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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.

Most Famous Rafting Courses of Turkey
Coruh River

The rafting event to be arranged for the first time on the River Coruh, one of Turkey's natural beauties, is going to draw attention to the touristic potential of the Black Sea Region, to the Coruh Valley as well as the natural and historical sites in the vicinity. Originating at the Mescit Mountains (3,225 m) and flowing 466 km before reaching the Black Sea in Georgia, Coruh River is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the world. The small towns and villages located along the river are impressively authentic and interesting historically. The area as a whole represents the synthesis of the cultures of Eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea. Coruh River is frequented by local and foreign sportsmen, who travel each year to this area for canoeing, rafting and trekking in the Kackar Mountains. The best way to reach the summit at Kackar Mountains is via the villages of Yaylalar and Olgunlar. Dilberdüzü makes an excellent campsite. From there proceed to Deniz Lake and the summit at 3,9377 m. Local guides and mules to carry personal belongings may be hired. An alternative route is to the summit is to pass horizontally by Trans-Kackar on one of several trails. The natural habitat of Coruh River remains undisturbed. Colonies of red vultures, which are threatened with extinction, live among the rocks by the riverside. The area surrounding the river is rich in wildlife, including gray bear, mountain goat with hooked horns, wild boar, wolf, jackal, fox, badger, marten, water sable, rabbit, partridge, wild rooster, woodcock, wild duck, stock dove, golden oriole, siskin, fieldfare, pigeon and wood pigeon. As the Coruh passes 150 kms through the province of Artvin, the river cuts through steep and impregnable mountains on its way towards the Black Sea. Course A trip down the Coruh starts at Bayburt, passing through Ispir and Yusufeli and on to Artvin, a distance of approximately 260 kms. Bayburt - Ispir 0-106 km An ideal starting point for the expedition is the Dikmetas Bridge near Bayburt, which has good areas for camping on either side of the river. Aslandede and Laleli also make pleasant campsites. With a class 2-3 water, the trip from Bayburt to Ispir can be completed within three days on average. Approximately 3 kms before arriving at Ispir, the left bank affords a convenient campground. The nearby gas station and the shops in Ispir are useful for reprovisioning. Ispir - Camlikaya 106-134 km Following departure from Ispir ( stabilized road entry: 0 km), one should watch the rapids at 3km, 6.6 km, 7.4 km, and 8 km. The small hut on the left side of the road before arriving at the road junction for Camlikaya at 28 kms makes a good rest stop. Drinking water can be obtained either from the brook flowing from the mountains, located 200 meters ahead on the left side of the road, or from the spring to the right of the transformer station past the concrete bridge at the Camlikaya road junction. Food can be purchased from Camlikaya (4 kms from the road junction). The Ispir-Camlikaya route is class 3-4-5 water. Camlikaya - Tekkale 134-178 km After Camlikaya, rice plantations, vegetable gardens and fruit orchards prevail on the river banks. The river passes by Köprügören at 48 km, coming to the hamlet of Alanbasi at 54 km. It is possible to camp there next to the brook that joins the Coruh on the left bank immediately before the village. Past the concrete bridge, the river becomes rockier, class 3-4-5 water. An old watch tower is visible before arriving at Cevreli. The garden in front of the village primary school, to the right immediately after the concrete bridge, makes a good campsite. There are also places to overnight in Tekkale, 7 km ahead. From Tekkale, guides can take you up the mountains to see the historic Dörtkilise, a medieval Georgian church. Fishermen will enjoy angling for speckled trout (alabalik) in the brook flowing nearby the church. Tekkale - Artvin 178-261 km From Tekkale, the expedition proceeds to Yusufeli, 6 kms away, where accommodations and simple cafes can be found. The Altiparmak, one of the major branches of the Coruh, joins the river close to Yusufeli. As the flow-rate of the river picks up speed, the route becomes increasingly challenging, class 3-4-5 water. Oltu Cayì joins the river 9 km after Yusufeli, near the Artvin-Erzurum highway junction, behind a concrete bridge. The rapids begin 22 km from Yusufeli. This 100 meter stretch of white water, nicknamed "King-Kong", cascades around sharp boulders with breathtaking velocity, making it the high point of the expedition. The water is dangerous here, class 5+ water, so less experienced expeditions should not plan to cross this section when the river is high. A large concrete sign inscribed with the letters EIE to the left of the highway identifies this section of the Coruh. Expeditions can make camp 33 km before Zeytincik, stopping to pick up any necessary provisions in the village. At 43 km, the river enters a narrow 3 km long canyon class 3-4. The gas station and inn at Oruclu, at 57 km, provides a convenient finish for the trip. Boats can be pulled on shore here and there are a few rustic rooms and a cafe. Artvin is 20 km further on from Oruclu, with mostly class 1-2 water. Some groups prefer to extend the route right through to Artvin.

