Al­though it is Septem­ber, au­tumn is not yet here in Turkey, so take ad­van­tage of the out­doors, and if you are hav­ing a hard time de­cid­ing on your next travel des­ti­na­tion, here is an op­tion for some mes­mer­iz­ing na­ture

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

SUR­ROUNDED by pine and oak trees, Lake Poyrazlar sees thou­sands of vis­i­tors every year, mes­mer­iz­ing them with bird species and nat­u­ral beauty and of­fer­ing a chance to soak up what re­mains of the sum­mer.

Lo­cated 10 kilo­me­ters away from the city cen­ter, peo­ple in the Black Sea and Mar­mara re­gions can eas­ily ac­cess the lake for a quick week­end get­away. More­over, since the lake and its en­vi­ron­ment were de­clared a first­grade nat­u­ral pro­tected area in 1993 by the Coun­cil for the Pro­tec­tion of Cul­tural and Nat­u­ral Her­itage, it of­fers vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve many bird species. The lake is a pop­u­lar spot for pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur bird watch­ers since it is the habi­tat of 153 bird species of which 64 are res­i­dent, 36 which live there in win­ter and 47 in sum­mer, and six of which stop by dur­ing mi­gra­tion. A wide va­ri­ety of but­ter­flies are also seen dur­ing early May.

Vis­i­tors to Lake Poyrazlar, which of­fers scenery of pine and oak forests, pass the time rid­ing horses, go­ing on na­ture tours on quad bikes and play­ing paint­ball.

As it of­fers a se­cure en­vi­ron­ment, Lake Poyrazlar also serves as a pic­nic area where fam­i­lies can en­joy their time as they would like. Fresh­wa­ter fish are a pop­u­lar menu draw for the site as well.

The lake of­fers great op­por­tu­ni­ties for photography, space for grilling and go­ing for walks. Some cou­ples memo­ri­al­ize their wed­ding day by hav­ing their wed­ding pho­tos taken in the area.

Man­ager of the pic­nic area, Hakkı Tank, de­clares that ev­ery­one must see Lake Poyrazlar and its unique na­ture.

“The or­der of the pic­nic area is main­tained by a clean­ing team,” said Tank, who added that the fa­cil­ity be­came pop­u­lar thanks to vis­i­tors who men­tioned it to their friends.

“The area turned into a pop­u­lar spot for brides and grooms for wed­ding shoots. We even hosted cou­ples from Is­tan­bul and Ko­caeli. For ex­am­ple, we have 10 cou­ples who have come for a wed­ding shoot right now. We are open to vis­its by all and our peo­ple can come and spend time here when­ever they want. We of­fer a se­cure area at night also it is also il­lu­mi­nate. Al­co­hol is strictly for­bid­den. We don’t per­mit even car horns. Here, we of­fer a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment for fam­i­lies,” Tank said.

Ex­plain­ing that they try to im­prove the fa­cil­ity each day on the ba­sis of the ad­vice they get from vis­i­tors, Tank ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the of­fi­cials who help them.

Lake Poyrazlar’s pic­nic area makes vis­i­tors feel at home thanks to its peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment and sat­is­fy­ing fa­cil­i­ties. “Here vis­i­tors get what they need from the kiosks, have lunch and break­fast at our fa­cil­i­ties and en­joy the lake scenery. Na­ture is splen­did here. We of­fer bikes, ped­a­los and an ex­cur­sion train. Fam­i­lies en­joy the lake scenery with the train tour ac­com­pa­nied with mu­sic,” Tank said.

The area is also per­fect for morn­ing sports. Pad­dling and all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles are of­fered in the na­ture park. The fa­cil­ity pro­vides con­ve­nience for those who come for morn­ing sports with free en­trance be­tween spe­cific hours. Many vis­i­tors pre­fer the area due to the free en­try be­tween 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.

The 4.5-kilo­me­ter path en­cir­cling the lake, which is home to var­i­ous bird species such as wild duck and goose, has a beau­ti­ful for­est view at one side.

One of the part­ners of the fa­cil­ity, Ay­han Tank, said that this year there is a great deal of at­ten­tion on the area.

“We call Lake Poyrazlar the un­ex­plored heaven” Tank said, and added that the pic­nic area of­fers 2,000 pic­nic ta­bles in ad­di­tion to ped­a­los, bikes and quad bikes.

“The area has ac­com­mo­da­tion spots for birds. Around 150 dif­fer­ent bird species are found around the lake dur­ing the mi­gra­tion pe­riod. Our vis­i­tors have the op­por­tu­nity to watch them. You can­not come across even a sin­gle cig­a­rette butt here. We are ex­tremely metic­u­lous in the up­keep of the area so that our vis­i­tors can spend a peace­ful time. We worked on every sin­gle one of the trees lo­cated in this 4,200-de­care area. This is a fam­ily-run business. Sixty of the 100 per­son­nel con­sist of fam­ily mem­bers. I can say that this park is a heaven main­tained by us.”

Con­trolled on a weekly ba­sis, the deep­est point of the lake is 8 me­ters and it is for­bid­den to swim in it. Vis­i­tors can be ac­com­mo­dated at the park in tents they bring.

Man­ager of the res­tau­rant at the pic­nic area, Soner Kazancı, said that they serve be­tween 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day and of­fer var­i­ous menus, in­clud­ing stewed fish and a mixed break­fast.

Also, the 100-square-me­ter dance floor at the cen­ter of the res­tau­rant makes the fa­cil­ity a suit­able spot for events like al­fresco wed­dings, en­gage­ment cer­e­monies and cir­cum­ci­sion par­ties.

Kazancı also said they do their best to at­tract vis­i­tors to the res­tau­rant and they wel­come ev­ery­one as their guest.

Lo­cated 10 kilo­me­ters away from the city cen­ter, peo­ple in the Black Sea and Mar­mara re­gions can eas­ily ac­cess the lake for a quick week­end get­away.

A boy plays on the shore of the lake with ducks dur­ing a get­away trip with his par­ents.

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