National Parks In Turkey

National Parks in Turkey are not only natural wonders but also hold historical significance. These parks offer a diverse range of landscapes, from majestic mountains to ancient ruins, serene valleys to hidden coves. Explore some of the most stunning natural parks in this unique country where Europe and Asia converge.

10 Most Fascinating National Parks in Turkey

Turkey, situated at the crossroads of the Asian and European continents and featuring a temperate climate, boasts an abundance of national parks. Many of these parks are not just natural wonders but also cultural heritage sites. Here are the 10 most impressive national parks in Turkey:

Hatila Valley National Park (Artvin)

 National Parks In Turkey

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hatila Valley National Park, situated in the Eastern Black Sea Region, surprisingly has a Mediterranean climate, which is quite unusual for its area. Known as one of the most pristine areas of Artvin, the park is home to over 500 endemic plant species. It’s also a habitat for region-specific wildlife, including badgers, foxes, mountain roosters, hawks, martens, and the unique Hopa vipers.

Tek Tek Mountains National Park (Şanlıurfa)

Fascinating National Parks In Turkey

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Situated in the Tek Tek Mountains, this Şanlıurfa National Park is not only a natural wonder but also a treasure trove of cultural and archaeological significance. It houses historical sites like the Şuayip City Ruins, Soğtamar Ruins, and Senem Cave. Tek Tek Mountains National Park, a major tourist attraction in Şanlıurfa, boasts a unique ecosystem. This park is home to a variety of animals, including gazelles, monitor lizards, lynxes, wolves, foxes, bustards, cranes, partridges, hawks, and turtle doves.

Mount Nemrut National Park (Adiyaman)

Fascinating National Parks In Turkey

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Mount Nemrut National Park, which was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1987, is renowned as one of the best places in the world to watch the sunrise and sunset. The park, featuring statues of gods, tumuli, and reliefs, has become a cultural symbol of Turkey and is regarded as one of the largest open-air museums globally.

Çamlık National Park (Yozgat)

Fascinating National Parks In Turkey

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Çamlık National Park, home to the unique Caucasian Pine trees found only in a specific region in Turkey, is one of the country’s most beautiful national parks. This park boasts larch trees that are 400-500 years old, nearly 30 endemic species, and even golden eagles, a bird species typically native to America. Notably, Çamlık National Park also holds the distinction of being Turkey’s first national park.

Sarıkamış Allahu Akber Mountains National Park (Erzurum, Kars)

 Fascinating National Parks In Turkey

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Sarıkamış Allahu Akber Mountains National Park, marked by the traces of the First World War, holds significant spiritual value in Turkish history. Distinguished among Turkey’s national parks for its cultural importance and stunning natural beauty, it is accessible via Erzurum and Kars.

Gökçeada Underwater Marine Park (Çanakkale)

Gökçeada National Park

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Gökçeada Underwater Marine Park, known as the first and only underwater national park in Turkey, is notable for its diverse marine life. The area around and near the island is home to Mediterranean seals, seagrasses, pinas, dolphins, sperm whales, and tritons. In addition to its rich underwater world, the park also boasts magnificent beaches and wavy seas suitable for surfing. In recent years, it has become a popular destination for local tourists.

Spil Mountain National Park (Manisa)

Spil Mountain National Park

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The national park surrounding Spil Mountain, one of the largest mountains in the Aegean region, is a top choice for camping and hiking enthusiasts. In Spil Mountain National Park, you can also engage in skiing and climbing activities. Established as a national park in 1969, it is located 24 kilometers from the center of Manisa and 50 kilometers from the center of Izmir.

Munzur Valley National Park (Tunceli)

Munzur Valley National Park

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Munzur Valley National Park, situated in Tunceli, is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in Turkey. It’s renowned for its river sources, springs, endemic plant species, local animal species, and diverse wildlife. The region also offers opportunities for extreme sports like rafting and skiing.

