There is not any exact information regarding the first settlement date of Ula, but
its history dates back to the 6th century BC. The region was called ‘Caria’ in the ancient
times. In the epitaphs found in the excavations in Athens, the name of city ‘Ola’ was written on the agreement which was signed by Ionians and Carians in 1440 BC.
In the works of Evliya Celebi, it was recorded that the name of the district changed
to ‘Ula’ after being conquered by Ulama Bey of Anatolian Mentese Principality. In addition, it was mentioned that Ula was surrounded by the vineyards and orchards in the 17th century and
the grapes were sent to Eygpt. The district was built in the fertile ground between Alicin
and Laleli Mountains.
Ula ranks first in grape, garlic and almond production.
The most beautiful examples of Mugla’s civil architecture
could be seen in Ula. Ula Houses is known with the late Nail
Çakırhan who received Aga Khan architectural award. Tourism
town Akyaka was inspired by Ula Houses.
Ula houses are to be investigated into two categories.
Mansion type of houses where wealthy families live and the other
ones where the public live. What these two kinds of houses have in
common is that without exception all of them have gardens which
consists of fruits and vegetables groves. The typical characteristics
of Ula Houses are single-storey, two-rooms, couches, 50 cm high
flower walls that seperates fruit and vegetable gardens, water
pump and pool, wood working, closet and ceiling ornamentation.
These distinctive characters are taken as a model in many hotels
and motels. The most renowned Ula house is ‘Hamza Bey Konağı’.
Seven Holes Cave
In the history of Ula, there are Seven Holes Cave and Thera Ancient City in the city center. ‘Yedi Delik’ (Seven Holes) is a multi-storey
construction which consists of 14 tombs of Carians and it is located on the piedmont of the Alicin mountain at the east of the district. According to
old belief, ancient people didn’t believe in death but the reincarnation of the souls, the graves were built on the high rocks to prevent the souls
to attack the other people. These seven holes are destroyed condition of the caves. There are stone beds in the tombs.
Kyllandos (Okkataş) Ancient City
Thera Ancient City (Okkatas Ancient City) is located in Okkataş in the south-west of Ula town center. The city with its magnificent rock tombs,
theatre and agora was one of the important cities of Carians. The findings indicate that the city was a very important residential area. Despite
the fact that it is called ‘Thera’ in several sources, it is commonly accepted that it is Kyllandos.
It gets its name from Gokova Gulf. There is Idyma Carian
City in the north of the city. Eucalyptus trees in the plain were planted
in the duty term of the Governor Recai Güreli and the Headman
Ula Canyon (Kapız)
Ula Canyon is located in the south of the district, which is
very close to the town center and can be reached by the highway.
It is called ‘kırk urganlık’ by the locals. The starting point is at the
entrance in Kızılagac Village which is 5 km to Ula. Through 10 kilometer-
walking-track, you can reach small and big waterfalls. With
its geological faults and water, it is a natural wonder for the walkers.
Ula pond is in forestland, which is 2 km away from Ula center.
It provides the most of the city’s water requirement. There are an
irrigation pond which is possible for amateur fishing, an observation
hill, two restaurants and a picnic area. It is possible to taste both the
local cuisine and the sea food in Ula Pond.
Akyaka, on which there has been always a settlement since ancient times, was a secluded and small fishing village until very recently. It was
recognized with tourism activities in 1970s and became touristic area with the tourism boom in 1980s.
Thanks to its virgin nature and continuous breeze wind even in the summer, the visitors of the town from the nearby cities and
metropolitans started to build their own houses and also touristic facilities. Akyaka houses have been synthesized with traditional houses of
Ula and modern architecture and the type became peculiar to Akyaka.
Akyaka provides excellent conditions for kite surfers
with its 3 km shallow and sandy coast and 3-6 bfr continuous wind
blowing from the west to the coast.
The cove is a very safe place for the surfers because it is closed to the motorized
water sports. It is convenient for the surfers at every level from
May to November. For the beginners, the closed part of the cove is more
The rocky place with a sea view right above Çınar
beach is very convenient for the beginners and also the others
who want to improve themselves. There are seven different routes.
For launching, the runway (950 m.) near the
watch-tower on the right side of Sakartepe is used by the paragliders.
April, May, October and November are preferable by
them because of the light wind. In Akyaka, there is not any professional
trainer for paragliding yet. Austrian and French paragliders
come to Akyaka every year for a week to enjoy Akyaka.
Geyik (Deer) Canyon
The 20-meter long Geyik (deer) canyon within the borders of Ula district’s
Arıcılar village is known as a hidden nature heaven. The canyon is home to
different types of plant species and wild animals. It is transitional route for
deers and also it attracts the mountaineers with the stalactites and stalagmite
in the caves surrounded by rich vegetation.
Ula is famous for its garlic. Compared to other regions’ garlics with big clove, Ula garlic has smaller cloves, its flavor is different than the
others and it is used in most meals which are influenced by the Mediterranean culture using vegetables and olive oil. In Ula, liver or Ula kebab is usually eaten instead of regular breakfast in the mornings. The local dishes can be found in many of the local restaurants every day.
Do not leave Ula without eating sour chicken (Ekşili Tavuk) in radio programmer Kemal’s place (Radyocu Kemal’in Yeri) in Çiçekli, where you can find also many nice places for breakfast made with foods.