Green Lake and Green Canyon are two connected reservoirs forming part of a hydroelectric and water storage scheme on the Manavgat River, both are utilised for recreational activities. The most notable feature of the lakes is, as their name suggests, green water, but there the similarities stop, each presents the visitor with a completely different panorama.
The higher of the two, The Green Canyon Lake, also known as The Oymapinar Baraji, was completed in 1987 and is located in a steep rugged valley with it’s dam built across the narrowest point. The damming of the river created a lake 4 kilometers long, set between steep and rugged mountainsides.
After you arrive the face of the dam, a hairpin road takes you up to the water level and the lake itself. There are a number of restaurants around the steep shoreline and a trip on the water in a tourist motor boat is well worth the effort.
The second lake, Green Lake, formed by the much smaller Manavgat Baraji, is a gentler and softer place. Nestling within a huge circle of green fields and woods, this very attractive place is full of coves and small islands, the easiest way to visit them being by one of the tourist boats that ply the waterway.
From the base of the Green Canyon Dam it is possible for independent travelers to drive to the lesser visited side of Green Lake. Instead of turning left to go up the hairpins, simply turn right at the road bridge at the foot of the dam and follow the road through pleasant rural landscapes until you see Green Lake. Again there is are plenty of restaurants located in the headlands and coves of the lake.
All of the tour operators organize trips to these lakes, alternatively if you are making your own way there, take the waterfall road from Manavgat and continue on past it, admiring Roman bridges and aqueducts as you go, about 9 kilometers further along watch for signs on your right pointing to Green Lake.
To reach Green Canyon Lake, simply continue along the main road for another 7 kilometers or so and you will see a most impressive ancient aqueduct in a field on your right, a few meters further on there is a toll booth, where you will have to pay two lira per car.
From here follow the “Baraji” signs to the base of the dam. Turn left at the river crossing, go up all of the hairpin bends and through a tunnel, the lake is spread out in front of you, follow the lakeside to find the restaurants and boat trips, they are well sign posted. If you can tear your eyes away from the lake, look to your right to see a large white boat high and dry on the side of the road.