Altıparmak (Barhal) River
General Information
Altiparmak (Barhal) river, located in the province of Artvin, emerges from the southern side of the Kackar Mountains and runs about 40 km to join the Coruh river 2 km south of Yusufeli. The Altiparmak flows through a strikingly beautiful valley enveloped by high mountains. Recommended for canoeing and rafting, the river has a high flow-rate year round because of the run-off of melting snow. The valley is rich in wildlife. Proximity to the Kackar Mountains, one of the best areas in Turkey for trekking, makes the Altiparmak a favorite of sportsmen. The basin of the Altiparmak can be reached by Yusufeli via Artvin or Erzurum. Ögdem Creek joins the Altiparmak 6 km from Yusufeli. The town of Sarigöl is located 19 km from Yusufeli and is accessible by a stabilized gravel road. The neighborhood of Deftise, situated about 1.5 km beyond Sarigöl, is distinguished by wooden two-story houses built in traditional Black Sea style. Edged by dense green forests, these picturesque houses and the misty summit of the Kackar Mountains above create a very beautiful panorama. The village of Altiparmak (Barhal) is accessible from Sarigöl via a narrow, 12 km long road. People in Altiparmak village are very hospitable and pleasant and simple inns accept guests. This village serves as one of the main campsites on the climb up Kackar Mountain. A stabilized road leads to Yaylalar, 24 km beyond Altiparmak village. The Artvin Kackar Tourism Center is located to the west of Yaylalar. Course The pretty hamlet of Deftise, north of Sarigöl, provides the best starting point for canoe and raft expeditions down the Altiparmak, which runs approximately 22 km from this point to the junction with the Coruh. The run is class 3-4. The riverbed is rocky, and special care needs to be taken when the river is low. Three km from Sarigöl, the ruins of an old fortress can be seen. The citadel of Bahceli is visible to the right of the creek before reaching Yusufeli, after crossing the concrete bridge located near the junction of Ögdem creek and the Altiparmak. The run may be completed either at Yusufeli or 2 km ahead, before the Altiparmak flows into the Coruh River. May through August are the best months to plan a canoe or raft trip on the Altiparmak.

Fırtına River
General Information
Firtina River is interesting not only for the arched bridges spanning it and the tea plantations that line its banks but also for the traditional costumes of the local population. Formed by a number of streams on the Black Sea side of Kackar Mountains, the Firtina runs 57 km long through verdant countryside until it flows into the Black Sea about 2 km west of Ardesen, Rize. The arched stone bridges crossing the water add to the beauty of the Firtina, which is recommended for river sports along the following course.


The town of Camlihemsin is located 22 km to the south of the Rize-Ardesen road. The Course begins approximately 1 km to the south of Camlihemsin (0 km). Paddlers should be cantious of boulders at 5 km and dangerous passages at 7 km, 8 km and 9 km. The Duygulu Falls located on the western slope at 12 km are lovely. The course finishes at any convenient point before the Firtina reaches the Black Sea. The 23 km long course is very rocky, rating a hardship degree of 3-4-5 in places depending on the speed of the water. Extra caution is required during heavy rains. The Firtina is recommended for river sports all year round.

Rivers in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Region
Köprücay River
General Information
Emerging from the Toros (Taurus) Mountains and running through a number of amazing canyons, Köprücay flows into the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Serik. Fed by underground springs in gorges that cut through steep, impassable canyons, the Köprücay 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 Köprülü Canyon. Köprücay is reached from Antalya via Serik, Tasagìl and Beskonak. Those coming from Manavgat can reach Beskonak via Tasagìl. The asphalt road to Beskonak follows the Köprücay in places. Köprülü Canyon National Park covers 36,000 hectares, including part of Köprücay and the ancient city of Selge. As well as being Turkey's largest forest of Mediterranean Cypress, the National Park is also 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. One can find red speckled trout in the upper reaches and gray mullet in other parts of the Köprücay.

