Turkey, with its rich natural resources and hundreds of rivers, provides great opportunities for water sports like rafting, canoeing and water-skiing, while always respecting the cultural, historical and environmental qualities of the country. The most famous is the River Coruh, renowned internationally as one of the fastest flowing in the world, and venue of the 4th World Watersports Championships in 1993 which saw 300 competitors from 28 countries.
International Difficulty Class The following list of classes categorises the level of skill required to raft or canoe:
- Class 1: Small easy passes
- Class 2: Easy passes, regular flow, small rocks and waves
- Class 3: Hard, regular large waves, limited visual range, small falls, must be studied
- Class 4: Very Hard, large waves , Waters with counter-currents, long and unpredictable passes, dangerous rocks, big falls, must be studied.
- Class 5: Extremely hard, high flow and current, dangerous rocks, steep slopes, continuous falls, limited passes in advance, generally impossible.
- Class 6: impossible.
Agencies: To participate in watersports at which professional supervision is necessary, trips must be organised through the an approved agency.
Equipment: Participants must wear shoes and life jackets while rafting, and it is recommended to wear headgear and goggles.
Antalya Köprüçay River
Emerging from the Toros (Taurus) Mountains and running through a number of amazing canyons, Koprucay flows into the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Serik.
Fed by underground springs in gorges that cut through steep, impassable canyons, the Koprucay constitutes one of Turkey’s most beautiful natural recreation areas. The numerous archaeological sites in the area, especially the ancient city of Selge (Zerk), the fortresses on the banks of the river, arched Roman bridges and historic roads add to the significance of the Koprulu Canyon.
Koprucay is reached from Antalya via Serik, Tasagìl and Beskonak. Those coming from Manavgat can reach Beskonak via Tasagil. The asphalted road to Beskonak follows the Koprucay in various places.
Koprulu Canyon National Park covers 36,000 hectares, including part of Koprucay and the ancient city of Selge. As Turkey’s largest forest of Mediterranean Cypress, the National Park is rich in red pine, black pine, cedar, fir, oak and wild olive trees. The wild animals in the region include fallow deer, wild goat, wild boar, bear, wolf, fox, rabbit and various bird species. There are red speckled trout in the upper reaches and grey mullet in other parts of the Koprucay.
Approximately 100 m before Oluk Bridge, the water and the river are still forms a pool. This is a good spot to start your trip and gives an inexperienced crew time to get used to the rowing technique. The bridge is reached by paddling against the current. Less experienced groups usually enter the canyon from the Oluk Bridge, while professionals may do so either from the falls near the start or from the Oluk Bridge, turning around further ahead to start the trip. The course continues after passing the falls, and areas of class 2-3 water.
The falls along the river add to the beauty of the landscape. After each waterfall, the Koprucay slows down, giving time to enjoy the majestic setting.
A concrete bridge is 10 km down the river, and novices should complete their journey immediately before this point. Experienced rowers can continue into the first canyon after the bridge, but the second canyon is strictly off limits, since the river runs under rocks in paces. After disembarking at the end of the first canyon, which is about 3 km long, the left bank leads to an asphalt road.
The Dalaman River, whose ancient name was Indos, begins in the Kocas Mountain near Dirmil and lies between Marmaris and Fethiye.
The total length of the river is 229 km. Increased by branches from the Goktepe and Yaylacik Mountains of West Toros (Taurus), it flows through a narrow and deep valley and reaches the sea 8km south of Ortaca.
As the river is fed with the natural limestone, the turquoise-blue water is always clear and warm. The Dalaman is near the popular areas of the Mediterranean and Aegean, so it attracts local and foreign tourists and rafting is possible throughout the year. For accommodation, there are many guest-houses in Akkopru village.
The rafting points can be easily reached from Marmaris, Dalyan, Fethiye and Turunc and from Dalaman airport. The water level of the river, in which rafting is possible throughout the year, rises the most in September and October. As flowing water forms small falls, there are passes among the course, which divert the river into two separate branches over the Akkopru village. The upper branch is class 5 and the lower is class 3 – 4. Once reaching Akkopru, the flow rate of the river increases and class becomes higher.