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[Canoe and Rafting]


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It is the most important river in the province of İcel and springs from the Central Taurus Mountains as two branches. The southern branch emerges from the Geyik Mountains; the other branch emerges from the Haydar Mountains. These two branches join at the south of Mut district and it is called Goksu. The 260 km. long river forms a delta between Tasucu and Silifke and flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

How to Go?

Mersin is near Antalya, at the eastern side of the Mediterranean region. The transportation is possible by all vehicles. Icel has connection with all cities by road, with a lot of cities by rail and also international connections. Those who want to come to İcel by air can use the Adana Sakirpasa airport 69 km. further. The distance between İstanbul - İcel is 932 km., the distance between Ankara - İcel is 483 km.

The Course

The wide river bed of the Goksu River is suitable for all types of river sports, with the course of 1-2 hardship degree. It is highly suitable for the beginners of rafting to gain experience, because of its calm flow. The section between the village of Derincay on the north and the village of Degirmendere is recommended as the most suitable passage for the river sports. The length of this course is approximately 90 km. Derincay, the starting point of the course is possible to reach by the road heading west, 3 km. north of Mut on the Karaman – Silifke highway. The 14 km. section between the bridges near the villages of Kıslakoy and Kargıcak has short canyons and a beautiful landscape. After passing this course, the course is completed near the village of Degirmendere.

When to Raft / The Most Suitable Time for Rafting / The Rafting Season

The rafting season in Goksu River starting in the spring months continues to the end of August.

St. Paul Well, Yediuyurlar Cave, Pompeipolis

The history of İcel province enriched by the historical and folkloric values and adorned with the orange, lemon and banana gardens dates back to the Neolithic Period. The Yumuktepe Tumulus in Soguksu Valley is the most significant evidence of this start.

St. Paul Well, which is believed to have curative water and St. Paul Church are in Tarsus. Yediuyurlar Cave, Viransehir (Pompeiopolis), Cleopatra gate are the tourist sites visited mostly in Tarsus. Kanlıdivane (Kanytelis), Korykos, Kızkalesi in Erdemli; Cennet – Cehennem Caves, Silifke Fortress in Silifke; Mut Fortress, Alahan Monastery in Mut are the historical richness that should be absolutely seen.


Goksu Delta, rich in wild life is regarded by the “International Council for Bird Protection” (ICBP) as one of the major bird paradises in Europe and Middle East. There are more than 300 bird species in Goksu Delta. The Delta is the primary reproduction area in Turkey for reed rooster, summer duck, flamingo, heron, pelican, ferruginous duck, dalagan, ruddy shelduck, black francolin, spur-winged plover, long-legged marsh swallow, white-breasted kingfisher, bee eater, moustached reed nightingale, white-headed duck and warbler.

Goksu Delta has also a special significance for being one of the few remaining areas in the world where endangered sea turtles (Caretta caretta, Chelonias mydas) and blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) lay their eggs. There are wild goat, wild boar, partridge and rabbit in the mountains in the Goksu basin. On the slopes, there are laurel bushes, oleanders and brushwood as bush type. Sandalwood, mastic, margosa, furze and holly oak trees start at 500 m. and red-pine forests above 1000 m.


Typical Mediterranean hot and temperate climate is seen in İcel and its surroundings. The summers are hot and excessively humid; the winters are calm and rainy. İcel and its surroundings can be traveled and visited in every season. The temperature is around 25 – 30 degree in the rafting season.

Where to Stay?

It is possible to accommodate in various hotels and pensions in Mersin and districts around. You can camp along the river in suitable places.

What to Bring?

Sleeping bag, mattress (insulating material of approximately 10 mm. used instead of bed at camp), water bottle, sweater, torch, pocketknife, swimming suit, cap, wool socks, trekking boats, personal toiletry equipment, T-shirts, sunscreen, shorts, plastic or old sneakers (to wear in the raft), small rucksack, long sleeve shirt or sweat shirt, spare pants, rain coat.