Top 8 Things To Do in Egirdir Lake, Turkey: Must-Visit Spots in 2024

Things to Do in Eğirdir: Dive Into an Undiscovered Gem

Welcome, fellow adventurer! Ready to embark on a thrilling journey filled with history, nature, and mouthwatering local cuisine? 

Say no more! The answer to your wanderlust-filled heart lies in a special place called Eğirdir. Dive into the magnificent things to do in Eğirdir and immerse yourself in a unique Turkish experience.

Located in the Mediterranean’s Isparta Province, Eğirdir stands as a beacon of Turkey’s storied past with a population of 16,759 (2022). 

Initially founded by the Hittites, it changed hands from the Phrygians to Lydians, Persians, and later the forces of Alexander the Great. Renamed ‘Prostanna’ under Roman rule, it became ‘Akrotiri’ during the Byzantine era, indicating its ‘peninsular’ characteristic. 

The 14th-century traveler, Ibn Battuta, praised Eğirdir’s bazaars, streams, and the adjacent sweet-water lake. The town prospered under Ottoman rule from 1417, with a significant Greek Orthodox presence until the 1920s population exchanges. 

Interestingly, its former name ‘Eğridir’, likely derived from ‘Akrotiri’, means ‘(It) is bent’. Eğirdir remains a captivating blend of history and beauty in Turkey’s heartland.

Top Attractions in Eğirdir

1. Eğirdir Beaches

Eğirdir is not just about history; it’s also a sanctuary for those who seek a calming retreat by the water. 

The first dip into the lake might give you a jolt, especially in the cool spring months, but it’s invigorating, to say the least.

And once you’re accustomed to the temperature, it feels nothing short of refreshing.

For those who prefer quietude, the lake is generously fringed with secluded spots, perfect for a gentle swim or even a moment of solitude. Not a fan of deep waters? No worries! 

The shallow edges of the lake are ideal for a playful paddle. And if you stay still long enough, you might just attract a few local ducks looking for a snack.

But let’s talk about beaches. Eğirdir doesn’t disappoint:

  • Halk Plajı: This is the main beachfront, where the vibrant energy of the town meets the tranquility of the water.
  • Altinkum Beach: Aptly named, it translates to ‘Golden Sand’, and it lives up to its name with shimmering sands that seem to embrace the azure waters
  • Bedre Beach: A more serene escape, it’s the kind of place where you can lie back, listen to the gentle lap of the waves, and forget the world.

So, whether you’re an avid swimmer or someone who simply loves the sight and sound of water, Eğirdir’s beaches have something for everyone.

2. Boat Trip on the Lake

Lake Eğirdir is nothing short of a picturesque wonder. Gazing out over the glassy waters with the towering mountains as its backdrop, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this serene Turkish gem for a European counterpart like Lake Windermere in England’s Lake District.

But that’s where the similarities end and the uniqueness of Eğirdir starts to shine.

Unlike the tourist-packed ferries of Lake Windermere, Lake Eğirdir offers a more intimate, undisturbed experience.

Here, there are no massive commercial ferries with sky-high prices. Instead, local pension owners and fishermen dominate the scene, providing personal boat rides that let you soak in the lake’s splendor from a more authentic viewpoint.

Imagine this: you’re on a private boat, the gentle hum of the motor in the background, mountains reflected in the water, and the entire vista just for you.

All of this for just 500 lira for a one-hour trip. It’s not just a boat ride; it’s a journey into the heart of Turkey’s natural beauty, devoid of the usual touristy fuss. 

It’s a reminder that sometimes the most enchanting places are the ones least touched by the commercial world.

So, when in Eğirdir, don’t miss the chance to cruise the lake and truly appreciate its untouched beauty.

3. Eğirdir Castle (Eğirdir Kalesi)

Perched on a rocky elevation, Eğirdir Castle stands as a silent witness to the passage of time, keeping watch over the town below.

Its origins are shrouded in mystery; while no written records confirm its exact construction date, local legends hint at its birth during the era of the Lydian Kingdom between the 6th and 7th centuries BC.

