. This is because we start rafting at 830 meters and go down to 280 meters. I mean, starting from the head of the river and going down to this level keeps the adrenaline high."
Tülin Dedemen, a resident of Istanbul who came to Dalaman for rafting, noted that the route is very exciting and challenging.
Remarking that they participated in an exciting activity intertwined with nature and had an unforgettable day, Dedemen added: "I have done rafting before. This is my third time, and I love it. There are both dangerous and quiet spots on the trail. It was a little dangerous for me today."
Reyhan Kürkçü, another rafter, said they had a very enjoyable day, adding: "I would recommend it to everyone. The excitement and the adrenaline were high. It was beautiful."
Daan Jesse, a Dutch tourist, noted that he came to Muğla with his family for a holiday, and he was very excited to go rafting on Dalaman River.