The gently shelving sands of Akyaka’s beach are backed by palm trees and lined with a number of good cafes to provide you with food and drinks with minimum effort. An alternative sandy spot is the pretty but much smaller Cinar Beach, which is a 45-minute walk away through eucalyptus groves.
Column inches have recently been dedicated to the quality of the food and wine in the south Aegean region. And Akyaka gets its fair share of praise for the excellent fish restaurants on the banks of the river and the fantastic selection of eateries on the harbourside.
Chefs here use the very best local produce and take as much care in presentation as with the taste of their meals. Expect to be wowed when you dine out here, but not pay through the nose for it, another attractive prospect for those on cheap holidays to Turkey.
One of the oldest and best fish restaurants in town is Halil In Yeri, where you dine on a wooden terrace built over the river. They use organic lemons and olive oil from their own groves and have a wet fish counter to pick your dinner from. Or for more simple meals like soups, kebabs and manti, which is Turkish ravioli, try Ayse Ananin Yeri in the centre of Akyaka.
Stroll down towards the waterfront in the evenings for places to stop for a few drinks, particularly on the street called Karanfil Sokak. The large Mev bar on the beachfront has a busy vibe, or Kum Cafe serves excellent cocktails with a soundtrack of modern Turkish music, and both double up as restaurants so you can nibble as you have a drink.
Explore the market
Akyaka’s Wednesday market is the place to track down some unique ceramic pieces while on your Dalaman holiday. They’re all handmade and, with their colourful patterns and designs, make a welcome change from the mass-produced items that you’ll spot in some souvenir shops. Pashminas, cotton and lace are all reasonably priced, but you’ll do far better if you engage in some bartering – after all, this activity is nearly a national sport in Turkey.
Rent a boat
Boat rentals are the name of the game in Akyaka. You can hire one for the day and sail around the Gulf of Gokova, or spend the day fishing and boost your sun tan at the same time. If you’d like to try a new watersport, the Gulf of Gokova has excellent conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding and the school there teaches everyone from the age of seven up.
There’s also an option to go on a riverboat trip up the Azkam River, stopping off for a bite to eat on the way. Some of the restaurants here are converted boats moored on the river, while others have low balconies where you can cool your feet in the water as you eat. Hiring a kayak is another wonderful way of exploring the river and you might even get up close and personal with an otter in the water.
In Cleopatra's footsteps
Even though you may have always associated the powerful and romantic queen, Cleopatra with Egypt and its pyramids, now’s the time to change your mind. Local myth has it that Cleopatra and Mark Anthony used to amuse themselves by walking on the shores of Sedir island.
There are regular boat trips from Akyaka harbour, and once you’re on the island, you can walk along the pristine sands, explore the ancient remains of the ruined city of Cedrae, watch the sandbar sharks and even go diving.