This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley

I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Jump out of a plane from 10,000ft up? No problem. Run off the side of a mountain attached to an oversized hankie? Sure, why not. Hurl myself off a bridge with nothing but a large elastic band attached to my ankles? Oh, go on then. Hurtle down a track at lightning speed on my mountain bike? Absolu…oh no, hang on, actually, I won’t do that because I’m not very good at it and have the scars to prove it.

So naturally, when someone suggested a trip up to the Dalaman River for a spot of white water rafting a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance and persuaded a group of like-minded individuals to join me.

We were collected from various points in Fethiye, Çalış and Üzümlü before heading off in the general direction of the river. It’s a fairly long journey so there were a few stops along the way for a leg stretch and for the driver to have his obligatory cigarette.

A White Knuckle Ride

Once we reached a certain point, we transferred to another vehicle to begin the descent into the valley and towards the river. We were given our safety equipment before getting on the bus and after about ten minutes of bumping, crashing, and watching the forest road pass by through the hole in the floor, we unanimously decided that it was never too soon to put our helmets on.

My theory is that they made the journey to the rafts so terrifying that throwing yourself into an icy cold river was going to seem like the better option.

Anyway, we finally got to the river bed where we joined up with a number of other rafters who looked equally as relieved to be off their buses and on solid ground.

After very thorough instructions and demonstrations, we were divided into small groups to go on each raft along with an instructor. One of our group was an ex-international kayaker so, unsurprisingly, once that nugget of information got out there was a small skirmish between the more nervous of us in a bid to sit next to him.

Away We Go

But then we were off…rushing down the river, attempting to obey the instructions being barked at us… ‘paddle back, paddle front, left, right, lean in’ and so on. We got wet (no surprise there), we forgot what was left and what was right, we went up, we went down, we went round in circles, we got stuck. But somehow we eventually managed to travel around ten kilometres and even stopped for a photoshoot midway.

After all this excitement we met up with our trusty, sorry rusty, vehicle again, slung the boats on top and made our way back up to the top of the valley to meet the slightly more plush minibus that was taking us home. We stopped midway for an included lunch and a chance to look at, and possibly purchase, a video and photos of the day.

It was exhilarating, it was cold, it was exciting, it was wet, it was something I recommend anyone try if they are looking to liven up their holiday.

Fancy A Go?

You can book this trip through any of the tour organisers in the local area and it costs less than £20* per person. However please make sure you have adequate insurance just to be on the safe side, as it is considered an extreme sport – and that’s just the drive to the boats!

Thank you to Dave Badger for the accompanying photos.

  • Price correct at the time of publication