Turkey Nature Parks


In terms of scientific and aesthetic considerations,these nature places possesing resorts, tourism facilities and preserved areas with national and international natural and cultural resources are rare of beauty.

There are 16 Natural Parks in Turkey:

Afyon - Akdag Natural Park

The Akdağ Natural Park covers a 14.916 hectare area in between the borders of Sandıklı District of Afyon Province and Çivril District of Denizli Province. The environment, the affluence of the wild life, the interesting canyons, valleys and landscape values, and the recreation potentiality of Akdağ are the main characteristics of this Natural Park. As a result of the rich plant variety, it is intend to protect this place effectively. To provide the use of it, on the condition that beginning from the neighbourhood; in the region; and in the whole country, and to develop it in order to provide the use of it for different re - creative utilities in the balance of protection and usage; and to leave it to the next generations as a national heritage the area had been taken under the status of Natural Park.Antalya - Kursunlu Waterfall Natural Park

The Kurşunlu Waterfall Natural Park takes plac within the borders of Center District of Antalya Province of Mediterranean Region.

The Natural Park is 22 km away from Antalya. It can be reached to the Natural Park by following the 8 km long road that departures from the Antalya - Aksu Highway at the Soğucaksu Bridge to the direction of north.

394 hectares of that area had been proclaimed as Natural Park in 1991, because of its healthy forest structure in which the rich plant community of the area unites with interesting water and rock forms in the Kurşunlu Waterfall by creating an unique natural landscape characteristic.

The cluster pine is the dominant tree species in the area, but also trees such as; eastern plane tree, laurel, carob tree, wild olive, mastic tree, willow tree and fig tree are present in small groups. Plants like myrtle tree, Mediterranean medlar, oleander, blackberry, wild rose, spurge tree, tamarisk, spruce tree, kermes oak, thyme, wild mint, beech tree, bracken and ivy creates the bottom flora. It is possible to observe water plants like; buckhorn, water mint, bamboo (in water), water chandelier, and green water lily.

Aydın - Bafa Lake Natural Park

The Bafa Lake Natural Park takes place within the borders of Söke District of Aydın Province in Aegean Region.

The Bafa Lake is at the south-east of Great Menderes (Büyük Menderes) Delta, and 25 km far away from the Söke District. It is possible to reach to the park overland route.

The Bafa Lake, which used to be a part of Aegean Sea, had turned to be a lake as result of geomorphologic development of Great Menderes Delta. Bafa Lake is one of the least spoiled watery areas at the shore, in Turkey. The maximum depth of the Bafa Lake reaches to 25 meters. The main water sources of the Bafa Lake are the water floods of Great Menderes (Büyük Menderes) River, and the underground waters coming from the mountains at the environment.

The plant cover around lake consists of tamarisks, pine trees, and olive groves. The Bafa Lake shelters the ecosystem characteristics of Great Menderes delta. Because of that reason it provides a winter quarter and a place for reproduction for many bird species which are under the danger of vanishing.

The main bird species in the Bafa Lake Natural Park are pelican, dwarf cormorant and sea eagle. The Park provides a winter quarter for more than 300.000 different bird species

Balıkesir - Ayvalik Islands Natural Park

The Ayvalık Islands Natural Park is within the borders of Balıkesir Province in Marmara Region.

It is possible to reach to Ayvalık Islands, by both Ayvalık highway and maritime lines. It is possible to reach to the greatest of these islands named Alibey Island by overland route, after coming to the Ayvalık District of Balıkesir Province.

Ayvalık Islands are geomorphologic structured which had been formed by the fall in of the peaks in the Aegean earthenware pot, as a result of the tectonic movements in the Pleistocene. After that event, the peaks were left over the sea and the islands formed. The extension of the old mountains played an important role in the distribution of the islands. This distribution and forming style had also effected the under - sea topography, and as a result of that rare landscape characteristics had been formed under the s

Bolu - Abant Lake

The Abant Lake Natural Park takes place within the borders of Bolu Province Central District in Karadeniz (Blacksea) Region.

