This goes back to the 1860s when canoes, which were used as a means of transportation for the first time in history, became a sport. Canoeing, which has become a popular sport in almost all parts of the world, is also very popular in our country. Surrounded by the sea on 3 sides, our country of great beauty has great wealth in terms of canoeing with its lakes, streams, waterfalls and rivers. For those who want to have a relaxing water trip intertwined with nature, we have listed 6 great canoeing spots in Turkey. Where can you go canoeing in Turkey? Here are the most pleasant places in our country for beginners and lovers of canoeing!
What is a canoe?
Before moving on to our list of kayak itineraries in Turkey, we wanted to briefly describe canoeing. Canoes are small boats with pointed ends. Canoe paddlers move the canoe with a single winged oar while kneeling or seated in an open-deck or closed-deck canoe. This sport can be practiced with one person or with two or more people. The canoe is propelled mainly by muscle power with the help of a paddle. On the other hand, some canoes can be actively used with sails or various engines.
We mentioned above that canoes were first used by indigenous tribes as a means of transportation. John MacGregor, a Scottish lawyer and traveller, begins designing various canoes with decks and sails. In 1873 MacGregor also founded the first canoe club. The British Royal Canoe Club is considered the first official club of this sport. By 1924, canoeing was recognized as an Olympic sport for the first time. And at the Olympic Games in Paris that year, canoeing competitions were held for the first time.
Durusu is at the top of our list of canoeing spots in Turkey. If you are looking for a kayak route near Istanbul, we would like to talk about Durusu, which is located within Kemerburgaz, 40 km from the city. Durusu, which is a very pleasant canoe route, enchants those who see it with its lush nature. The shores of Durusu, once a bay connected to the Black Sea, turned into a lake over time, are very suitable for free canoe trips.
Recall that the excursion service is carried out on double canoes, reminiscent of Indian canoes on the lake. The waters of Fyndykdere, the Deli Yunus stream and Durusu Lake, fed by many springs, allow you to see untouched beauty. On the other hand, we would like to say that you can see different types of birds in the geography where the lake is located, especially during the migration period.
2. Kemalie Valley
The Kemalie Valley, which is one of the canoe routes of our country, attracts attention with its magnificent nature. The Kemalie area in Erzincan is one of the favorite places for nature lovers and canoeists. The Kemaliye Valley is one of the delightful places that stand out among the places to go canoeing in Turkey. The Kemalie valley, formed by Karasu, one of the branches of the Euphrates River, also offers a very convenient geography for canoeing.
There is a 10 km kayak trail in the valley, which enchants nature lovers with its rich flora and fauna. The currents created in the waters of the river flowing through the valley make the canoe trip more relaxed. On the other hand, the Dark Canyon, surrounded by impenetrable rocks, is the most extreme part of the route.
With the title of Turkey’s first underwater national park, Kekova is one of the favorite places for canoe lovers. Located in Kas, a charming Mediterranean seaside town, Kekova is the perfect place to go canoeing! It is certainly one of the most colorful canoeing destinations in Turkey, with its 60km canoe run above the national park, home to the remnants of the Lycian civilization.
The route, which starts from Uchagyz Bay, goes around Karalos Bay, Tersane Bay, Sychak Burnu and Kekova Island, and then returns to the place where it started, bypassing the Simena coast. You can complete a route that takes canoe lovers on a historical journey going back centuries in 5 hours.
4. Lake Bafa
The shores of Lake Bafa, located on the border of Mugla and Aydin, are very suitable for canoeing. Lake Bafa, hidden among olive trees, fascinates with its beauty. Lake Bafa, the largest lake in the Aegean region, has a 5 km canoe trail that surrounds large and small rocks and islets. On small islands in the lake are the ruins of churches and monasteries.
Due to the fact that the water in the lake is stagnant and the wind blows rather weakly even in the most difficult weather conditions, the track creates an excellent alternative for canoeing. We can say that the fact that the lake contains the ruins of the ancient harbor of Heraclea makes it even more impressive. Campsites around the lake also offer accommodation for canoe lovers.
5. Lake Sapanca
Sapanca is one of the most popular destinations on our list of canoeing destinations in Turkey. The many lakeside facilities provide suitable places for canoe training and training, as well as opportunities for practice. On the other hand, you can use canoes, which can be rented here, either on your own or with instructors. Lake Sapanca, with its depth, water level and other characteristics, provides an opportunity for this sport, as well as a great hobby for its enthusiasts. Let us also remind you that canoeing is regularly and professionally practiced in Sapanca.
6. Karine Lagoon
We round off our list with Karin Lagoon, one of the great alternatives to canoeing. So where is this lagoon? Dilek Peninsula is a lake with an area of 2100 hectares in the south of Dilek Mountain, within the Buyuk-Menderes-Delta National Park. It is in this place that the Karine lagoon is located, which was formed as a result of the division of the sea by a cordon formed by the Buyuk Menderes River in the process of entering the sea. Karin Lagoon, one of the most suitable places for this sport in our country, opens its doors to canoe lovers with its impressive atmosphere.
Bonus: Where to Canoe in Istanbul
We talked about Durusu and Sapanca, which are among the places to go canoeing in Istanbul. So where are the unknown but suitable places for canoeing? As an answer to this question, our first itinerary will be the Bosphorus, the meeting point of Asia and Europe. Canoe tours are organized in safe areas in the cool waters of the Bosphorus. The most famous among these tours is a pleasant canoe tour that starts from the Göksu River and extends from Anadoluhisary to Bebek.
The canoe trip, which starts early in the morning in this region, is ideal for those looking for a quiet weekend. Among the places for canoeing within the borders of Istanbul are areas outside the Bosphorus, such as Keligi Bay, Riva, Darlık Dam, Esenseli, Omerli Dam, Poyrazköy, Tuzla.
If you want to take a little trip to the most fascinating natural parks in the world, let us take you here.
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