REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Aydın - Bafa Lake

NATURAL PARKS

Location: Bafa Lake is in the Soke District of Aydin province, in the Aegean Region.

Transportation: Bafa Lake is at the southeast of the Buyuk Menderes Delta, and 25 km from Soke from where it is easily accessible.

Highlights: The lake, once part of the Aegean Sea, became a lake as result of geomorphologic development of Buyuk Menderes Delta and is in an area of relatively unspoilt beauty. Its main sources are from Buyuk Menderes, and the underground rivers flowing from the surrounding mountains.

Plant life consists of tamarisks, pine trees, and olive groves. The lake protects the ecosystem of the delta, and therefore provides a winter habitat for many species of birds which would otherwise be in danger of extinction: Around 300,000 birds nest here, including pelican, dwarf cormorant and sea eagle and there are 700 kinds of plankton in the lake and a variety of water plants, which encourages many species of fish.

Historical and cultural sites around the lake include the antique city of Heraclia, at the foot of the Besparmak mountains, which has the remains of the Athena Temple, an agora council building, public bath, theatre, and Endymion temple. In order to protect these areas, 12,281 hectares of the park were given the status of Natural Park in 1994.

Facilities: There is a visitor centre, camping area, picnic sites, trekking paths and bird-watching towers are in the park.