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The Backwaters of Gökova

The Backwaters of Gökova
The Backwaters 
Consult Piri Reis

Let us turn to the depths of the gulf, to its East end. In the northeast corner is a fishing harbour, Akyaka (N 370 02,8′ E 028019,6′). As Akyaka is right at the mouth of the river Idymus you may find that it has again silted up, but if you can get into the harbour, it is a pleasant place to explore the backwaters of Gökova by dinghy. You cross under a bridge and you sail up a crystal clear river with remarkable depths. We sounded up to 18 feet at places. However, this river is so clear that you “can count the pebbles at the bottom”. The further up you get, the more pastoral and picturesque the river becomes. A road follows its north bank where the “civilization” has concentrated and many contributories deliver clear and cold water from the mountains. Here you will find a number of simple small yards, which, in a setting not much different than a century ago, build and repair the “piyade”s and occasionally larger boats. Further upriver you will find a number of restaurants right on the banks. You may see, especially in winters, that they light a fire and become really cozy. Although the fish do not always look as fresh as in Bodrum, every time I had the chance, the mezes and the fish were superb. I like Halil’s restaurant in particular.

Halil Restaurant
Eski Marmaris Yolu, No: 10
48650 Gökova – Akyaka
Turkey
Tel: (252) 243 51 73
Fax: (252) 243 53 73
Cennet Restaurant, Fireplace, Ducks on the Stream. Wonderful in winter as well.
Picture from the site of Cennet Restaurant
Cennet Restaurant
48650 Gökova – Akyaka
Turkey
Tel: (252) 243 50 37

The two streams, the Kadinsuyu (The Lady Stream, or the Idymus) to the north and the Akçapinar (The White Springs) to the south, are both navigable by small crafts. We recommend not to motor into the Idymus as the water is extremely clear.

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Some views of the Idymus river

(Click on the images below for full view)

After your lunch you can have yourself swept back to your boat – but this is not the end of your “exploration” of the backwaters. Put out to sea in your dinghy and about one mile to the south you will find the bar and the estuary of the second river, the Akçapinar. This estuary is navigable as well, local boats and ferries up to perhaps 30 feet are regularly hauled out deep on the river.

Some views of the backwaters of Akçapinar

(N 370 02,1′ E 0280 19,8′)

(Click on images for full view)

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This river Akçapinar, not as clear as the Idymus, will lead you to the village of the same name. Again on the way you will pass a number of “piyade” and when you come to the village you will pass a boat ramp to your port and then you are in the heart of a village. Several restaurants and cafes are available. This village has been quiet, since now the road to Marmaris bypasses it. However, walk to the very impressive avenue of the majestic eucalyptus trees, which were planted here over a century ago to dry the malaria infested swamps and to provide stable ground for the road to Marmaris.

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