With beautiful weather and the end of the school year on the horizon, we decided to hit the great outdoors on one of our last weekends in Turkey. Tickets were cheap to Antalya, so we decided to head south for some sun, sea, sand, and water sports. We settled on the rafting tour because it seemed to have good reviews and the picturesque waters surrounded by forest were simply too good to resist.
Even though it was a long bus ride through the middle of nowhere, I loved the convenience of being picked up from our hotel and it was a good opportunity for a much-needed nap. The turquoise waters were a welcome sight to my drowsy eyes when we arrived at the main rafting hub.
After getting fitted with a life jacket and helmet, we were herded back onto our respective buses to an area with some rocky cliffs and several small waterfalls. The main attraction at this stop was the 5 meter cliff jump into the freezing cold rapids. Being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I had to go for it; my husband was perfectly happy to watch me torture myself from the bridge. At that point, we had all been advised to leave any phones or cameras behind so they wouldn’t get damaged in the water, so I don’t have any photos of my jump…but it was epic. And freezing.
I did manage to get a photo that the tour guides took of us at the waterfall that we had to pay for at the end because I was a little bit of a sucker for it. It looks like shit in this photo of it, but the actual picture is good. I just wish I could’ve had a digital copy instead.
The next part of our trip was when things got very interesting. We were split up into groups of roughly 8-10 people in our rafts and the one guy who could speak decent English went went a large group of German tourists (because he could also speak German), so all of the non-Turkish and non-German tourists ended up with some newbies leading the tour. Their plan was to try to guide us in English, but it turned out that my Turkish was actually better than their English (seriously….when the hell did that happen!?), so I ended up translating for a good portion of our trip down the rapids. To be honest, I didn’t mind…I can always use extra practice!
The trip down the rapids was WAY more energetic than I had expected. They had us doing team chants, hopping up and down, and splash attacking other rafts! They even would occasionally hop out and pull one of us into the freezing cold water. Definitely not a trip for those looking for a slow, relaxing float on the water, but we had a lot of fun. We even stopped and had a nice lunch of grilled corn, chicken şiş, bulgur, salad, and watermelon, which was a lot better than the usual pre-made sub and chips that normally comes with this type of trip. Honestly, I could have spent all day out on the water. Next time, I’d love to go with just my husband and I in a canoe or kayak.
It was a day well-spent and pretty great value for the cost. The whole trip, including all equipment, lunch, and shuttle to and from the hotel was only about $35 a person. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s an outdoorsy type who doesn’t mind getting pulled into cold water a time or two. 😉