Akyaka is located at the east end of Gokava Gulf and within the borders of Mugla province, which is the Turkey’s most south-west region. Akyaka is situated at the eastern end of the Gokova Gulf and within the borders of the Ula district that is between Marmaris and Mugla. Akyaka’s position receives great appreciations and attracts interests, as it is bordered in the north by the Yaran Mountain, dominating the bay view, and in the south by the Gokova plain.
Akyaka is an important settlement area and located at north-east side of the Gokova Gulf and at distance of 28 km to the Mugla province. In the north side of Akyaka, there exists a topography, covered by forest and suddenly rising up to a height of 1000 m. In the east side of Akyaka town, there exists an unique plain area, where springing waters run on and located between the Kadin and Akcapinar rivers’ backwaters. As it is seen all around this region, stream beds are reached to the sea with a backwater area. There are reed fields, marshlands, grasslands etc. mostly interpenetratedly side by side on the backwater areas.
Akyaka ist the most visited area around the Gokava Gulf, as Akyaka is very famous with its awarded traditional Mugla houses and with its backwater areas, which are natural aquariums, and with the boat tours organized around its bays, which are natural miracles, and with its magnificent pine forests and with its calm life and with its various possibilities for being involved in many different water sports.
One of the most important areas is the Sedir Island, which is also known as Ketra, Setra, Sedir or Sehirlioglu Island. This island is located in the south side of the Gokova Gulf and there are inscriptions belonging to the Hellenistic and Romanian ages found in this island.
From ecological aspects, Gokova region is greatly important with its rich flora and fauna. Gokova region’s plant cover reflects same characteristics same as the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions. In addition to the maquis formation, there are also important olive growing areas within this region. Furthermore, red pine (Pinus brutia) and sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis) forests have also great importance within this region. Following these plants, there exist black pine, pistachio trees, sedar trees and needle-leaved trees such as juniper trees and also oak trees within the region. In this region, there are also some sandalwood trees, piren trees, phllyrea trees, laurel, hackberry trees and locust trees.
The region is quite rich for its flora and fauna. Winged animals, which are available widespread available nearly on every sections of this region, are turtledoves, quails, wood pigeon, partridges, black cormorants, fisher birds, nightjars, shorebirds, woodpeckers, starlings, blackbirds, marshland birds, corvine birds, kite birds, grey partridges, wild ducks, wild gooses, mountain sparrows, eagles, hawks, sparrow hawks and owls.
Except Fethiye and Kinik districts, Mugla province is the region, which were known and called as Karia in the ancient times. Karia’s history starts with settlement of Ionians in this region. Dorians were settled on the both ends of the Gokova Gulf and Dorians had established Knidos and Halicarnassus (Bodrum). Mugla province had been taken by the Seljukians in the 12th century and became a part of the Mentese Dynasty in the 15th century and of the Ottoman Empires in the 16th century.
Seashores in this region are rich for sea fauna. There are nearly all of the local fish species together with other sea products (octopus, lobster, karabide) available in the waters of the region. Moreover, it has been also determined that lutra lutra (sea otters) are living around the Gokova shores and dolphins in the north sections of the Gokova Gulf.
One of the most favorite and popular seashores of the Akyaka district is the Cinar beach, located on the road to the Oren district, and there is asphalt road available along the seashore and therefore, access to the Cinar beach is easy and about 3 km far from the Akyaka district. If you follow the Cinar beach road and continue further, you can arrive first to the Akbuk Bay and thereafter to the Oren district (Gereme, Keramos). As well as, you are also able to make magnificent sea-tours, participating in the regular daily boat-tours from Akyaka or hiring private boats, and you can visit especially Sedir Island and make wonderful sea-tours within the Gokova Gulf.
There are boat-tours arranged also in the Azmak river, which is a natural aquarium.
It is always possible to get involved in non-motorized water sports such as kite surf, wind surf, canoe etc. within the Gokova Gulf or to make bike tours around the region. It is also possible to exercise and perform paragliding in the Sakartepe, located in the north side of the Akyaka,.
When it is told about the Akyaka, it would not be fair, if we do not mention anything about journalist, poet and international awarded architect Nail Cakirhan, born in the Ula district. His own house, which had been constructed under his control in the Akyaka district, through adding his own interpretations and styles into the traditional architecture of the Ula houses, has been awarded with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and receives great appreciations and attracts interests. In the following period, most people, starting with his relatives and friends and then, continued with hotels and holiday resorts, have adapted, altered and constructed their construction works, taking this architectural style as basis.
Today, this style is dominant nearly on all houses, constructed around the Gokova Gulf’s seashores. Accordingly, Ula’s traditional architecture finds a new life with the efforts of Cakirhan. Ula people start to remember and renew their old Ula houses, which have been nearly forgotten.
The most important part of the Ula houses is wooden workmanship. These houses are decorated with engraved and ornamented wooden accessories from cupboard doors up to the ceiling workmanship.