A closer look at its masonry, however, reveals telltale signs of construction or reconstruction during the periods of the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.

The 14th century saw Eğirdir rise in prominence as the capital of the Anatolian beylik of Hamidids.

As an emblem of its significance during this era, an inscription reveals that the castle underwent restoration by Dündar of Hamidoğlu in 1307. 

But this wasn’t the end of its storied history: the rampaging campaign of Timur in 1402 left its mark on the castle, causing considerable damage.

Yet, under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Eğirdir Castle continued to serve a purpose, albeit as a modest military post.

Despite its impressive legacy, the castle is not characterized by towering walls or sprawling battlements. Instead, it’s designed pragmatically, standing at a modest height of 15 meters (49 ft) and primarily built as a defensive measure against potential attacks from the lake.

Urban growth has since enveloped some of its ruins, making it challenging to ascertain its original size.

However, the inner castle’s expanse can still be gauged, covering a considerable area of around 4,500 square meters (48,000 sq ft).

Today, Eğirdir Castle beckons visitors with its tales of ancient kingdoms, epic battles, and an ever-watchful gaze over centuries. It’s more than just stones and walls; it’s a chronicle of a town’s rich heritage.

4. Cycling around the lake

Eğirdir, with its serene lake and captivating landscapes, offers an enticing opportunity for cycling enthusiasts.

Throughout the town, numerous establishments provide bike rentals, allowing visitors to embrace the scenic beauty at their own pace.

One of the most recommended cycling routes is the picturesque loop around Lake Eğirdir.

Spanning 60 kilometers, this trail showcases the lake’s tranquil waters juxtaposed against a backdrop of rolling hills and distant mountains.

Given its length, it’s a journey best undertaken over several days, ensuring cyclists have ample time to absorb the views, rest, and perhaps even stop for a lakeside picnic.

The Ada Yolu Bisiklet Evi rental service stands out as a notable spot for hiring a bike. Here, prices range between 40 to 60 lira per hour, contingent upon the bicycle’s condition.

Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a casual rider, the roads around Eğirdir provide a rewarding experience, blending exercise with unparalleled natural beauty.

As you pedal along, the rhythmic sound of wheels on the pathway, the gentle breeze coming off the lake, and the breathtaking vistas all combine to create an unforgettable journey, making cycling in Eğirdir a must-try activity for anyone visiting the region.

5. Lake Kovada National Park & Yazili Canyon

Just a short drive from Eğirdir lies the scenic beauty of Lake Kovada National Park and the serene Yazili Canyon, two captivating natural wonders that beckon adventurers, nature lovers, and history enthusiasts alike.

Lake Kovada National Park

Approximately 30 km from Eğirdir, this national park is a sanctuary of biodiversity.

As you hike through its well-trodden trails, you’ll be enveloped by the rich flora and fauna native to the region. 

The lake, which lends its name to the park, offers stunning viewpoints, perfect for panoramic shots or peaceful contemplation.

Those keen on walking will find the network of trails a delightful opportunity to explore, with each bend revealing more of the park’s natural treasures.

Spending a few hours here lets you reconnect with nature and breathe in the rejuvenating air of untouched landscapes.

Yazili Canyon

Venture another 30 km south, and you’ll discover the tranquil embrace of Yazili Canyon.

The gentle murmur of the river, cutting through the heart of the canyon, creates a backdrop for adventures that range from hiking and climbing to leisurely swims.

The water, cool and refreshing, provides a stark contrast to the warmth of summer days, making for a delightful dip.

But what truly sets the canyon apart is its historical significance.

As you traverse its paths, you’ll stumble upon remnants of an ancient road dating back to the 5th century BC, a testament to the region’s rich history.

Combining both these attractions in a day trip from Eğirdir ensures a blend of nature, adventure, and history, making it an essential experience for any visitor to the region.

6. Salda Lake

Nestled just two hours away from Lake Eğirdir, Salda Lake beckons visitors with its surreal beauty and distinctive geological wonders.