Approximately 100 m before the Oluk Bridge, the water is still and the river forms a pool. This is a good spot to start your trip and gives unexperienced 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 leaving behind places with class 2-3. The falls along the river add to the beauty of the landscape. After each waterfall the Köprücay slows down, giving time to enjoy the majestic setting. A concrete bridge appears 10 km down the river. Novices should complete their journey immediately before this bridge. Experienced sportsmen can continue into the first canyon after the concrete bridge, but the second canyon is strickly 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, walk on the left bank to reach an asphalt road.

Manavgat River
Manavgat River flows 90 km from the eastern slopes of the western Toros (Taurus) mountains, passes over hard conglomerated strata, forms the Manavgat Falls and then enters the coastal plain to empty into the Mediterranean Sea. In the spring, the waters of the Manavgat run full and clear, augmented by underground springs in the canyons it passes through, until the river's force is interrupted by the Oymapinar Dam.The upper reaches of the Manavgat can be reached by taking the Manavgat-Alanya highway to the east and turning north towards Akseki 10 km after passing the town of Manavgat. Four kms before Akseki, turn off towards Ibradi to reach the Sahap bridge, the starting point for river sports. Among the many caves in the area, the most interesting is the Altinbesik cave discovered by geologist Dr. Temucin Aygen. Annual explorations have extended the known part of this cave to 2,200 m. The cave contains fascinating lakes, stalactites and stalagmites. The area is excellent for mountain biking, trekking and cliff parachuting in the vicinity of Irbadi and Ormana. The area also hosts a large population of wild goat, wild boar, rabbit, red legged partridge and many other birds.

The selection of a starting point in Manavgat River is determined by the level and velocity of the water. Under favorable conditions, the start can be made near Sahap bridge in the vicinity of Ibradi. River sports on the Manavgat are dangerous for novices. Groups should be accompanied by professionals and a local guide. The best place for rafting and canoeing on the Manavgat is the 19 km stretch between Sahap bridge and the village of Sevinc, where the river cuts steep, sometimes impenetrable gorges through the canyons.

1st canyon
The river flows swiftly through the first canyon situated between Sahap bridge and Altinbesik cave, augmented by an underground spring 500 m before the canyon. Padelling here is a memorable adventure. Those who do not wish to enter the second canyon may disembark near Altinbesik cave. From there, a path leads to the village of Ürünlü in the west and to Mentesbey in the east.

2nd canyon
The second canyon is accessible from Altinbesik Cave. Banked by impregnable cliffs, this canyon stretches to the village of Sinanhoca. At the end of the canyon, the riverbed widens, providing a rest area and disembarkation point. The falls prior to Sinanhoca, located towards the end of the second canyon, are very dangerous. The waters flow underneath and on both sides of a huge boulder. This part must be portaged.

3rd canyon
The third canyon begins after Sinanhoca, the river passes through several falls before it exists the canyon near Sevinc, completing your trip down the Manavgat. This course runs through three canyons and involves passing through smaller and bigger class 3-4-5 waterfalls. As soon as the sound of the falls is heard, the group must stop ashore to determine the best passage. When passage is impossible, canoes should be carried on shore or guided by rope, resuming the course after skipping the dangerous part. The river slows down between the falls, providing an opportunity to admire the natural grandeur of the area. When traveling through the canyons, there are moments when it is impossible to see the sun even at noon. During breaks, the beauty of the untouched environment and the gurgle of bubbling underground springs are unforgettable. If the water level is too low for canoeing in the vicinity of Sahap bridge, gear can be carried to the area around Altinbesik cave via Ürünlü, and the course resumed from there.

