Lake Salda’s immaculate sandy beaches, turquoise waters and freshwater fish are all testament to the purity of the lake. It is said to be the cleanest lake in Turkey and the second clearest lake in the world.
Surrounded by crystal-clear waters to the north, south and west, Turkey attracts tourists to its enchanting shores for sea, sand and sun, but its unexplored inner regions have great tourism potential, too.
Lake Salda, located four kilometers west of Burdur’s Yeşilova district, is one such relatively undiscovered corner. It takes its name from the small nearby town of Salda and extends over part of an area known as the Lakes District in southwestern Anatolia. This region was formed hundreds of thousands of years ago by long geological processes, ultimately leading to the development of the Karataş, Salda, Yarışlı, Akgöl, Gölhisar and Burdur lakes.
Salda is the most frequently visited of the lakes and, at 185 meters, is the deepest in Turkey. The immaculate sandy beaches, turquoise waters and freshwater fish are all testament to the purity of the lake. It is said to be the cleanest lake in Turkey and the second clearest lake in the world.
Designated a protected area, the lake attracts a large number of visitors every year with its unspoilt natural beauty.
Lake on Mars:
Salda has magnificent soft, white beaches that experts believe were formed by the magnesium contained in the waters of the lake. Indeed, the sandy deposits around the lake are rich in the mineral hydromagnesite.
The lake’s almost unreal appearance does not just attract the attention of tourists. A scientific team from Glasgow University researched the unusual geological processes in the area for four years, while Britain’s BBC shot a documentary on the lake in 2000. The research conducted so far has indicated that Lake Salda shares some of the characteristics of the planet Mars!
Campsite in paradise:
But it’s not all about science: Opportunities abound for those who want to enjoy nature without analysis. The Yeşilova Municipality and the National Park’s beaches’ white shores are open to visitors. There they can enjoy a wonderful rest, swim in the lake’s clean waters and enjoy the panoramic views of the forest and hills that surround the lake.
Entrance to the public beach of Yeşilova Municipality is free, while visitors have to pay for the National Park’s forest beach. Campsite services, including electricity, drinking water, toilets and showers, are available at both beaches.
The lake is a popular stop for tours organized to Pamukkale from Antalya; however, the area is also suitable for those able to make a longer stay: Who could tire of walking on the unique beaches of the lake whilst enjoying the sand, sun and water?
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, head of the Yeşilova local authority, Bahri Tiryaki, said the lake needed to be more effectively promoted.
Noting that while the local authorities of the area had an important duty to promote the lake, he added that guesthouse owners and other local business were also in a position to make an important contribution.
“When I show some of the pictures of the lake and shore to my friends, their first question is ‘Is this somewhere abroad?’ They are really surprised when I say that the photos and the beaches are of Lake Salda,” he added. (11.08.2006 – Turkish Daily News)