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    Blue tours through the sky in southwestern Turkey

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    23.10.2008 - 12:11 | Son Güncelleme:

    Sky tours along blue voyage routes have become a popular tourism alternative in Turkey. The Aegean province of Mugla, known for its coves and breathtaking views, is the perfect location for this type of tourism.

    "Blue voyage" tours in Mugla are among the top choices for holidaymakers. Sky tours are growing in popularity, but preserving coves along tour routes has become a top priority for the industry.

    Wooden schooners made by Bodrum's local craftsmen are the most popular for blue voyage tours, with tours lasting from two days to a week, according to the Anatolian Agency. 

    Some travel agencies organize daily sky tours for the Bodrum, Fethiye, Datca Marmaris and Gokova districts, and Sedir Island, Turkish Daily News (TDN) wrote on Thursday. These companies also organize Ephesus and Pamukkale sky tours.

    A helicopter tour costs around 150-200 euros per person, while a seaplane tour costs 200-350 euros.

    Blue voyage sky routes include Marmaris-Kadirga-Serce-Selimiye-Datca and Hisaronu coves, the Gulf of Gökova, British Port-Ballısu-Çökertme, Gocek-Agalimani-Baba Island-Koycegiz-Gocek, Marmaris-Turunc-Delikliada-Ekincik-Agalimanı-Gocek and Fethiye-Oludeniz-Kizilada.

    Tours from Bodrum take in the natural beauty of the Gulf of Gokova and many coves such as Oren, Sedir Island and Akyaka, while tours from Dalaman and Gocek covers Baba Island and Sarigerme Beach, passing from Koycegiz before landing in Dalyan, known for its Caretta carettas and mud baths. 

    "The city has 1,124 kilometers of coastline and 131 coves," Mugla Governor Ahmet Altıparmak told TDN. He said the number of coves in Mugla and its districts is 131, adding that shanty settlements are not permitted in the coves.

    "We are working hard for the preservation of blue voyage routes. The coasts of coves within the borders of the Mugla Municipality are strictly preserved. We have talks with Special Environmental Protection Association (OCK) officials. We are also cooperating with nongovernmental organizations. Its natural beauties make Mugla distinguished from other towns. We need to promote the coves for yacht tourism without distorting those beauties," he added. 
    Turkish Chamber of Maritime Trade (DTO) Bodrum Chairman Gunduz Nalbantoglu said work continued to prevent shanty settlements from forming along blue voyage routes. He said legal measures would also be taken to stop such settlements in the coves.

    "What we want is to make a plan for the coasts. This plan should make clear how the coasts can be used. Settlements should follow this plan," he was quoted by TDN as saying.

    Nalbantoglu said they have catalogued the coves between the northwestern province of Canakkale and the Mediterranean province of Antalya. "These coves have been classified into three categories: lost coves, at risk coves and preserved coves. We are working to rescue the ones at risk. We are determined to do the best we can," he said.

    Nalbantoglu said the industry should be supported in the development of blue voyage tours.

    "The sea is the investment area of people in this region. That is why coves should be protected. It is more important to develop alternative tourism plans rather than to construct hotels in Turkey.

    "Blue voyages are a unique tourism product that our country offers to the world. The starting point is Bodrum. Turkey has two competitors in this type of tourism: Croatia and Greece. These countries have disadvantages. Croatian coves are limited in number and the season is short. Greece is the same. It doesn't have as many coves as we have. Turkey also has natural places and archaeological sites on its blue voyage tours. We can offer both to tourists," he added.


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