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Hiking Around Istanbul

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Like you, we constantly ask the question of where should we flee from Istanbul. That’s why we’ve been making routes for places to visit in Turkey for a long time. We even started with the closest people to Istanbul.

In fact, let’s not insult Istanbul. There are many forests such as Emirgan Grove on the European Side , Belgrad Forest , Validebağ  on the Anatolian Side , and Aydos Forest . But we want to get out of the provincial borders of Istanbul a little bit. Even a little change is good.. So let’s start with small getaways..

ISTANBUL NATURE PARKS

Seeing it abroad and saying, “Oh, why don’t we have it!” The nature parks we refer to as the “Istanbul nature parks project” have been in our lives for a long time. For example, Türkmenbaşı Nature Park in Sarıyer and Büyükada Nature Park are some of them. When we researched exactly which ones, we found out. 

Especially  Polonezköy Nature Park can be considered not only as a place for trekking and barbecue for the weekend, but also as a cultural tour. Because, historical places can be seen in the village founded by the Poles who immigrated from their country in 1775.

For some of whom we already know, “Oh, is that a nature park?” Our parks, which we can say, may not seem like an escape from Istanbul, because they are close to Istanbul or inside Istanbul and are usually crowded on weekends. Also, walking in the park may not feel like a true nature walk. Therefore, the nature walking trails in the vicinity of Istanbul, which we encounter when we get away from Istanbul, are; It gathers in Gebze, Bolu, Yalova, Tekirdağ and Kırklareli . Let’s see where they are;

Note: If there is nature, you can also throw a tent..

KOCAELİ: GEBZE

Gebze, which is constantly confused whether it is Istanbul, Kocaeli or Şile, is the district of Kocaeli. In fact, it is the closest district to Istanbul. Although an industrial zone comes to mind when Gebze is mentioned, it may actually be one of the first places we go to to escape from Istanbul. Because Gebze is a place that will make you forget that you are in Istanbul with its waterfalls, lakes and small villages. We actually have a different blog post for Kocaeli, but Gebze is not so much in our Kocaeli nature walks at the bottom of Istanbul, we thought we should include it here. 

  • Değirmençayırı Village or Yağcılar Village from Gebze- Kargalı Village

The footpath is followed up to Kargalı Waterfall , which is located on the walking path starting from Gebze Kargalı Village . Returning to the village on the same road, the track can be completed with 9 km.

Another alternative would be to continue walking towards Değirmençayırı Village of Şile, 3.5 km from Kargalı  Village. You can see Şarlak Waterfall and Denizli Pond in Değirmençayırı Village . Or you can go to Yagcilar Village , which is 5 km from Kargali Village . These two villages are in the opposite direction. 

  • Gebze: Mudarli Village- Cengilli Village

The walking route, which starts from Mudarlı Village of Gebze and ends in Çengilli Village of Şile, is 20 km long.

  • Gebze: Denizli Village

Denizli Village of Gebze, about 60 km from Istanbul, is one of the closest villages to the city center.

DIVIDED

Bolu is a stunning city with its nature drenched in greenery. Abant Lake and Yedigöller are the first things that come to mind when Bolu is mentioned. It is one of the most famous touristic places of Bolu. A detailed blog post about accommodation around Lake Abant is on the way. Then it’s Seven Lakes.

  • Bolu: Seven Lakes

The region, which was declared a National Park in 1965, has a total of 7 landslide lakes in the region with an area of ​​2020 hectares. In an area of ​​1500 meters, from south to north, respectively; Sazlıgöl, İncegöl, Nazlıgöl, Küçükgöl, Deringöl, Büyükgöl, Seringöl. The lakes are located on two plateaus and there is an altitude difference of 100 meters between them. The largest is Büyükgöl, located at an altitude of 780 meters. Deringöl and Seringöl are located on the same plateau. The biggest lake of the other plateau is Nazlıgöl. The reason why it is preferred especially in autumn is the riot of colors of the trees, the proof is the photo below. 

  • Bolu- Seben Dam Lake

For those who want both nature and exploration with caves and rock houses..

YALOVA

You can come to Yalova, which lies between the highlands between Lake Iznik and the Sea of ​​Marmara, by car or by ferry.