Anamur (Dragon) River
General Information
Anamur (Dragon) River originates as an underground river from the Catalyatak, Yellice and Kizcagiz hills on the slopes of the Toros (Taurus) mountains. The underground spring erupts in several geysers close to the village of Sugözü, spraying water hundreds of meters high. The water level of the river is highest in spring, falling in summer. North of its source, enclosed basins and chasms can be seen. The 35 km long Anamur river is joined by the Kas, Masat and Gökce streams before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea through a deep river bed. The surrounding mountains of Anamur are covered with red-pine, black-pine, cedar, fir,juniper and oak trees. Wild goat, wild boar, wild sheep, wolf, jackal, wild duck, wild goose, partridge, eagle, falcon, peregrine falcons and hawks live in the higher altitudes, and speckled trout populate the waters running through the forest. Course Anamur Cayi is suitable for canoeing and rafting. The best place to start an expedition is at the junction of Kilic creek, finishing at the historic Alaköprü bridge 10 km to the south. The start of the course is accessible by a stabilized road that runs 15 km to Caltibükü from the junction at of the Anamur-Ermenek highway. When setting out from here, one should watch for stones and tree roots in the water. Generally class 1-2 water has some class 3 rapids when the water is high.

Göksu River
General Information
The Göksu is the most important river in the province of Icel, originating in two branches from the Central Toros (Taurus) mountain range. The southern branch starts at Geyik Mountains, and the other branch at Haydar Mountains. These two branches unite to the south of Mut to form the Göksu river. The 260 km long river forms a delta between Tasucu and Silifke as it flows into the Mediterranean. The river forms lagoons at Akgöl and Paradeniz on the coast between Silifke and Tasucu. The Göksu Delta is regarded by the International Council for Bird Protection (ICBP) as a major bird refuge in Europe and the Middle East. More than 300 bird species inhabit the Göksu Delta. It is the primary reproduction area in Turkey for reed rooster, summer duck, flamingo, heron, pelican, ruddy shelduck, francolin, spurred pewit, long legged marsh swallow, Izmir kingfisher, bee eater, mustached reed nightingale and the white throat warbler. The Göksu Delta has also a special significance for being one of the few remaining areas in the world where sea turtles (caretta caretta, chelonias mydas) and the blue crabs (callinectes sapidus) lay their eggs. The Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment has declared the Göksu delta as a Special Environmental Protection Zone to protect the environment against pollution and exploitation, and to ensure that natural resources and cultural assets are transferred to future generations without being spoilt. Furthermore, as one of the best preserved wetlands in the world, the Göksu Delta is expected to be included in the list of the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance signed by 45 countries, including Turkey. Wild goat, wild boar, partridge and rabbit inhabit the mountains in the Göksu basin. There lower slopes are covered with laurel bushes, oleanders and brushwood.Sandalwoods, mastic trees, Margosa trees, furze and holly oak trees start at 500 m and red-pine forests above 1,000 m. Course The wide river bed of the Göksu is suitable for all types of river sports, with class 1-2. Its calm waters are recommended for beginners.

The 90 km section between Derincay and Degirmendere is the best place for river sports in the Göksu River. Derincay is reached by the road heading west 3 km north of Mut on the Karaman-Silifke highway. The 14 km section between the bridges near to the villages of Kislaköy and Kargicak features short canyons and an interesting landscape. After passing this section, the course may be completed near Degirmendere.

Antalya-Koprulu Canyon National Park
Location: The park is in the mountains 49km northeast of Antalya.

Transportation: Koprulu Kanyon National Park is in the Manavgat district of the Antalya province. The road along the coast from Antalya to Manavgat then passes through Tasagil and Beskonak.

Highlights: The Kopru River is ideal for rafting and camping, with trees along one side of the bank. It forms a valley between the villages of Bolasan and Beskonak, the walls of which are as high as 100m, and at 14km is the longest canyon in Turkey. Pine, cypress and cedar trees form the ecosystem of the area, and the Mediterranean cypress forest, at 400 hectares wide, is the most significant flora characteristic in the park. Hunting in the area has meant that the number of species of animals has decreased, and now the most significant wildlife includes deer, mountain goats, bears, foxes, wolves, rabbits and badgers. There are plenty of trout in various branches of the River Kopru. Apart from the natural beauty, other places of interest include the ruins of the Roman city of Selge, 12km away.

The site still has the remains of a theatre, agora, temples of Zeus and Artemis, and cisterns. The Oluk and Bugrum bridges connect the remains of the ancient stone road connecting Selge to Pamphlia.

Facililities: The River Kopru is an important area for watersports, and is ideal for rafting. Camping is also popular along the shady riverbanks, and there is food available.

1 yorum:

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