Often hailed as “the Maldives of Turkey,” this crater lake’s white sandy shores seamlessly blend into its crystal-clear, turquoise blue waters, painting a picture reminiscent of exotic tropical paradises.

However, the allure of Salda Lake goes beyond its pristine beauty. The lake holds geological secrets that fascinate both casual tourists and seasoned scientists.

It is home to ancient stromatolite algae, a rarity in our modern world. These unique microbial structures offer a fascinating glimpse into the primordial life forms that once dominated the Earth.

Further adding to its otherworldly charm, Salda Lake shares striking mineralogical and depositional features with the Jezero Crater on Mars. These similarities have piqued the interest of astrobiologists and geologists alike.

The lake’s rich mineral content has also given rise to local beliefs about its therapeutic properties, particularly for skin ailments.

Recognizing the ecological and geological importance of Salda Lake, Turkey’s environmental authority conferred upon it protected status in 2021.

However, visitors should note that this protection means certain areas of the lake are now off-limits for swimming to ensure its delicate ecosystems remain undisturbed.

When in the vicinity of Lake Eğirdir, a detour to Salda Lake promises an unforgettable encounter with nature’s marvels, both in beauty and science.

7. Sagalassos Ruins

Situated just over an hour’s drive from Lake Eğirdir, the Sagalassos Ruins are a captivating testament to Turkey’s rich antiquity.

For those with an affinity for ancient wonders, this archaeological gem stands out as a favorite amidst Turkey’s myriad of historic sites.

Originating as early as 1200 BC, Sagalassos flourished as a thriving city, its history etched into every stone and pathway.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of jagged peaks, the ruins sprawl across terraced levels, elevated between 1400 and 1600 meters. This staggering height enhances the allure of the city, making every vantage point a visual treat.

Unlike the bustling ruins in some tourist hotspots, Sagalassos remains relatively undisturbed by large crowds. Visitors can bask in the serenity of the place, giving a sense of time travel back to its zenith.

Among the remarkable structures that dominate the landscape are the grand Roman Theatre and the intricately designed Nymphaeum, a testament to the architectural prowess of ancient civilizations.

Yet, Sagalassos’s story is also one of resilience and eventual decline. A major earthquake in the early sixth century CE struck a hard blow, but the city’s indomitable spirit saw it rebuild.

However, a combination of subsequent challenges, from epidemics to water shortages and socio-economic instability, culminated in another catastrophic earthquake around the mid-seventh century.

This series of unfortunate events forced the resilient inhabitants to finally abandon their beloved city, seeking refuge in the valleys below.

The ruins silently narrated these tales until the 1990s when large-scale excavations, led by Marc Waelkens from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, breathed new life into Sagalassos’s stories.

These dedicated efforts have since unveiled a treasure trove of buildings, monuments, and remains, painting a vivid picture of the city’s Hellenistic, Roman, and early Byzantine eras.

Today, Sagalassos stands as a poignant reminder of the ebb and flow of time, an ancient city frozen in its majestic splendor.

8. Mount Sivri Hike

The allure of Mount Sivri is undeniable for both seasoned hikers and history enthusiasts.

Rising majestically to 1749 meters, this peak offers a gratifying day walk that combines natural beauty with a deep sense of history.

Starting points for the hike are varied, with options to begin from Eğirdir or the quaint mountain village of Akpinar.

For those looking to save on time and effort, initiating the hike from Akpinar comes highly recommended.

Not only does it eliminate the need to trek on the road, but it also reduces the distance and elevation to be covered. From this starting point, the trail stretches for approximately 7.5 km, with an estimated completion time of 3.5 hours.

The journey to the summit of Mount Sivri is as scenic as it is enriching. The path takes you through a picturesque valley dotted with farms, offering a glimpse into the agrarian lifestyle of the region. As you tread further, the remnants of the ancient city of Prostanna emerge, a silent testament to the region’s storied past.

Post-Prostanna, the trail becomes more challenging, presenting hikers with a steep ascent up the mountain slope. However, every drop of sweat is rewarded with panoramic views from the peak that can only be described as breathtaking.