It can be reached to the Abant Lake Natural Park by following the Ankara - Istanbul E - 5 State Highway, and than taking the 22 km road at the turn of Ömerler Madensuyu which is at the 203rd km of the E- 5 Highway. The park is 33 km far away from Bolu, 225 km far away from Ankara, and 225 km far away from Istanbul.

The Abant Lake, which is a tectonic structure, shelters a variety of plants in itself and have a great open air recreation potentiality. As a result of these characteristics of the lake, 1150 hectares of it had been taken under the status of Natural Park in the year 1988.

Çorum - Çatak Natural Park

Catak Park is 20km from Corum, in the centre of the Black Sea region.

The park can be reached via the Corum - Lacin highway.

The larch tree is the dominant species in the area, and there are also some Scotch pines. Living in the park are foxes, rabbits, wolves, singing birds and partridges and the best time for visiting is between May and October. 387 hectares was granted the status of Natural Park in 1984.

Gümüshane - Artabel Lakes

The Arbatel Lakes are 50km from Gumushane, 120km south of Trabzon, in the Black Sea region, and 5km from the village of Gulacar.

The best public transport to the area is from Gulacar. Gumushane can easily be reached by road from Trabzon, Bayburt or Toral.

The entire region of the park is filled with lakes and mountains, which forms a wonderful area for trekking. Karanlik Gol (Dark Lake) is the north-east foot of Artabelinbasi Peak, four lakes known as Besgoller, on the west of Sofraninbasi Peak, and three lakes known as Karagoller are at the foot of the eastern peak of Gavurdagi Mountain. The summers are hot and dry, and the winters cold and rainy

Isparta - Yazili Canyon

Yazili Canyon is in the Sutculer District of Isparta, in the Mediterranean Region.

The park can be reached via the Isparta - Sutculer highway, and turning off at Sutculer for 8km. Isparta is well connected to the rest of Turkey by public transport.

The area is well known for its lakes and the picturesque views of the area, and also the rich variety of flora and fauna. The main species of plant are larch, alder, hairy oak, plane, juniper, walnut, locust, olive, oak, bay, oleander, myrtle, blackthorn, broom, wild rose, ivy and bracken. Pig, wild goat, fox, badger, sable, rabbit, squirrel, eagle, red vulture, falcon, pigeon, stock dove, and partridge also inhabit the park. The best time to visit is between April and October.

Isparta - Gölcük Natural Park

Golcuk Park is 12km from Isparta, in the Mediterranean Region.

There is transport available from Isparta, which is well connected to the rest of the country by bus.

The landscape is known for its volcanic cones, as well as its flora and fauna. In 1994, the borders were reduced to 4720 hectares, but following objections by the public, the full area of 6684 hectares was reinstated as a natural park. The main species of tree is black pine, cluster pine, acacia, oak, cedar, spruce and white oak. Badger, fox, rabbit, falcon, partridge, pigeon, quail, carp, snake, and frog are the main animals found inhabiting the area. The best time to visit is between April and October

Istanbul - Polonezköy

Polenezkoy is in the Beykoz district of Istanbul, in the Marmara Region.

There is no public transport to the village of Polonezkoy, but private vehicles can access the area from the centre of Istanbul towards the coast, on the Asian side.

Polonezköy, although still within Istanbul, is 25 km away from the centre and not easy to reach by public transport. Translated as 'village of the Poles', it was established in 1848 by the exiled Prince Czartorisky, a Polish leader, who formed a community of Balkans on land sold to him by a local monastery. The Poles have since left the village, but there are sill a few remaining Central European style wooden houses with pretty balconies.

Polonezköy is within a vast green expanse, which was designated Istanbul's first national park, and many people come to walk though forests with streams and wooden bridges. Its main species of trees include hornbeam, elm, alder, chestnut and lime. Species of wildlife in the park are mainly birds, especially storks and birds of prey that migrate here in the autumn.

