Turkey's rising raft of water tourism attractions

29th May 2013

Turkey's aquatic destination of Düzce is fast becoming a firm favourite - especially with holidaymakers on city breaks with a passion for watersports.

Rafting has boosted tourist numbers in the small north-western Turkish city with power to add, according to Düzce Mayor İsmail Bayram.

Bayram told the Hürriyet Daily News: "Düzce, with its location very close to Istanbul, has the potential to become a location for tourists and sport lovers. We aim to make good use of this potential."

The Melen River, emptying into the Black Sea after flowing 2,317 kilometres (1,439 miles), is among the best Turkish courses for rafting beginners.

The course begins in Dokuzdeğirmen village, ends in Beyler and lasts for about an hour after a short preparatory training session of roughly 30 minutes.

The destination is becoming an increasingly favoured option for holidaymakers on specialist tours looking for a more active option.

More than 18,000 people visited the Melen River for rafting in the past month alone. That's more than its total annual visitors last year.

Bayram said a ski facility is also planned for Düzce for the winter season, and one of Turkey's leading football teams, Fenerbahçe, now has soccer facilities on the adjacent Topuk Plateau.

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