Culture & Travel

2 May 2022

You always hear, “Ankara is a civil servant city; it’s quiet and boring.” Contrary to this misconception, we would like to show you that Ankara has other magnificent features besides being the capital. Of course, there are many places to visit and see in the city center. But let’s take a look at quieter places with you and see what is in the natural riches of Ankara, where these civil servants find peace…

Işık Mountain Karagöl Geosite

A paradise at the foot of the Işık Mountain, the second largest peak of Ankara: Karagöl. This geological structure was formed in a pit formed as a result of a landslide. It is surrounded by trees and has an altitude of about 1600 meters. The depth of the lake is almost 2 meters, and there are no fish in it. It is said that there are plenty of pheasants instead. In addition, there are animals such as wild boar, fox, jackal, squirrel, and rabbits in the forest. People usually come here to camp and find some peace in nature. There are no facilities around. Therefore, if you go camping here, you should get your food and beverage needs from the city center. Besides, due to the location of the forest and the lake, the surroundings are quite windy. Regardless of whether it is summer or winter, do not forget to take something thick with you. For those traveling by caravan, we should remind you that you can stay here, the environment is suitable. In short, this place has a magnificent view and beauty in nature. This is why it was our first stop on the list of natural places in Ankara. If you happen to be in Ankara one day, you should definitely stop by here and enjoy the surroundings.

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Cultural Geosite of Alicin

You will be fascinated by the beauty of this protected area, which is 91 km away from the city center and known as the “Mini Sümela” of Ankara. This structure, which was carved into a steep slope in the middle of the valley along Alicin Creek, is also known as the Alicin Monastery among the people. Although it is called a monastery, no religious traces or remains were found inside the building. For this reason, historians think that it may have been built for security purposes during the Roman period. Although it is thought to have an older history than the Sumela Monastery, we do not have enough information about this place. It emerged by closing the gaps in the agglomerates and creating the windows in three layers. There are no paths to the castle that only professional climbers can climb. However, just looking at it around is enough for you to see all its beauty. You can go for a nature walk and explore the valley. You can walk around the whole valley by following the Alicin Stream.

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Blue Lake

If you think that the people of Ankara are longing for water because there is no sea in Ankara, you’re wrong. Blue Lake is a great blessing for them because it is very close to the city center and very easy to reach. Namely, if you go by private vehicle, you can easily reach it via the Samsun motorway. If you are going to use public transportation, you can reach the lake by taking the Cyprus Village buses or Kayaş Highway minibusses. Since it is approximately 13 kilometers from Kızılay, it is an indispensable place for those who want to relax, especially on weekends. There are many areas for both children and adults to do activities in the lake, which is right next to the Bayındır Dam. You can have a good time with your family with picnic and barbecue sets, gazebos, a viewing terrace, and a tea garden placed around the lake. You can sail on the water by riding the pedal boats at the pier. It is also possible to fish from another pier. In addition, matches can be played on golf, football, basketball, and volleyball courts. So, as you can see, everything is here. If you want to be alone with the silence of the lake among the fragrant trees and enjoy nature, you should definitely stop by Blue Lake.

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Nallihan Bird Sanctuary

This natural area, which was formed at the junction of Sarıyer Dam and Aladağ Stream, has a magnificent nature. Located on the historical Silk Road, this natural wonder place is now connected to Davutoğlan Village of Nallıhan district. It is 130 km from Ankara and Eskişehir, 300 km from Istanbul, 100 km from Bolu, and 30 km from Beypazarı and Nallıhan districts. You can appreciate that the people living in this area go here with great curiosity. So why is this place getting so much attention? So, it is a very rich region in terms of nature photography and bird watching. It was selected as a “Wildlife Development Area” by the General Directorate of Hunting and Animal Life in 1994 and was taken under protection. Due to the migration route of migratory birds, hunting and accommodation are prohibited in order not to harm people in the region. The mountains in the region consist of yellow, brown, and red layers due to precipitation due to the geological structure and overlapping of soils of different colors.

Just below the mountains, which appear with their colorful appearance, there is a water basin, reeds, willows, poplars, tamarisks, steppe fields, agricultural lands, and rocky lands. Migratory birds pause and feed in this natural area. We can say that about 191 different winter species have been observed. These include stork, mallard, ruddy shelduck, apple-head, prickly, cuckoo, cormorant, blackhead, gull, crane, partridge, woodcock, quail, goose, goose, falcon, falcon, eagle, Egyptian vulture, spoonbill, hawk, and many heron bird species... too many birds?

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