One of the top activities recommended around Manavgat is definitely a boat cruise on the Manavgat River. It's a great way to enjoy a full day of relaxation and fun, diving into the region's most impressive natural surroundings.
The Manavgat River's source is in the Taurus Mountains and it flows into the Mediterranean Sea after passing through the city of Manavgat.
The Manavgat River has a suitable environment for water sports in Antalya. Indeed, rafting on the river and a safari around the waterfall are some of the most popular activities in the region.
In this article, you will find all the important information you need to know about the Manavgat River, including location, access, boat cruises, rafting, waterfalls, and more...
What Can I Do on Manavgat River?
Oymapınar Dam, whose construction was completed in 1984, is approximately 25 km above the point where the Manavgat River flows into the sea. Manavgat Dam is approximately 10 km below Oymapınar Dam. It's construction was finished in 1987. Manavgat Waterfall is 7 km down from Manavgat Dam, following the direction of the water.
Boat Tours on the Manavgat River
From the center of Manavgat, it's possible to take a boat cruise on the river that lasts around 3 to 4 hours. For the cruise, you will be taken to the Manavgat Waterfall by a shuttle leaving from the city center. There are different daily boat tours in the region, in addition to private tours. Let's check some of them out.
- Waterfalls Tour: For this tour, a boat will pick you up from the center of Manavgat and go to the small waterfall on the river. The second sight on this tour is the big and famous Manavgat Waterfall. Both sights are worth seeing.
- Manavgat River Boat Tour: This tour is organized on the Manavgat Strait, where the Manavgat River meets the sea. This tour takes longer than the Waterfalls Tour. You will be able to swim in both the sea and the cold river on the same day, all while admiring the unique natural beauty of the Manavgat River.
- Manavgat Bazaar and Waterfalls Tour: This is a day tour including the famous Manavgat Bazaar which is only set up on Mondays and Thursdays. In addition, Small Waterfall and Large Waterfall visits are often combined with this tour.
- Green Canyon Tour: Green Canyon boat tours are organized by local operators. This cruise takes you along a rugged rocky landscape to Olymapınar Dam, which is one of the largest dams in Turkey, with an area of 470 hectares. The serene atmosphere and peaceful environment create a calm experience. Read more about Green Canyon in Manavgat.
- Karaburun Tour: This small island stands at the entrance to Karaburun Bay, which is approximately 20-25 km from the Manavgat River, in the direction of Alanya. You can enjoy taking in a unique view of the Taurus Mountains from the sea. This day tour takes several swimming breaks around the small island in Karaburun Bay, as well as on the river on the way back.
In the Manavgat River Basin, you will find Altınbeşik Cave, which is one of the most beautiful underground caves in the world.
The cave is only suitable for entrance during the summer and autumn months. In the winter and spring, the cave is completely filled with water and flows from the stream. That's why the cave closes naturally during these seasons. Read more about Altınbeşik Cave in Antalya.
Water Sports on the Manavgat River
Water sports are popular on this river, especially rafting.
Rafting: To determine the starting point for a rafting course on the Manavgat River, you have to consider the flow rate of the water. Sahap Bridge near İbradi village is the place where rafting courses are available, during the months when the water flow is suitable. The Manavgat River has a difficult rafting route, which can be dangerous for beginners. Thats why, you should definitely have a professional to assist your group.
This very picturesque and adventurous track includes three beautiful canyons in Antalya and various sized waterfalls.
While sailing in the shade of the canyons, you are not affected by the heat and are able to admire the surroundings, since the flow rate of the river slows down between transitions.
Apart from rafting, it's possible to make take a canoe out on the river to make small discoveries.
Other Sports and Sights Around the Manavgat River
İbradı and Ormana villages are suitable for mountain biking, trekking, and paragliding. This is a lovely cedar-scented region with a unique type of local Turkish houses (button houses). It's away from the crowds at touristic places. During the spring, you can see twelve kinds of endemic flowers here.
Entrance, Tickets, and Tours
How to Get to the Manavgat River
By Car: Manavgat Dam is approximately 12 km from the center of Manavgat, 87 km from the center of Antalya, and 62 km from the center of Alanya. On your way to the Manavgat Waterfall, you can turn right at the "Manavgat" sign to reach Manavgat Dam. Check our fully detailed article about renting a car in Antalya.
By Tour: There are day tours organized by local tour operators. You can pick one of the routes that include the Manavgat River on their itinerary.
The History of the Manavgat River
The Manavgat River, which was called Melas in ancient times, provided the required water for the ancient city of Side.
The Manavgat River is one of the most important rivers in the Mediterranean region and our country in terms of the amount of water it carries. It's formed by the combination of spring waters from the western Taurus Mountains, northwest of Akseki, Antalya and the waters from the south of the Gembos closed basin.
The Manavgat River stretches about 90 km, passes through the middle of the town of Manavgat, and flows into the Mediterranean at a place called the Bosphorus.