Yedigöller National Park (Bolu)

Seven Lakes

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Yedigöller National Park, particularly popular with tourists and photographers during the autumn season, has been a protected area since 1965. True to its name, which means “Seven Lakes,” the national park encompasses a total of seven lakes and is an ideal spot for nature walks and picnics.

Abant Lake National Park (Bolu)

Abant Lake

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Abant Lake National Park, often featured in picturesque postcard images during the winter months, is situated within the Bolu province. Abant Lake, a crater lake nestled in the Abant Mountains, showcases natural wonders in various color tones throughout the year. Around the national park, there are facilities suitable for accommodation in all four seasons.

How Many National Parks Are There in Turkey?

As of 2022, Turkey is home to a total of 48 national parks. These parks, spread across different regions of the country, have been designated as protected areas in various years based on their natural, cultural, and archaeological significance. The total area encompassed by Turkey’s national parks is 884,566 hectares.

5 Largest National Parks in Turkey

In Turkey, some national parks span several kilometers and cover areas of thousands of hectares. These parks, rich in thousands of plant and animal species, are diligently protected by both local communities and the state for their natural significance. Interestingly, some of Turkey’s largest national parks are even bigger than Yalova, which is known as the smallest city in terms of area in the country.

Mount Ararat National Park (Agri, Iğdır)

Mount Ararat

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Mount Ararat, recognized as the largest national park in Turkey, spans a total area of 88,014 hectares across the provinces of Ağrı and Iğdır. This mountain, one of Turkey’s most valuable geographical formations, is renowned for its rich plant and animal life, intriguing landscape, volcanic activity, and geological features. With its peak at 5,138 meters, Mount Ararat is not only the highest point in Turkey but also in Europe. The area was designated as Mount Ararat National Park in 2004.

Beyşehir Lake National Park (Konya)

Beysehir Lake

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Beyşehir Lake National Park, the second-largest national park in Turkey, has been under state protection since 1993. Covering a total area of 88,750 hectares, the park encompasses Beyşehir Lake, Turkey’s largest freshwater source. Beyşehir Lake National Park is classified as a national park due to its unique bays, the migratory birds that visit the region, and the historical Seljuk-era structures around its vast expanse.

Kızıldağ National Park (Isparta)

Kızıldağ National Park

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Kızıldağ National Park, another national park near Lake Beyşehir, is situated in the Şarkikaraağaç district, about 115 kilometers from the center of Isparta. The park, which includes Dedegöl Mountain, covers a total surface area of 59,400 hectares. Kızıldağ National Park is home to a variety of trees that reflect the region’s vegetation, including larch, cedar, oak, and juniper. Notably, it is the only place in the world where a blue-leaved cedar forest exists.

Aladağlar National Park (Adana, Kayseri, Niğde)

Aladag National Park

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Aladağlar National Park, ranking fourth on our list of the largest national parks, spans across three different cities: Adana, Kayseri, and Niğde. Designated as a national park in 1995, Aladağlar is celebrated for its natural treasures, including glacial lakes, Kapuzbaşı Waterfalls, and tree species unique to the region. The park is also a habitat for various mammals like wild goats, wild boars, wolves, jackals, and sandpipers, as well as birds of prey and songbirds, all of which continue to thrive in their natural environment within Aladağlar National Park.

Kaçkar Mountains National Park (Artvin, Erzurum, Rize)

Kackar Mountains

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Kaçkar Mountains National Park, covering 51,550 hectares, is one of the largest national parks in Turkey and extends across the borders of Artvin, Erzurum, and Rize. This park, known for having one of Turkey’s harshest climates, allows visitors to witness the glacier cover of the Kaçkar Mountains. It’s also a place to experience authentic rural life and culture that has developed over the centuries. Cultural heritage sites in the area include Zir Kale, Kale-i Balâ, Elevit Ruins, Çat Bridge, historical mansions, and the Vartivor and Hodoçur plateau festivals. The park’s mountainous regions, formed during the Alpine Orogeny, feature 9 glacial valleys and 79 glacial lakes.