  • Yalova: Seftalidere and Sudüşen Waterfalls

Starting from Yalova Kurtköy, the approximately 16 km track ascends on Samanlı Mountain by following the forest road. Seftalidere Waterfall, which is a seasonal waterfall, is a waterfall hidden in the forest. In the continuation of the hiking route, you will pass the Harmankaya Nature Park and see Sudüşen Waterfall . The altitude difference on this route is about 600 meters.

Şeftalidere Waterfall is a seasonal waterfall hidden in the little-known forest of Yalova. You can walk to the waterfall, which is far from the paths and roads in the forest, known and visited by very few groups, only if you know the location.

  • Yalova: Gökçedere Village – Ferhat Waterway, Sudüşen Waterfall

Our walk will be completed in the Ferhat Waterway, which was built to bring the water from the forest in the village of Yalova Gökçedere to the village, and at the Bedrock Waterfall and finally in the village of Sudüşen.

  • Yalova: Üvezpınar – Ortaburun Lake

You can complete the hiking trail from Yalova Üvezpınar Village to Ortaburun Village with either 15 km or 20 km. Only the long track requires a little more professionalism.

  • Yalova: Erikli Plateau

The medium difficulty hiking trail, which is 200 kilometers from Istanbul and 27 kilometers from Yalova, is completed in 4 hours.

You can go to Teşvikiye village in the direction of Çınarcık from Yalova. The hike starts at the exit of Teşvikiye Village, 4 km downstream of Erikli Plateau. The road is steep and forested in the first meters until you reach the plateau. After the Erikli Plateau, which is 600 meters above the sea, you proceed for 30 minutes by the Erikli Stream and pass through a steep path. There are two waterfalls among the trees, the first being 15 meters high and the second above Erikli Waterfall. Rock climbing may be required for the upper waterfall as well as swimming in the waterfalls. The track, which is suitable for professional mountaineers in winter, is quite crowded on weekends. It ends at Delmece Plateau with a 1.5-hour hike. Erikli Plateau is very suitable for camping .

  • Yalova: Delmece Plateau and Bottomless Lake

It is located at the end of Erikli Plateau , 10 km from Teşvikiye town of Çınarcık district , after Erikli Waterfall. From the direction of Bursa, you come to the forest by following the asphalt road from the villages of Hayriye, Selimiye and Delmece Plateau , respectively. It can also be reached from Yalova; After Çınarcık, Teşvikiye, you can go in the direction of Armutlu, Gemlik. Small Dipsiz Lake is located 1.5 km ahead of Dipsiz Lake, which is a crater lake.

TEKIRDAG

  • Tekirdag: Yenice- Uçmakdere

On the Yenice-Uçmakdere road walk on the Tekirdağ – Şarköy borders, which will take about 5 hours, we will start at an altitude of 350 m, take an altitude of about 500 m, climb 850 meters and then descend 100 meters.

Uçmakdere village, 170 km from Istanbul, Uçmakdere is an ancient Greek village built on a stream bed that gives rise to Ganos Mountain (Işıklar Mountain), the second highest mountain of Thrace at 950 meters, and rises from this mountain. Paragliding is done between Nişantepe, which is located at the foot of the mountain, and Ayvasıl locality in Uçmakdere village. In fact, Tekirdağ has been attracting tourists for four years with the Uçmakdere Paragliding Festival. Click for roadmap

  • Tekirdag: Camlikoy

In the Saray district of Tekirdağ, in the area where the formerly Kastro coast meets the Black Sea, a 2.5 km coastline merges with 329 hectares of forest at the foot of the Istranca Mountains. In other words, it is a walking track that reaches the sea from the greenery. There is also a lake in the same area. So all three together.

Photo: traveldergisi.com

KIRKLARELİ

Our city of Kırklareli gives the feeling that if we lie down, we can hold Bulgaria. In other words, a city that is close to Europe and makes us feel like we are in Thrace.

  • Kırklareli- Visa: Hell Waterfalls

We enter the forests in the Istranca Mountains and proceed along the stream, on the 12 km track that starts from Vize Kızılağaç Village.

  • Kırklareli Demirköy: Monopetra Cliffs

The 15-km-long track is completed by descending from the forest of the Istranca Mountains to the rocks on the hills and then down to the stream bed.