Emerging from the Toros (Taurus) Mountains and running through a number of amazing canyons, Köprücay flows into the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Serik.
Fed by underground springs in gorges that cut through steep, impassable canyons, the Köprücay constitutes one of Turkey's most beautiful natural recreation areas. The numerous archaeological sites in the area, especially the ancient city of Selge (Zerk), the fortresses on the banks of the river, arched Roman bridges and historic roads add to the significance of the Köprülü Canyon.
Köprücay is reached from Antalya via Serik, Tasagìl and Beskonak. Those coming from Manavgat can reach Beskonak via Tasagìl. The asphalt road to Beskonak follows the Köprücay in places.
Köprülü Canyon National Park covers 36,000 hectares, including part of Köprücay and the ancient city of Selge. As well as being Turkey's largest forest of Mediterranean Cypress, the National Park is also rich in red-pine, black-pine, cedar, fir, oak and wild olive trees. The wild animals in the region include fallow deer, wild goat, wild boar, bear, wolf, fox, rabbit and various bird species. One can find red speckled trout in the upper reaches and gray mullet in other parts of the Köprücay.
Approximately 100 m before the Oluk Bridge, the water is still and the river forms a pool. This is a good spot to start your trip and gives unexperienced crew time to get used to the rowing technique. The bridge is reached by paddling against the current.
Less experienced groups usually enter the canyon from the Oluk Bridge, while professionals may do so either from the falls near the start or from the Oluk Bridge, turning around further ahead to start the trip. The course continues after passing the falls and leaving behind places with class 2-3. The falls along the river add to the beauty of the landscape. After each waterfall the Köprücay slows down, giving time to enjoy the majestic setting.
A concrete bridge appears 10 km down the river. Novices should complete their journey immediately before this bridge.
Experienced sportsmen can continue into the first canyon after the concrete bridge, but the second canyon is strickly off limits since the river runs under rocks in paces. After disembarking at the end of the first canyon, which is about 3 km long, walk on the left bank to reach an asphalt road.
WHAT TO SEE
Located in the province of Antalya where Turkey's natural, historical and archaeological reaches are the most developed, the Köprücay basin offers a wide variety of possibilities. Those interested in river sports can also enjoy all other activities the region has to offer, including jeep safaris and trekking through the Köprülü Canyon National Park during the summer. There are unpretentious restaurants and small inns on both banks of the river near Beskonak and Oluk Bridge.
The ancient city of Selge (Zerk) can be reached over 12 km of dirt road, crossing the impressive Roman Oluk Bridge. Karain Magarasi (Cave), the Greco-Roman cities of Aspendos, Perge, Phaselis and Termessos, and the Kursunlu and Düdenbasi waterfalls are among the most interesting places to see in this area.
The interesting morphological formations of the caves of Papazkayasi, Geyikbayiri, Kücükdipsiz, Büyükdipsiz and Peynirdeligi have been designated for development as tourist attractions.
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