REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Aydın - Bafa Lake Natural Park

NATURE PARKS

Location: The Bafa Lake Natural Park takes place within the borders of Söke District of Aydın Province in Aegean Region.

Transportation: The Bafa Lake is at the south-east of Great Menderes (Büyük Menderes) Delta, and 25 km far away from the Söke District. It is possible to reach to the park overland route.

Highlights: The Bafa Lake, which used to be a part of Aegean Sea, had turned to be a lake as result of geomorphologic development of Great Menderes Delta. Bafa Lake is one of the least spoiled watery areas at the shore, in Turkey. The maximum depth of the Bafa Lake reaches to 25 meters. The main water sources of the Bafa Lake are the water floods of Great Menderes (Büyük Menderes) River, and the underground waters coming from the mountains at the environment.

The plant cover around lake consists of tamarisks, pine trees, and olive groves. The Bafa Lake shelters the ecosystem characteristics of Great Menderes delta. Because of that reason it provides a winter quarter and a place for reproduction for many bird species which are under the danger of vanishing.
The main bird species in the Bafa Lake Natural Park are pelican, dwarf cormorant and sea eagle. The Park provides a winter quarter for more than 300.000 different bird species.

There are 700 kinds of plankton in the Lake, and a variety of water plants. This causes many fish species to live in the lake. As the cultural and historical values of the Bafa Lake; Heraclia Antic City takes place within the borders of the Lake, at the south west foot of Beşparmak Mountains. In the Antic City there are many historical buildings; these are Athena Temple, an Agora, Council Building, Public Bath, Theatre, Nymphaion (fountain building), and Endymion Temple.

In order to protect the historical and natural values of the area, in 1994, 12281 hectares of it taken under the status of Natural Park.

Facililities: In the park; a visitor centre, a camping area, places for daily use and picnic, walking and trekking footpaths, and bird - watching stations are available.