Lake Salda promises Maldives-like holiday

Nestled away in southwestern Turkey's Burdur province, lies one of the most popular getaway destinations in the country. With its turquoise blue water and bio-diversity, Lake Salda is reminiscent of the Maldives. Having gained popularity recently thanks to the marvelous pictures visitors have been sharing on Instagram, Lake Salda is haven for nature lovers. For those who have not seen this natural beauty, tourism blogger Eda Özsoy penned her recent trip to the lake.

Maldives-vibes in Burdur

Lake Salda, one of the deepest lakes in Turkey, is among the routes has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers in recent years. We hit the road, saying Turkey's Maldives is a must see. There, I discovered a geography where I couldn't help but think to myself, "I am so lucky to be here and to have experienced this moment."

Lake Salda in the Mediterranean region's beautiful Burdur province welcomes you with different shades of blue waters and white sand. A day among the rose and lavender breezes at Lake Salda is all you need to be mesmerized. I recommend going at the beginning of spring or summer. The lake awaits visitors to show them the true colors of blue and green.

White beaches, turquoise waters

Lake Salda is located 60 kilometers away from Burdur. It is possible to go to the lake in an hour from the city center. You can easily get to Salda from the Antalya, Isparta and Denizli provinces.

The depth of the lake is 185 meters on the average. Its total area is 43.7 kilometers. Salda, which located in the country's famed lake region, is a point of peace with its pine and oak trees. There are small salt ponds around it, surrounded by limestone and serpentine slopes. The white sand area turns into a beach in summer. I should say that it is a perfect background for every from Instagram vid eos to wedding photos. Surprisingly, it is a preferred destination in the winter months, as well. Salda Ski Center, which is 10 kilometers away from the lake, is a rare place where you can enjoy a lake view and ski at the same time.

Lake can deepen suddenly

For those looking to take a dip in the fresh water of the lake, there are some swamp areas with its clayey structure. That is, the lake "pulls you in" as the popular saying goes. So don't let its turquoise colors fool you, the lake can deepen suddenly. Your legs to your knees can mire on the shore. You can even see people enjoying a relaxing mud bath. After about 15 to 20 meters, the soft bottom leaves its place to a rigid floor. There are some warning signs where it is forbidden to swim in the lake - so beware! If you want to swim, do not go to the darker looking waters. The lake has four beaches: Yeşiolva Municipality Public Beach, Forest Beach, Salda Beach and Doğanbaba Beach. They are described by the Ministry of Health as pristine and very sanitary places to vacation.

Camping areas, scenic bicycle lane

There is a nearly 40-kilometer road around Lake Salda. Trails where you can walk or cycle are available, as well and it is always enjoyable to walk on the white sands. The eastern part of the lake is calmer.

The small islands scattered on the lake are also perfect for photos for social media. Camping around the lake is a common ritual here. There are camping areas in Salda Forest Beach and Yeşilova Municipality Public Beach. Village houses near the beach can be rented out. Meanwhile, Salda Natural Park gets flooded by picnickers especially in the summer months. Don't worry though, there is room for everyone and more than enough tables and barbecue areas. The entrance fee for the park is TL 3 ($0.50) for people, TL 6 for motorcycles, TL 9 for automobiles, TL 45 for vans and TL 72 for buses. This year, students around the country are expected to make their way to the natural park as it is registered as a national camping area. It is our duty to introduce this beautiful geography to the locals and foreigners, and more importantly we need to protect this pristine environment.

Enjoy a local delicacy

It is a little bit difficult to find local tastes around Lake Salda, but be on the lookout for the area's renowned toast. Be sure to try Yeşilova's delicious toast with minced meat, tomato paste, onions, parsley, red peppers and tomatoes. Couple that with the local Zafer soda pop or Burdur's famous ayran, and you're sure to enjoy a tasty treat. And trust me you won't go hungry, you can find a variety of snacks and grilled food around the lake.

Rich history and culture

After visiting Lake Salda, be sure to spare time to see other touristic destinations in Burdur. The city is home to rich history and many ancient cities have called this area home. You can also add the historic mounds, museums, caves, bird observatories and Susuz Caravanserai to your list of places to see. Among the ancient cities, Sagalassos is one of the most significant. The first settlement in the ancient city in Ağlasun district dates back to 12,000 years ago. The ancient city comes into the prominence as nearly all the original building stones are have been preserved and protected. You can change your direction to the ancient city of Kremna later. This ancient city is located in the Çamlı village in Bucak district.

Don't forget to spend some time at the ancient cities of Sia and Boubon along with the Kibyra, Hacılar, Kuruçay, Höyücek mounds. Burdur is also home to the Nature and History Museum and Burdur Museum - so be sure to check them out. The Nature, History Museum in the village of Elmacık in Kemer district features a skeleton of a huge elephant and the remains of prehistoric creatures.

Another tourist draw is surely the 597-meter-long İnsuyu Cave, which hosts several lakes and streams inside.

Natural life

The mineral rich waters of Lake Salda are very beneficial. A nice refreshing mud bath is recommended for visitors, because it is said that the magnesium, soda and other minerals in the water are good for skin diseases and pimples.

Moreover, it is possible to see freshwater fishes, mallards and sea snakes in the water and rabbits, foxes, boars and partridges on the surrounding land. The lake is rich in endemic plants and it is an important location for bird observers as it is home to more than 100 bird species. It is in the center of natural life.

As such, the uncontrolled growth with the development of tourism seems like the biggest danger here. Local officials are, however, aware of this and they have even started to take precautions to protect the coastline and the wildlife in the area.

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