A different side of Turkey revealed – without “all-inclusive,” but with baggage of new experiences
Although Turkey has remained a favorite holiday destination for Lithuanians for many years, only a small fraction of travelers have had the chance to discover and experience its other side. A slower pace of life, verdant wilderness, less crowded beaches, local towns tucked between mountains, enchanting with their hospitality and authenticity. This is the Turkey chosen for leisure not only by the Turks themselves but also by active relaxation enthusiasts from Lithuania, who come here for two purposes – to extend the summer and relax actively with a kite in hand.
It changes the stereotypes
The town of Akyaka in Turkey, situated on the southwest coast down the Gulf of Gokova, offers particularly favorable conditions for kiteboarding. Its wide and shallow coastline, quality onshore wind, and warm climate are reasons why Turkey is often praised among enthusiasts of this water sport. For six years now, a seasonal kiteboarding school called WindTrain, founded by Lithuanians, has been operating here. Its founder and instructor, Edgaras Martinėlis, helps travelers from his homecountry discover a completely different side of Turkey and the advantages of active leisure in this region.
In the eyes of Lithuanians, Turkey often carries a somewhat stereotypical image, frequently dismissed as an overly touristic destination offering nothing more than passive relaxation with ‘all-inclusive’ options and lacking suitable weather. However, this perception is entirely unfounded! Akyaka in Turkey can truly be singled out as one of the greenest and most authentic destinations, which captivates and dictates a completely different rhythm of life. For instance, starting the day with a swimming session and ending it by watching a sunset from the peak of the cliff while enjoying the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Gokova. It’s not without reason that locals also choose this place for their vacations, which is a guarantee of quality,” explained E. Martinėlis.
An opportunity to make up for a poor summer in Lithuania.
Akyaka is an excellent choice for those who want to extend their summer, according to E. Martinėlis, because in September temperatures still reach around 30 degrees during the day, the sea remains warm, and the days are sunny with almost no rain. This stands in complete contrast to the unpredictable Lithuanian summer. “Although we try to spend our summers on the coast of Lithuania or near the Curonian Lagoon, where we teach kiteboarding and organize various sports events, we always eagerly wait for the beginning of autumn because it signifies the start of the season in Turkey. We always know that we will have guaranteed weather here and can make up for the entire summer and those days when there was no wind or the weather was bad,” E. Martinėlis shares. According to him, the weather conditions were the main reason for establishing a seasonal kiteboarding school that could operate where favorable conditions exist not only for catching the wind but also for relaxation according to different needs for both solo travelers and families.
The abundance of activities and tranquility will surprise you.
Despite how popular the all-inclusive travel format is for vacations in Turkey, according to E. Martinėlis, it’s essential to experience and discover the true essence of Turkey, which begins away from bustling resorts and tourist spots. “Located next to the popular Bodrum and Marmaris resorts, Akyaka immediately fascinated us with its unique location, landscape, and the hospitality of the locals. While we appreciate the infrastructure and suitability for water sports for both beginners and experienced riders, the environment, local culture, people, and activities that can be done without kite are equally important. In this part of Turkey, you may not find hotel complexes with ‘all-inclusive’ packages, but undoubtedly, you will return with a wealth of new experiences, great emotions, and a well-cleared mind,” assures the founder of WindTrain. Besides kite sports, enthusiasts of active leisure in Akyaka can try sailing, kayaking or canoeing, embark on bike or hiking tours, rock climbing, paragliding, or take a dip in the Azmak River, which captivated the attention of NASA employees with its beauty and became a true gem of nature in this region, prompting more interest in Akyaka after one of them shared their experience on social media.
More about the trip here.