Lakes: In terms of numbers of lakes, the Eastern Anatolia region is the richest. It contains Turkey's largest, Lake Van (3713 sq.km.). There are also many lakes in west Tourus Mountains area; the Beyşehir and Eğridir lakes. Important lakes are; the second largest lake in Turkey, Tuzgölü, Burdur, Sapanca, Iznik, Ulubat, Manyas (bird sanctuary), Akşehir, and Eber. As a result of the construction of dams during the past thirty years, several large dam lakes have come into existence in the Eastern Anatolia such as, Keban, Karakaya, and Atatürk
Dense rain forests surrounded Bolu city is appropriate for all kinds of tourism activity. Abant Lake, whose environment has a rich plant cover, is drawing attention as a picnic and resort place during summers and an appropriate place for winter sports during winter. Abant Lake surrounding accommodation and nutrition possibilities can be benefited. 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. The main plant species in the park are; Scotch Pine, beech tree, larch tree, oak tree, poplar tree, ash tree, horn - beam tree, willow tree, juniper tree, forest rose, tamarisk, hazelnut tree, medlar tree, priest hat, azarole, holly, dog - rose, bracken, blackberry, strawberry, mint, raspberry, ivy, nettle, mare's tail, and a variety of pasture grasses and trees. The main animal species in the park are; pig, deer, roe deer, bear, fox, jackal, rabbit, some birds of prey and singing birds. The endemic species Abantalası in the lake forms the fauna. The period between May and September is the best times for visiting the park. Some hotels are present in the park for billeting. The daily visitors can take walks around the lake or make picnics.
Herewith I would like to emphasize again the excellent experience we had last week with our guide Yildirim on the climbing of the Ararat. He was taking care of us with a lot of attention and we could really trust on him. Also after the climbing he was escorting us very kindly and all appointments were taken accurately. It was really a great pleasure for us.
We should also congratulate Celam who prepared nice meals, always with enthousiasm, and we will remind him as our good cook forever.
As soon as we have the opportunity, we will send you some pictures about this expedition.
Be assured we are happy about the way it was organised.
Pierre Kockerols / Brussel