Once home to the Greek gods, Mount Ida of­fers na­ture at its best

The spir­i­tual side of life is al­ways al­lur­ing to hu­man be­ings and there is no place as mys­tic as Mount Ida, the moun­tain that is fre­quently cited as the place where Greek gods loved to gather. Although it may not be pos­si­ble to get in touch with the Greek

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Adventure -

MOUNT Ida is one of the places where na­ture has be­haved gen­er­ously. Known as Kaz­dağı, mean­ing Goose Moun­tain, the moun­tain has been home to many le­gends since the an­cient pe­riod. Zeus was born here and mar­ried Hera on this moun­tain. Ac­cord­ing to the leg­end, the first beauty con­test Hera, Aphrodite and Athena at­tended was or­ga­nized here. There are some who say that the Noah’s Ark is on Mount Ida. In 1993, a 21,000-hectare area of the moun­tain was de­clared a na­tional park. In terms of oxy­gen, it is the sec­ond rich­est re­gion in the world af­ter the Alps. It is green and peace­ful. It also hosted many civ­i­liza­tions through­out his­tory with its fer­tile lands and nat­u­ral beau­ties. It was of­ten at­tacked and plun­dered be­cause of its riches. As mi­gra­tion to the moun­tain was high, it was fed cul­tur­ally and its eco­nomic and so­cial vi­tal­ity has con­tin­ued since.

AC­COM­MO­DA­TION FOR ALL BUD­GETS

It is a place where you can go trekking in peace, lis­ten to the chirp­ing of birds and taste nat­u­ral fla­vors. It is quiet, calm yet ex­cit­ing. Fur­ther­more, the ac­com­mo­da­tion prices are quite af­ford­able as com­pared to many other towns, and can pro­vide some­thing for all bud­gets. So let’s not lose time and visit this moun­tain be­tween Balıke­sir and Çanakkale.

There are many must-see places such as Hasan Boğuldu Pond, Pı­nar Wa­ter­fall and Sütüven Wa­ter­fall. Tourists come from the Far East, Europe and Asia and usu­ally stay here for a week. How­ever, you can en­joy it in three days as well. Gen­er­ally, the first stop on Mount Ida is Sütüven Wa­ter­fall. The wa­ter­fall, which rises from the Sarıkız plateau is lo­cated on the Kızılkeçeli Stream and has a per­fect view. Hasan Boğuldu Pond near it is worth see­ing as well.

CLIMB­ING THE HIGH­EST HILL

If you are hun­gry af­ter all that walk­ing, there is the Sütüven pic­nic area you can stop at for a break. Then pro­ceed to the Hasan Boğudu Wa­ter­fall, fol­low­ing the path across the brook. The wa­ter­fall, which was men­tioned by Turk­ish novelist Saba­hat­tin Ali in his works, is one of the points that you should see. The Sarıkız Hill is the high­est hill on Mount Ida. It is within the bor­ders of the na­tional park. By the way, it is for­bid­den to en­ter the park with­out a guide. There are three peaks, Sarıkız, Ba­batepe and Karataş, in the na­tional park. This hill, which over­looks the Edremit Gulf from a height of 1726-me­ters, has a breath­tak­ing view. Ay­valık and Midilli are also be­neath your feet. Although it is tir­ing, you should climb up the hill to take pho­tos and to re­lax.

ÇAMLIBEL, FA­MOUS FOR PIC­NIC

Çam­lı­bel hosts the most beau­ti­ful ho­tels and places on Mount Ida. This place is also fa­mous for its pic­nic area. The vil­lage over­looks the Edremit Gulf from a green val­ley. The grave of Tun­cel Kur­tiz, who was a Turk­ish cin­ema and theater artist, is in this vil­lage. If you want to stay in Çam­lı­bel Vil­lage, you can try the Al­ba­tross Moun­tain Huts, which con­sists mainly of bun­ga­lows. How­ever, the place you will be most in­ter­ested in might be Adatepe. Af­ter an hour­long jour­ney, you reach the vil­lage. It is a typ­i­cal Aegean Vil­lage where houses are in­ter­laced. How­ever, it is a lit­tle bit sim­i­lar to Ital­ian vil­lages, as well. The karma of the vil­lage changed when a group of writ­ers and artists from Is­tan­bul dis­cov­ered it. This group took the se­cluded houses here and re­stored them. Some of the stone houses serve as ho­tels to­day. The his­tor­i­cal works in the vil­lage, know for its olives and olive oil, were put un­der pro­tec­tion by the Çanakkale Mu­seum. You see both Greek stone houses and Ot­toman man­sions here. For ex­am­ple, the bou­tique ho­tel Hun­nap Han (Inn) is a typ­i­cal Ot­toman man­sion. It is highly rec­om­mend to drink a cup of cof­fee or tea in the tea gar­den at the en­trance of the vil­lage. Also, try the herb ice cream. The laven­der and thyme ice cream are per­fect. The Al­tar of Zeus at the en­trance of Adatepe Vil­lage is among the must-see places. You climb up a kilo­me­ter-long slope in or­der to reach it. The view of the al­tar, which was built to of­fer sac­ri­fices to the gods in the an­cient Greek cul­ture is a site to see.

Hasan Boğuldu Wa­ter­fall on Mount Ida.

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