An interesting facet of this trek is its association with the St. Paul’s trail. Part of the Mount Sivri hike coincides with this historic long-distance trail, which stretches from the ancient city of Perge near Antalya to the northern fringes of Lake Egirdir. Walking on this trail, one is walking in the footsteps of history.

Relishing the Local Cuisine in Eğirdir

In the scenic embrace of Eğirdir, a delectable culinary journey awaits those with a discerning palate.

From fresh lake fish to daily-made pastries, the town has a variety of gastronomic experiences to offer.

Arzava Restaurant

Eğirdir’s picturesque landscapes are enhanced by the taste of its local lake fish, and Arzava Restaurant stands out as a top choice to savor this delicacy.

The ambiance of this eatery is charming, with a canopy of trees providing shade for outdoor dining. Its central location makes it easily accessible.

While many come here for the fish, the presentations and accompanying salads are equally noteworthy.

Traditional Turkish breakfast at Arzava Restaurant

Adding a personal touch, Arzava even offers toothpaste and a toothbrush to patrons, ensuring that they can comfortably enjoy the region’s famed onions.

With friendly staff, delightful treats, and reasonable prices, Arzava guarantees a memorable dining experience.

Harmoni Pastanesi

As Eğirdir’s most renowned confectionery, Harmoni Pastanesi promises fresh, daily products.

Its popularity is evident not just from the bustling crowd but also the quality of its desserts and pastries. 

While most come here to satiate their sweet cravings, Harmoni also offers a scrumptious breakfast menu.

The prices reflect the quality and popularity of its offerings, ensuring that every lira spent is well worth the flavors experienced.

Selanik Cafe & Restaurant

The allure of Selanik goes beyond just its culinary offerings. This cafe and restaurant is a full experience, beginning with the warm hospitality of its staff.

Whether you’re there for the hearty breakfast or just a cup of coffee, the picturesque views enhance every bite and sip. 

Interior in Selanik Cafe & Restaurant in Eğirdir

It’s a place where food, ambiance, and service come together harmoniously, making every visitor yearn for a revisit.

The reasonable pricing is just the cherry on top of an already delightful experience.

In Eğirdir, dining is not just about the food; it’s about the experience, the ambiance, and the memories crafted in these unique establishments.

Hotels and Accommodation in Eğirdir

Eğirdir, with its serene lake and majestic mountains, is a traveler’s delight. When it comes to accommodations, the town offers a variety of options catering to different preferences and budgets.

However, one name that stands out prominently among recommendations is Fulya Pension.

Fulya Pension: A Traveler’s Haven

Nestled in the heart of Eğirdir, Fulya Pension has become a favored choice for many travelers, especially those with a penchant for the outdoors.

Its prime location makes it easily accessible to various attractions around the town, but what truly sets Fulya Pension apart are its offerings:

Community Connection: Fulya Pension has a welcoming vibe that fosters interactions.

Be it backpackers sharing tales of their journeys, long-distance hikers discussing trails, or outdoor enthusiasts exchanging tips, there’s always a lively conversation to join in.

Fulya Pension

Fulya Pension

Panoramic Views: One of the highlights of staying at Fulya Pension is its rooftop terrace. Here, guests can indulge in a 360-degree panoramic view that captures the breathtaking expanse of Lake Eğirdir against the backdrop of towering mountains. Whether you’re catching a sunrise, witnessing a sunset, or stargazing, this vantage point offers an unparalleled experience.

Knowledgeable Staff: The warmth and expertise of the staff at Fulya Pension significantly enhance the stay experience. They are well-versed with the nuances of Eğirdir and its surroundings and are ever-eager to provide recommendations, ensuring guests get the most out of their visit.

Delectable Breakfast: Even if one isn’t staying at Fulya Pension, a visit to its breakfast buffet is a must. With a spread that tantalizes the taste buds and a view that feasts the eyes, it’s an experience that remains etched in memory.

