Highest altitude lake in Turkey offers amazing tourist attractions

Highest altitude lake in Turkey offers amazing tourist attractions

AĞRI - Anatolia News Agency
Highest altitude lake in Turkey offers amazing tourist attractions

According to culture and tourism official Muhsin Bulut, the lake has been neglected for years because of security concerns, and to avoid this there should be quality roads to facilitate transportation, which will enhance the tourism activities. AA photo

Balık Lake, a set lava lake located in the Aras Mountains at an altitude of 2,241 meters, is waiting with its red-dotted trout and amazing nature to be exposed to tourism.

The lake is located in Ağrı, 26 kilometers from the town Taşlıçay and 60 kilometers from Doğubeyazıt. Broad cultivated areas and the reed beds around Balık Lake, which is fed by small streams from the mountains and underground waters, draw attention.

Provincial culture and tourism manager Muhsin Bulut said Balık Lake was important in terms of its tourism potential. He added that being the only freshwater lake located at the highest altitude drew attention to it.

According to Bulut, in order to add this lake to the touristic places of Turkey, coastal development plans should be made and other infrastructural works need to be done. “To announce this area as a nature park or natural site, we should work in accordance with the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works and the Ministry of Forestry and Waterworks. First of all, the Special Provincial Administration and the Administrative District are working toward road construction. If the infrastructural problems are solved this season, then various units could use this area as a camping place in the future. There are many amazing views around the lake. Balık Lake and its area are a splendid place that guests from surrounding cities could not pass without seeing.”

Bulut added that the lake was suitable for boat trips in summertime and ice skating in wintertime, and the area around the lake was rich in terms of tourism potential. Hundreds of people visit the lake for amusement, hiking and climbing every day. “The lake is important both for the summer and winter seasons. In summertime there is plateau tourism, recreational angling and boat trips and in winter people can ski and skate in the area. On the southern side of the lake, there are reedy and boggy areas. In the northern part there is a 4,000-square-meter island with traces of history. Transportation to the island is done by boat and there are many species of birds, including the velvet duck, that brood on the island. Therefore this is counted as one of the hundred bird species protection areas in Turkey. Furthermore, there are seagulls, cormorants and swans in the area in summertime.”

Neglected for years

Bulut said the lake had been neglected for years because of security concerns. To avoid this there should be quality roads to facilitate transportation, which would enhance the tourism activities in the area.

Bulut said the mountaineers coming to Mount Ağrı visited the lake to enjoy the fish, adding that this lake fit with the plateau concept and that made it stand out from the other lakes of Turkey. Consequently one cannot find the pleasure of the meal had here or the flavor of the red-dotted trout anywhere else, he said. “We are expecting nature lovers to visit Ağrı and Balık Lake, which is the evil eye of our city.”

Mehmet Birlik, who has run a restaurant on the lakeside for 30 years said, “There are thousands of tourists visiting the area every year. Balık Lake has an amazing view but is not discovered yet. Carp and red-dotted trout are only some examples of the many of fish species in the lake. With the reconcilement process, we are expecting an increase in touristic activities.”