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İğneada | © barisabak/Flickr
İğneada | © barisabak/Flickr
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Why İğneada in Turkey is a True Nature Lover's Paradise

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 26 September 2017
A small town in the province of Kırklareli, İğneada is not only popular for its long sandy beaches but also for the İğneada National Park possessing an inspiring biodiversity, lakes, and one of the few floodplain forests in Europe.

One of the main reasons why locals go to İğneada in the summer is to visit one of the many beautiful beaches that are known for their very fine powdery sand. With around 20 km of beaches, one of the best places to go swimming is the İğneada Longozu Kumsalı, the town’s longest beach where taking a long walk from one end to the other is an absolute dream. For those looking to go camping around İğneada’s beautiful natural settings, the area around the Erikli Gölü (Erikli Lake) has been designated for this purpose, with camping in any other area prohibited due to the protection of the natural environment.

Of course, one of the other main attractions of the town is the beautiful İğneada Floodplain Forests National Park, which was established in 2007. Covering an area of around 3,155 hectares (7,800 acres), the streams that flowed from the nearby Strandzha mountain range toward the Black Sea as well as seasonal flooding, formed the famous floodplains (low-lying ground adjacent to a river), which are called longoz in Turkish. A protected area, the rare ecosystem of the park is composed of marsh, swamp, lakes, and sand dunes as well as flora native to such a region, including European ash, oak, alder, beech, and maple trees.

As for the inhabitants of this park, fish such as trout, smelt, and grey mullet can be found in the lakes while bird species such as the white-tailed eagle, European green woodpecker, grey heron, European cuckoo, and black stork all live in the area. Other animals such as wildcats, wild boars, hares, badgers, grey wolves, deer, foxes, bats, weasels, and skunks are also part of the rich ecosystem.

For a romantic view over the town, make sure to check out the İğneada Deniz Feneri (İğneada Lighthouse), which is located in the Limanköy village. Built in 1866 by a French engineer, the all white lighthouse is currently being run by the fourth generation of the same family. The Beğendik village in the vicinity is also definitely worth a stop because of its beautiful beach, where you’ll likely see a few cows cooling off since the village mainly lives off its livestock.