Akyaka, Turkey’s top Kite Spot

Timothy Suddreth
772
Overview
  • Peak season: April - October
  • Wind: 15-25 knots
  • Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced, pro
  • Style: freestyle, freeride, wakestyle
  • Air temp: 30+°C
  • Water temp: 25°C
  • Suitable for: Family, Solo Traveler, Group, Couple
  • Ambiance: Relaxed, Luxurious
Pros and Cons
+ Constant, reliable wind
+ Huge shallow bay (2.5-3 km long)
+ Flat water
+ Sandy bottom
+ Stable wind, no gusts
+ Great beginner spot & also a place to progress quickly
+ Choice of different kite spots/schools with gear storage
+ Lots of kite support on the beach
- 20-30 minute walk to the spot from town
- Lots of trash washed up on the waters edge
- Crowded/busy on the water
What makes this place special?
Gökova Bay is situated in the western part of Turkey and is surrounded by the warm and clear Aegean Sea. Amazingly it still is one of the relatively unknown spots in Europe which means you can enjoy riding here without battling amongst the crowds. The bay itself is 3km wide which means there is plenty of space for everyone!
Each afternoon from about noon onwards a thermal wind fills the bay offering clean and consistent winds for you to enjoy. The water is flat and shallow making it the perfect spot to learn freestyle and enjoy freeriding. You’ll find a peaceful village next to the spot called Akyaka it is steeped in the traditional Turkish style and filled with restaurants and bars with a laid back cosmopolitan atmosphere.
When it comes to kiteboarding, Akyaka is the place with reliable wind blows almost everyday , very good social and nightlife, outdoor activities and much more. We can say that Akyaka is the place whe the heart of kiteboarding beats in Turkey.

Just as a reminder, one of the World Kiteboarding League (WKL) stages was held in Akyaka in 2017
How to get there?
The beach is 45 minutes from Dalaman Airport, 1 hour from Bodrum-Milas Airport, 1.5 hours from Bodrum, 20 minutes from Marmaris and 3.5 hours from Antalya Airport.

From Dalaman Airport, you can use taxi, airport shuttle or other tourism agencies shuttles to come to Akyaka Town very quickly and comfortably for 10€.
Summary
  • The stable wind and high wind expectancy make the place great for learning new tricks or progressing your skills.
  • Beginners might face some difficulties until they learn to ride upwind or go left/right of the spots, which have teachers and students practicing in front of them.
  • Good place for learning though, aside of the crowded place, thanks to the constant, thermic wind that blows almost everyday.
  • Great nightlife and many activities to do, aside from kiteboarding.
  • Incredible scenery
Wind, Weather and Water
More than 150 days guaranteed onshore wind during season which starts at 11 am and usually slows down after 5 pm. Just a few days (10 maybe) it blows offshore and these days it is impossible to surf because of rapidly changing wind direction. There are hardly any gusty winds in Gokova Bay. The increase of the wind rate throughout the day allows for different levels to practice at different times. 6 months everyday: 9-12 with 12-17 knots, 12-15 with 15-25 knots and 15-17 with 12-17 knots. Onshore to sideonshore winds.

Season is April to October. Average temperature is during day time 28°C. Water is 24°C after June till October. No wetsuits. Weather is very hot the last two weeks of July and first 2 weeks of August (35-40°C). But nights are always cooler, thanks to the mountains nearby.

The sea is shallow for the first 250m and the bottom is purely sand. For the first 50m the water is completely flat. Small waves occur after 50m depending on the wind's power. A few spots in the bay (where the creek reaches the sea) are good for surfing. Mostly kayaks go there for playing. No jet-skis or other motor things (all forbidden except safety boat). The area is split in 2: beginners and professionals.
The Spot
You have to pay for beach access. This includes parking and access to toilets and showers. The only discount option for the beach access is to pay for 10 days and save 50%.

There are a lot of kite centers/schools - probably over 6, lined up side by side. With that many schools there's obviously a lot of teaching going on in the water. Lessons take place in the area in front of the schools, and continues towards Akyaka.

The wind is blowing onshore, so getting past the students can be a bit of a hussle but once you're out into the blue, you have a big playground with just few kiters around. Finding place to launch and land has never really been a problem and there's always someone friendly around to help.

Many of the intermediate and advanced kiters ride in another bay, past the rocks located to the left of the bay, as you're looking to the water. There it’s windier and more spacy, since there's no teachers and students. If this is where you want to be riding, you can launch on the beach and walk straight to this side without having to pass upwind of the rocks.

Be careful about the bay on the left, because there's rocks on the bottom of the water (eventhough the water is about 1 meter deep).
Accommodation
For the accommodation, you can find many many places like hotels and bed&breakfast options in Akyaka or you can also find places in near villages.
Food & Drinks
There are plenty of restaurants in the village of Akyaka, most serving delicious Turkish cuisine and a few also serving some more familiar European dishes. This area is famous for its fish restaurants, you’ll find them along the river Azmak, and they are not to be missed.
Nightlife
Akyaka is famous for its wild vegetation and it is under protection of Special Environmental Protection Project by government. There are a few bars by the seaside in Akyaka and some local restaurants by the creek but life is as exciting for party people.

If you'd like to party, try Marmaris at night. This could be a better option if you’re in a mixed group kiters/non-kiters, or if you just want more action in the evenings. Marmaris is internationally known as a beautiful city and hosts a lot of tourists, and clubs, bars etc to accommodate for them.
No wind activities
Only kiteboarding? Of course not!

After taking kite lessons, or having a good kite session what comes next?

To relax after a full kiteboarding day, you may choose to hang out at the beach bar, or take a ride on the hidden channels along the Azmak river to enjoy the calming vegetation. You can even make a stand up padde (SUP) tour on the river or SUP-Yoga and other activities during the day.

Day trips to Cleopatra’s Island, Effesus and Pamukkale can also be organised.

Every day new kiteboarding spots are discovered around the world but Akyaka, with world class standards, is still one of the best spots to learn & improve your kite skills and have a good time. Even in non-windy days, you will find tons of things to do there.
Good to know
  • Trendy cafe and restaurant became a favourite in Akyaka. Follow the path North along the beach to find it.
  • Avoid the rookie mistake of leaving kites in a hot car all day, it might create leaks in the valves.
  • Be aware of crazy drivers. They tend to be pretty bad at signalling etc.
  • Coming back to Akyaka from kite beach, we found that the easiest way is to take a right turn when the little dirt roads split (eventhough it says no left turns, most people ignore it). Instead of going on D400 towards Marmaris you go below it and into Akcapinar, turn right and then you’re soon back on D400 but on the right side towards Akyaka.
Useful contacts