Istanbul - Türkmenbaşı Natural Park

Türkmenbaşı Park is in the Sisli area of Istanbul, north of Taksim. Until 1999 it was known as Haciosman Park.

Sisli can easily be accessed by public transport from Taksim, Eminönü and Mecidyekoy.

There are many similarities between Türkmenbaşı Park and the nearby Belgrade Forest, both of which are good spots for relaxation and recreation away from city life. It is especially popular for walking and picnicking and its cool shady areas busy during weekends. The road leading to the park is filled with food sellers.

Kocaeli - Beskayalar Natural Park

The Beskayalar Natural Park is in the district of Golcuk, 26km south of Kocaeli (Izmit), and covers an area of 1154 hectares.

The park can be reached by the road from Kocaeli. There are regular bus service from Istanbul to Kocaeli.

The area of Beskaralar has a great scientific and educational importance because of the species of plants in the valleys. The 2500 hectares of forest surrounding the Sicakdere and Kirazdere rivers provide great trekking routes, and also has good sightseeing. The name Beskaralar, meaning Five Rocks, comes from the high rocks at the point where the rivers join.

In the area, the vast selection of plant species includes black pine, badger tree, fir, beech, oak, hornbeam, silver birch, elm, lime, chestnut, ash, poplar, hellebore, plane, hazelnut, alder, cherry, black fruit, elder, forest rose, wild apple, wild plum, wild cherry, forest ivy, smilax, blackberry, belladonna, spurge olive, arnica, great mullein, mint, yarrow, violet, fibre herb, nettle, gallium and wild strawberry. Wolves, bears, jackals, foxes, pigs, rabbits and squirrels inhabit the area

Kocaeli - Balikayalar Natural Park

The Ballikayalar Natural Park is near the village of Tavsanli, in the Gebze district of Kocaeli.

The Ballikayalar Valley is a narrow and deep pass, between 40m and 1.5 km, and there are many small waterfalls, lakes and deep cracks in the hill slopes. The bird population consists of sparrow hawk, white crow, Egyptian vulture, dove, hoopoe, skylark, and nightingale, and animals inhabiting the area include jackal, fox, pig, and mole.

Konya - Kocakoru Forest Natural ParkThe Kocakoru Natural Park is near the village of Tarasci in the Seydisehir district of Konya.

The park can be accessed from Konya, which is well connected to the rest of the country by bus.

Tarasci and its environment have the characteristics of a steppe forest, which lies towards the foot of the Taurus mountains. The low humidity and rainfall in the region means that the ecosystem of the forest is fragile. Many forests around here are under threat from industrial use, which highlights the importance of the conservation attempts of this park to protect the region's ecosystem. The variety of trees, which includes Anatolian black pine and Taurus fir, is important to the entire area.

Mugla - Kidrak Natural Park

Kidrak Park is along the coast around 15km south of Fethiye, and 128km southeast of Mugla.

The park can be accessed via the state highway 400. Fethiye is well connected to the rest of the country by bus, and its nearest airport is Dalaman.

An area of 950 hectares was designated as a Natural Park in 1983 due to the beauty of the coastline, which is also renown for its water-sports, the rare geological qualities and untouched flora and fauna. Cluster pine is the most common tree in the area, and small areas of myrtle, locust and maquis. The best time to visit the park is between April and December..

Trabzon - Uzungöl Natural Park

The park is in the Cankara district, 25km from Trabzon and 19km from Cankara.

The park can be reached via the 10 state highway from Trabzon, then from Caykara for another 19km.

The 1625 hectares of the park were designated as a Nature Park in 1989 because of the rich plant life, wildlife and sightseeing potential. The dominant tree species is Eastern spruce, and there are also badger, bearded, alder, horn-beam, hazelnut, oak, mountain elm and silver birch trees. Species of animals include mountain goat, roe deer, bear, wolf, wild boar, marten, badger, lynx, jackal, fox, rabbit, squirrel, wild ducks, birds of prey, trout and various kinds of reptiles