Uncovering trekking trails around Istanbul

The greatest trekking paths in Istanbul. Natural Wonder of İstanbul: Belgrade Forest. — IANS

New Delhi, April 19 (IANSlife) If you’re planning a business or city trip to İstanbul, include a few extra days for a beautiful outdoor adventure. Trekking paths in and around İstanbul allow “Bleisure” travellers to unwind after meetings and touristic visitors to discover distinct natural landscapes. Here are the greatest trekking paths in Istanbul.

Natural Wonder of İstanbul: Belgrade Forest

The Belgrad Forest in Sarıyer district is ideal for nature lovers in İstanbul. Belgrad Forest, described as the “lungs of İstanbul,” covers 5,300 hectares and offers tree-shaded picnic areas and different hiking routes. The 6.5-kilometre-long Neşet Suyu Trail is a favourite among runners and walkers.

Remember: Belgrad Forest features the Bahçeköy Wildlife Production Station and ancient dykes, some of which were built during the Roman Empire period to carry water from northern forests to İstanbul.

Paradise Next to the City: Ballıkayalar

Ballıkayalar Nature Park is just an hour’s drive from İstanbul. This natural park in Tavşanlı village of Gebze, located in a 2-kilometre valley with a stream, is well-known among nature lovers, rock climbers, and hikers. It offers easy to moderate trekking experiences. The valley’s lake, waterfalls, and travertine terraces leading to the Ballıkaya Stream are spectacular. Furthermore, the park’s abundance of fauna and flora contributes to its popularity. While trekking, you may observe roe deer, wild rabbits, wild boars, moles, martens, and various bird species in their natural habitat.

Remember: Ballıkayalar, home to rare birds, butterfly species, and 20 types of orchids, is an essential route near İstanbul for bird, butterfly, and flower watchers for its outstanding biodiversity. Spring is a perfect season to explore this route.

Hidden Treasure of Tekirdağ: Uçmakdere

Uçmakdere, located in the Şarköy district of Tekirdağ, is a popular destination for nature lovers and trekkers from İstanbul. The region is covered with lush pine forests and offers incredible views of Ganos (Işıklar) Mountain and the Marmara Sea. This natural area is known for its local village products, lifestyle, and culture, making it a popular route for cyclists, motorbike travellers, and campers.

Remember: Uçmakdere is also perfect for paragliding. Professional guides will take you paragliding on Nişantepe, 650 meters high. Şarköy, famous for its vineyards, also offers lovely Turkish wines.

Escape to Nature: Erikli Plateau

The Erikli Plateau, located in Yalova’s Çınarcık district, is another popular trekking destination close to İstanbul. The plateau, about a two-hour drive from Istanbul, offers a fantastic hiking trail surrounded by apple, fir, linden, chestnut, and elm trees. While the trails in the area have a slight slope, offering a moderate rather than easy level of trekking, encountering a waterfall during your walk is a delightful reward. After camping on the Erikli Plateau and exploring the region to your heart’s content, you can explore the region’s Teşvikiye City Forest, Double Waterfall, and Small and Big Bottomless Lakes. Remember: After the Erikli Plateau, you can visit the Delmece Plateau, another well-known plateau in Yalova that is famous for camping.

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