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Lake Abant is a beautiful freshwater lake in Turkey’s Bolu province that has become a popular weekend destination where visitors can take some much-needed time off and immerse in nature. From long walks to horse back riding, there’s plenty to do at this beautiful lake and its natural surroundings. Here’s how to spend a relaxing weekend in this beautiful place.
Formed due a great landslide, the large and peaceful Lake Abant is surrounded by dense forests composed of many tree varieties including European black pine, hornbeams, hazels, pine, and oaks. With such plant life blooming and changing color throughout the seasons, it’s also no surprise that a lot of wild animals call the area their home. From roe deer to brown bears, red foxes to rabbits, and the Abant trout (which isn’t found anywhere else) Lake Abant is a true nature park where the elements grow and roam freely. There are plenty of guesthouses in the nearby small town of Mudurnu, but the five star Büyük Abant Hotel right by the water, is the definitely the most popular preference.
There are many activities that visitors in Abant can take part in, which is one of its most attractive qualities. First and foremost a long stroll by the expansive lake is an essential experience in order to really rid yourself of the stress of city life and appreciate the beauty of the lake as well as its surroundings and the fresh air. For those who are a bit more active, the trekking routes that go up to an altitude to 1,400 to 1,700 meters are the perfect way to really get a great workout in the midst of nature. When you get tired, you can take a break by sitting under the shade of a tree and taking in the spectacular view.
All around Abant you’ll also see horses that can be rented with or without a guide for a unique way of traveling around the lake. Whether you’re familiar with horse back riding or not, riding your way through the natural landscape is definitely a great experience. If horses are not really your thing, you can instead rent a boat to drift along the water in peace. Of course in the winter, Lake Abant is completely frozen (and very beautiful with all the snow, by the way) so boat rentals are only available in the warmer seasons.
If you’re feeling a little lazy or fancy doing something romantic, Abant also offers tours with small horse drawn carriages (called fayton) around the lake, which last around 30 minutes. When you’ve worked up an appetite, make sure to visit one of the many restaurants that are located right by the water where you can dine on some fresh seafood. In the winter, a lot of these restaurants and cafes get their fireplaces going, so if you decide to visit Lake Abant in the winter, you’ll be sure to spend lots of time cozying up to a warm fire while it snows outside. If you’re in the mood for some food shopping, drop by the Köy Pazarı (village market) where people from the local villages sell their fresh produce and homemade delicacies.