Lake Egirdir Best Things To Do (Turkey's Hidden Gem)
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Lake Egirdir is a special place. If you're visiting Turkey, you are truly missing out if you don't stop at this hidden gem. The town has a relaxed vibe with many hikers, adventure enthusiasts, and people who just want to chill and take in the tranquility surrounding them. We were only planning on staying in Egirdir as a short stop between Pamukkale and Antalya ourselves, but were so blown away by the area that we ended up staying 5 days! In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about Lake Egirdir so you can have your own amazing adventure here.
Check out our video of Lake Egirdir to get a sense of what it's like there!
Where Is Lake Egirdir?
Lake Egirdir is located in the Anatolian Lake District, about 140km from Antalya, 250 km from Pamukkale, and 230km from Konya. If you're coming from Antalya, the drive takes about 2.5 hours. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a few days (or more) if you're going between Pamukkale and Antalya. It's so beautiful in this region that you owe it to yourself to not breeze through it!
Where To Stay In Lake Egirdir
We highly recommend staying at Fulya Pension when traveling to Lake Egirdir. Fulya Pension is located in the heart of Egirdir and a great place to connect with fellow backpackers, long-distance hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Its rooftop terrace offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the lake and the mountains. Our experience in Egirdir wouldn’t have been the same if we didn't stay there. The staff gave us many great recommendations and taught us all about this magical place. If you are staying in a different place while in Egirdir, at least go try out the Fulya Pension breakfast buffet so you can observe the best view of the town!
Lake Egirdir Best Things To Do
With immense mountain peaks, canyons, and many other lakes within an hour or two drive, it's no wonder this spot attracts the adventure lovers and true travelers of the world. No matter what type of trip you're looking for (adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both), Lake Egirdir has something for you.
5. Lake Kovada National Park & Yazili Canyon
At number 5 we have Yazili Canyon and Lake Kovada National Park. Both are in the same direction from Egirdir and can easily be combined in one visit as a day trip. Kovada National Park, which is about 30 km from Egirdir, is great for hiking and enjoying the abundant flora & fauna. There are beautiful hiking trails and viewpoints all around the lake so you can easily spend a few hours in the park.
Yazili Canyon is another 30km further south of Lake Kovada. The canyon is a tranquil spot. Perfect for climbing, hiking, swimming and simply enjoying the untouched nature. A beautiful river flows through the canyon and is flanked by a well-preserved section of an ancient road which dates back to the 5th century BC. Enjoy a swim in the icy cold waters on a hot summer day!
4. Salda Lake
Salda Lake is a two-hour drive from Lake Egirdir, but a must-visit when in the area. Also called “the Maldives of Turkey”, this crater lake has white sand beaches and clear, turquoise blue waters. But one of the most interesting things about Lake Salda it it’s unique geology. It’s one of the only places in the world where ancient stromatolite algae still grow. The lake is also rich in minerals and depositional features similar to those found at Jezero Crater on Mars. Some of these minerals are believed to offer remedies for certain skin diseases. Since 2021, Lake Salda has been protected by Turkey’s environmental authority. The national park facilities were brand-new whe we visited. However, this protected status also means that you’re not allowed to swim in certain spots of the lake anymore.
3. Walk The Islands Of Egirdir
The third best thing to do is to walk the islands of Egirdir. Home to two connected islands, Can Ada and Yeşil Ada, Egirdir boasts some amazing lake views. You’ll find many cafés and restaurants scattered around the old town, but there are also some beautiful beaches to relax. If you prefer a little more action, you can also take a boat tour on the lake as well as go fishing or biking around the lake. Embrace the peace and quiet of Lake Egirdir!
2. Sagalassos Ruins
The Sagalassos Ruins are about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Lake Egirdir and one of our favorite ruins in Turkey. This ancient city dates back to 1200 BC and was once a vibrant community. Its ruins are widespread and set between jagged peaks, which makes for an impressive setting. It is rarely overrun by crowds or tour buses, so exploring these ruins is a relaxing and fascinating experience. It took us about three hours to explore and see the main highlights, but we can imagine spending an entire day here if you have the time. The highlights include the Roman Theatre and the astonishing Nymphaeum, or fountain.
1. Hike Mt. Sivri
Our favorite thing to do in Lake Egirdir is to hike the mountain that towers above the town. Mount Sivri sits at 1749m and makes for a good day walk. You can decide to start at either Egirdir or the mountain village of Akpinar, which is located at the base of the mountain. We started the hike from Akpinar to save time, elevation and avoid having to hike on the road. From Akpinar, the hike was about 7 and a half km and took 3.5 hours. The trail winds through a valley with farms until you reach the ancient city of Prostanna. From the ruins, it’s a steep hike up the mountain slope. But the views from the top are absolutely worth it. Part of this hike is along the St. Paul’s trail, which is a long-distance hike that goes from the ancient city of Perge near Antalya all the way to the north of Lake Egirdir.
Other Things To Do In Lake Egirdir
You can also visit the Zindan Cave and see the rose fields during your stay in Egirdir. These are things that were recommended to us, but we didn't do ourselves. The roses generally bloom in spring and are collected and used to produce a valuable oil for cremes and perfumes. There are also many other adventure activities offered through the Fulya Pension. So if you stay there, make sure to ask the staff about even more things to do.
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More Helpful Articles About Lake Egirdir
If you still need more information about Lake Egirdir, check out these handpicked articles below:
Lake Egirdir by Turkey Travel Planner
Things To Do In And Around Egirdir by Turkey's For Life
Lake Egirdir Activities by Fulya Pension
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