Located in Alanya, Sedir Island, also known as Cleopatra Island, is flocked to by tourists seeking a daytrip and a peaceful vacation.
Tourists enjoy its endemic plants, ancient ruins and a world-renowned beach with golden sand said to have been brought from Egypt. Cleopatra Beach on Sedir Island, which is believed to have golden sand due to Cleopatra’s lover, Roman politician and general Mark Antony, who brought the sand from Egypt on ships, is highly popular among both local and international tourists. As the sand on Cleopatra Beach was formed from special limestone, it can only be seen on the islands of Crete and Sedir in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.
Tourists come to Cleopatra Beach with boats from Marmaris and Akyaka on which they have a chance to see other bays along the way. On the beach, signs both in Turkish and English warn visitors that they are not allowed to take or carry sand with them and security guards do not let any vacationers enter the beach with flip-flops or towels. The visitors also have to take a shower before leaving the beach to make sure they are not in possession of any sand.
Located within a specially protected area, Sedir Island welcomed about 120,000 tourists last year. However, the number of visitors coming to the island has been increasing, and officials expect at least 200,000 tourists will visit by the end of the year.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Mugla Governor Amir Cicek said the boats for Sedir Island set sail from the Akkaya and Camli neighborhoods of Marmaris located on the Gokova Gulf. “Sedir Island is flocked to by tourists who want to take a daytrip,” Cicek said. “The history of the island goes back centuries. While some of the tourists prefer to go swimming on Cleopatra Beach and sit on the golden sands, others visit the Temple of Apollo, ancient theater and necropolis on the island.”
Stressing that the island is home to ancient settlements, Cicek said the number of visitors coming to the island increases every year. “We are expecting to welcome more than 200,000 tourists this year,” he added. Cicek said the island is a tourist attraction as it features endemic plants, ancient ruins and a beach that is world-renowned for its sand. “All of these features attract tourists. They are able to see the traces of an ancient civilization while swimming. Tourists can take a peaceful vacation while mingling with nature,” Cicek said.
The golden sand on Cleopatra Beach, which came into being following various geologic formations, is the major tourist attraction of the islands. Moreover, the island hosts various scientists and archaeologists from various Turkish universities who study geological formations as well as ancient ruins.
Capt. Huseyin Mutlu organizes day trips to the islands with his boat. He said he sets sail from Akkaya early in the morning and visits Kandilli and Lacivert bays as well as Incekum Beach, Sedir Island and underwater caves on Gelibolu Island, giving tourists a chance to swim in the clearest seas. Mutlu added that nearly 2,000 people visit the Gokova bays every day during the summer and tourists mainly want to see Sedir Island.
Tourists who want to visit Sedir Island arrive at Camli village and reach the village port after a 5-kilometer journey. They are then charged TL 20 ($6.86) for the boat ride before heading to the island. Following a 20-minute journey, tourists pay TL 15 in order to enter the beach. Those who are in possession of a Muzekart, on the other hand, are able to enter the beach without paying a fee. Visitors do not pay any extra fees for the lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach. Tourists who board boats from Akyaka reach the island after two hours, as the boats first stop at other bays.
Source Daily Sabah