In conclusion, while Eğirdir offers various accommodations, Fulya Pension stands out, making it not just a place to rest but a significant part of the overall travel experience. If you’re looking for a blend of comfort, community, and captivating views, Fulya Pension should be high on your list.

When is the Best Time to Visit Eğirdir?

The mild Mediterranean climate makes Eğirdir a year-round destination. However, for the best weather conditions, consider visiting during spring or autumn. Need more advice on the perfect time for a Turkish Riviera trip? Here you go!

Making Your Way to Eğirdir

If you’re considering a trip from the scenic coastal town of Fethiye to the serene surroundings of Eğirdir, you’re in for a treat.

Both locations offer distinct charms and transitioning from the Mediterranean coastline to the tranquil lake setting of Eğirdir can be an enriching experience. Here’s all you need to know about making that journey:

Modes of Transport

By Bus
  • Cost: Between 300 ₺ and 500 ₺.
  • Duration: Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Convenience: Buses are a popular and economical way to travel between these two destinations. Direct bus services are operated by companies such as Kamil Koc. Buses depart from the Fethiye bus station and arrive at the Eğirdir bus station. With three departures every day, you can choose a time that suits your schedule.
By Taxi
  • Cost: Between 1,600 ₺ and 2,000 ₺.
  • Duration: Roughly 3 hours and 53 minutes.
  • Convenience: If you’re looking for a faster and more private means of transport, taxis offer the quickest route. While pricier than the bus option, taxis can give you flexibility in departure time and can be a comfortable choice, especially if you’re traveling in a group.
  • Distance: The road distance is 270.1 km.
  • Duration: Around 3 hours and 53 minutes.
  • Convenience: If you’re the adventurous type and prefer having control over your journey, driving can be a great option. You’ll be able to make pit stops as you wish and truly enjoy the scenic route.

Things to Consider

  • Journey Duration: The bus and self-drive options are quite close in terms of journey duration. Hence, the choice boils down to preference and budget.
  • Direct Bus Services: The direct bus services between Fethiye and Eğirdir are a boon for travelers, ensuring a hassle-free journey without the need for transfers.
  • Driving Directions: If you choose to drive, make sure to use a reliable navigation system or app to get accurate driving directions and stay updated on road conditions.
  • Without a Car: If you don’t have access to a car, the bus remains the best option. It’s economical and reasonably quick, ensuring a comfortable journey.

Departure and Arrival Points

  • Departure: All bus services from Fethiye to Eğirdir start from the Fethiye bus station.
  • Arrival: The Eğirdir bus station is the final stop for buses coming from Fethiye.

In conclusion, the journey from Fethiye to Eğirdir is straightforward with multiple options available based on your budget, convenience, and preference.

Ensure to plan in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred mode of transportation. Safe travels!

While you’re at it, why not check out other gems along the Turkish Riviera?


Eğirdir, with its perfect blend of nature, adventure, and history, is a destination that should top every traveler’s list.

So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready for an unforgettable Turkish adventure!

Hope this guide helps you navigate the many wonders of Eğirdir. And hey, once you’re done exploring Eğirdir, there’s a whole world of Turkish delights waiting for you. 

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Eğirdir offers both historical sites and scenic beaches. Key beaches include Halk Plajı, the vibrant town beach; Altinkum Beach, known for its golden sands; and Bedre Beach, a serene escape ideal for relaxation.

Lake Eğirdir offers intimate, personal boat rides dominated by local pension owners and fishermen. For 500 lira, one can embark on a one-hour journey into the heart of Turkey's natural beauty, away from commercial touristy fuss.

Yes, Eğirdir Castle, or Eğirdir Kalesi, is a significant historical site. Its origins date back possibly to the Lydian Kingdom between the 6th and 7th centuries BC. The castle has seen various periods of construction, restoration, and has a rich legacy.

Eğirdir offers a rich culinary experience. Arzava Restaurant is known for its local lake fish; Harmoni Pastanesi is a popular confectionery; and Selanik Cafe & Restaurant provides a blend of food, ambiance, and service.

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