With its crystal blue sea, sand, sun and natural beauty, Akyaka, a beautiful neighbourhood that is recognized by the Cittaslow network, has become a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to spend their holiday vacations in tents. The holidaymakers who do not have the opportunity to stay at luxury hotels in the touristic centres of Muğla province prefer a cheaper holiday at the camping areas in the pine forests of Ula, Marmaris and Fethiye districts.
Nature lovers spend their holidays in caravans and tents that they build in the shadow of giant pine trees. The intensity of these people who choose a cool environment for camping draws attention. Some of them continue their holidays for months.
The tent camping areas Günlüklü in Fethiye and Çubucak in Marmaris attract a lot of attention along with the forests in Akyaka.
Starting the day with a dip in the cool waters of the Gulf of Gökova with the first light of the morning, the camp residents find the opportunity to have their breakfast comprising of organic products grown in the villages of Akyaka, in accompany with plenty of oxygen spreading from the pine trees.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Muğla Service Foundation Economic Operations Coordinator Atiye Durmaz said, “Accompanied by the natural beauty of the Gulf of Gökova, people from the four corners of Turkey can spend their holiday by paying an affordable price like TL 40 daily for everything including electricity here.”
Noting that 300 tents and 50 caravans were located in this area by the Muğla Service Foundation, Durmaz added, “The tent campsite, which leans back on the green mountains and spreads its skirts to the blue water, serves holidaymakers in the shadow of giant pine trees. We have guests staying in the tent area for five-six months. Many visitors from almost every region of Turkey spend their holiday in the tents that they set up.” Retired teacher Fikret Saraçoğlu explained that they came to the forest camp in Akyaka with a caravan from Diyarbakır province and they have been vacationing here with his family since 1991.
He said he had learned of this place as a result of a coincidence and was very happy.
“There is a nice social environment here. Communication, sharing and solidarity exist. People are respectful of each other. We are camping in a unique landscape in Akyaka. We have established very good neighbourly relations here. We stay here for about three months.”
The Saraçoğlus spend a big part of the day by swimming, hiking and social activities, Fikret Saraçoğlu stressed, “This place is the mosaic of Turkey. People from the four corners of Turkey come here and establish new friendships. The sea and environment are very nice and so close to the tourism centres.”
Bülent Özcan stated that he has been living in Denizli province and has been coming to Akyaka in the summer season for two years. Explaining that he has made new friendships and is very happy in the region, he remarked that Akyaka is heaven with its nature and beauty.
“I have been staying here with my family for about three months. We have three-room tents. We have all the materials we need, including our kitchen, refrigerator, oven and television. There is a very nice environment here. Very good and new friendships are being established here. We have a peaceful and happy holiday near the sea in the forest. It is both cheap and with the comforts of a hotel.”
Özcan noted that it gets crowded before Ramadan Bayram, or Eid al-Fitr, in the camp area and added that the visitors could stay alone with nature here.
When planning a camping adventure, many struggles to choose whether to go freedom camping or stay within the confines of a campsite. Depending on your personality, and what you wish to get out of your experience, one will suit you more than another.
For groups such as families, staying in a campground offers many advantages, the main being comfort and access to good facilities like toilets, showers, kitchens and power. One can choose what location they wish to camp, whether it be amongst the bush or at the beach. Campsites cater well to parents and children, with many having playgrounds and even TV and games rooms for technology starved kids. Campsites are a much-organised environment, which is admittedly, not for everyone.
For free camping, the clue is in the name. Ideal for couples or a small group of friends on a budget, freedom camping is camping outside of the confines of a campsite, sleeping essentially wherever you please – the world is your playground. Well, not quite, most countries have laws in place to ensure that freedom campers do not make too much of a mess, or cause a great nuisance. In spite of this, free camping is great for who are put off by campsite crowds and had enough of the sometimes totalitarian like campsite managers.