A perfect day trip to Akyaka, at the Gulf of Gökova

Have you ever heard of Akyaka? Or the Gulf of Gökova? Not to worry, lots of people haven’t. Akyaka is a beautiful little village in southwestern Turkey, not too far from Marmaris, Datça and Dalaman airport. In winter, it is a sleepy village at the far end of the Gulf of Gökova, bordered by the Kadın Azmak river. Over summer – and especially when visiting during a Turkish holiday – the place is full of life, with mainly Turkish tourists seeking refreshment by swimming in the river, joining the ducks and geese. Akyaka is the second Cittaslow in Turkey, with a unique architecture and culture. It is the perfect place for a day trip from one of Turkey’s popular tourist resorts such as Marmaris, Bodrum or even Fethiye.

Akyaka And Gökova View From Above

Akyaka And Gökova View From Above

Akyaka’s distinct Ottoman architecture

One of the main features of Akyaka is its distinct Ottoman architecture. The streets of Akyaka are a feast of beautifully restored houses with amazing woodwork and colorful bougainvillea bordered by pine-forests and a fantastic mountain backdrop. Unlike many of the quaint seaside villages in Turkey, you won’t find any Greek architecture here. Akyaka is Turkish to the core, and that’s what makes it so unique. It is pretty, accessible, and caters for discerning tourists, nature lovers and foodies alike. Walking the streets of Akyaka isn’t a necessary evil to reach the river or the beach, it is a feast for the eye and one of the main reasons this village is worth a visit! An architect called Nail Çakırhan started restoring the old houses in the ’70s. New buildings have to blend in using the same style of classical Ottoman architecture, giving Akyaka a unique sight.

What's More Beautiful, The Bougainvillae, Or The Woodwork?

What’s More Beautiful, The Bougainvillea, Or The Woodwork?

A beach, a pier, and a kitesurfers paradise

One of the perks of Akyaka is that is is more than just a quaint seaside village. It has a proper beach! When we went it was crowded as hell, but what else can one expect on a hot August day that happens to coincide with a Turkish holiday? Still, Akyaka has something for everyone. The beach was crowded, while the adjacent pier offered us the peace and quiet we are so fond of. And if you’re more of an action kind of person, you’ll love the fact that Akyaka is a kitesurfers paradise! It is fun and colorful to watch!

Admiring The Catch Of The Day

Admiring The Catch Of The Day

The Azmak riverbank and wetlands: for foodies and nature lovers!

Instead of taking a popular river cruise along the Azmak river, consider walking alongside it. You’ll discover the gorgeous natural setting, plenty of waterside restaurants, and even some secluded swimming spots. The riverside is a favorite barbecue-spot for Turkish families but also offers some fashionable and state-of-the-art restaurants for those romantic waterside dinners. Don’t forget to head down to the end of the road boarding the river to admire the rock tombs!

Riverside Dining

Riverside Dining

A dash of shopping too

No day trip is complete without the option to buy a proper souvenir. This little coastal village has plenty of shops, handicraft stalls and even an Olive Farm that sells any olive product you can dream of! In short, you’ll go home with a unique souvenir of a fabulous day out in Gökova!

Beautiful Felt Works

Beautiful Felt Works

Practical information about Akyaka

Akyaka is great as a day trip (or even to spend a couple of days) when you’re holidaying in one of Turkey’s southwestern tourist resorts. Find out how to get there using the widget below:

There are some lovely boutique hotels in the village or on the river banks if you plan on staying the night. For more things to do in the area, go to our Turkey travel map to get inspired!

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All pictures © @aegean.images

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