Covered in ice throughout the winter months, Lake Çıldır, the second largest lake in eastern Anatolia, draws many visitors who want to cool off in the summer.
Located between Kars and Ardahan provinces, the lake attracts tourists who enjoy swimming at an altitude of 1,959 meters.
The lake usually starts to freeze in the beginning of winter as the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees during the night.
Ice fishing and troika rides on 15-centimeter thick ice attract many, but many are also drawn to its sunsets, as they sip on their Turkish tea.
But as the year cycle continues and the rays of the summer sun hit the lake, a charming and warming ambiance begins to cover the area of 123-square-kilometers wide.
Visitors picnic by the log cabins and dive into the cool water via a built pier.
Boat tours on the lake have also started within the scope of “Çıldır Tourism Development Plan” projects initiated by Çıldır district governor’s office.
Visitors who are full of adrenaline with horse-drawn sleighs in winter now experience a similar excitement above speedboats.
“Çıldır Lake has an important place not only for our country but also for the world. After all, we are talking about a lake with a completely frozen surface in the winter,” said Alper Taş, the district governor.
He pointed out that the lake will serve tourists in the summer as well as in winter thanks to the boats.
“Çıldır Lake will be colored with boat tours in the summer. We want people to see not only the white of lake in winter, but also the green cover and clean water of summer,” said Atalay Uzunkaya, owner of one of the businesses around the lake.
Hurriyet Daily News