Dalaman Stream: Your Address for Rafting in the Aegean
Dalaman Stream, starting from Narlı Village, welcomes around 20 thousand tourists on the racetrack on 12 km.
The number of racetracks has decreased due to dam and hydroelectric plants built on the stream and trainers said they had to make their own ways to reach the river. Trainers who want to enliven rafting on Dalaman Stream, one of the unique destinations in the Aegean Region with natural beauties, asked for help to improve physical conditions and promote the area better.
As the construction of Akköprü Dam and Hydroelectric Plant has started, rafting has been prohibited on the 14 km rafting way situated in Köyceğiz District on March 30, 2011. Tour companies took initiatives to prevent rafting tourism to end in the region including Marmaris,Bodrum, Ortaca, Dalyan and Fethiye in the full season between November 15 and October 15. Companies have developed a new way opening new pathways in the region where mostly professionals do rafting with 5th level of difficulty and known as ‘R3.’ The new rafting way on 12 km road starts from Narlı Village and is riskier and more challenging than the previous racetracks.
CHALLENGING ADVENTURE, UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES
Rafting, a river sport full of adrenaline done with boats named ‘Raft’ attracts great attention in Gürleyik Village in Dalaman. Domestic and foreign tourists who would like to join rafting activity are brought here by the vehicles of tour companies. Tourists relax at the facility here for a while and then are brought to a racetrack around half an hour away. Trainers give them information here and explain what should be done during the activity. Tourists begin their challenging adventure in groups of 6 and 7 in the company of trainers. They struggle against strong tides, move along the tranquil waters and leave the place with unforgettable memories.
“RAFTING NOT PROMOTED WELL”
Rafting guide Mustafa Kaya (35), who works in a tourism firm and a member of Nature Sports World Rafting Federation, says tourists return home with unforgettable memories after a challenging trip. Kaya explained he was interested in nature sports before and started working as a guide since 2006: “We are trying to introduce the natural beauties of our country. Rafting is available in Dalaman Stream since 2000. There are some issues that you need to be careful about rafting. Unfortunately, rafting is not promoted well in Turkey. Considering our sources, Turkey can be introduced to the world with nature sports. Unfortunately, we do this sport with very few people since it is not promoted well despite the good rafting areas. One of the reasons is that it is usually introduced with news about accidents. People joining this activity should have enough knowledge for rafting, choose their trainers in their teams well and prefer going on rafting with trained people. Only this way, they can enjoy nature and do this activity. Hydroelectric plants built near streams kill our sector day by day. Existing rafting areas are being destroyed. People who love rafting stop doing it for these reasons. Antalya Köprülü Canyon, Düzce Melen Stream, Muğla Dalaman Stream, Bursa Emet Stream, Denizli Bekilli Stream, Rize Fırtına Stream and Çoruk River are available places for rafting. People doing rafting in all over the world reach the paths going on trekking for 1-1.5 days and using even donkeys and mules. We always talk about difficulties of reaching rafting areas in Turkey but we know that it is a part of this sport. I think everyone should experience it once in their lives. Those who would like to join rafting activity are welcomed in Dalaman Stream. Rain makes our job more enjoyable.”
“HYDROELECTRIC PLANTS DESTROY RACETRACKS”
Akköprü Dam and 7 hydroelectric plants, which have been built within the last 5 years in Dalaman Stream, have caused most rafting areas in the stream to be destroyed. Evren Karatosun (32), another rafting trainer, claimed the number of rafting spots decreased day by day. Karatosun gave information about the rafting area available for 3 years: “This rafting area is not as difficult as the other one. The other rafting area is quieter but there is a possibility of a new hydroelectric plant construction in that area. The current area of rafting is 8 km. It is an area affected by strong tides sometimes and watching the nature becomes a great experience here. Nearly 20 thousand people join rafting in a year. We are not given the support we need. All the requirements for hydroelectric plants are met including roads but practically nothing is done for rafting. We make our own paths and ways. Administrators show the way but provide no other support.”
20 THOUSAND TOURISTS IN A YEAR
It is announced that average 20 thousand people go on rafting in Dalaman in a year. Tourists who are brought from touristic destinations nearby pay 100 TL for transportation, breakfast, lunch and rafting.