Formed by a landslide, Lake Abant (Abant Gölü) is surrounded by fir and pine trees at an altitude of 1,350 meters. The lake is fed by several springs; adding to its allure is that it is also fed by continuous snow and rainwater.
Abant Lake and its surrounding land are rich in flora and fauna. The lake’s banks are thick with aquatic plants, water lilies and Abant Çiğdemi (Crocus abantensis). Inhabiting the lake are red-spotted trout, also known as Abant Alası (Salmo turutta abanticus). The forests around the lake are a habitat for the Red Deer. In short, Lake Abant is a natural wonder that brings peace to visitors throughout the year, thanks to its quiet and calm atmosphere.
Seven Lakes National Park
The Seven Lakes National Park (Yedi Göller Milli Parkı), which features one of Türkiye’s most beautiful natural landscapes, is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Set 42 km north of Bolu, the park is a habitat for numerous plant and tree species.
The national park includes seven lakes in a 1,500-metre line from north to south. Ruins dating to the New Byzantine Period in the village of Köyyeri, also in the national park, indicate that the region was a settlement in antiquity.
In the park’s forests, the main tree species are beech, hornbeam, oak, alder, maple, elm, aspen, yellow and black pine, fir, hazel, linden, and ash.
There are also endangered animal species such as the badger in Seven Lakes.
The seven lakes in the park are ideal for camping, although there are bungalows available as well. The area is often used in photo shoots due to its colourful and stunning natural beauty.
Nature Park of Gölcük
An emblematic image of Bolu is the view of the Lonely House (Yalnız Ev) by the lake. Set in the Nature Park of Gölcük (Gölcük Tabiat Parkı), the Lonely House blends perfectly with nature, emanating an unmistakable calm. The Nature Park of Gölcük is, on average, about 1,217 meters above sea level, with forests comprised of fir, beech and hornbeam trees. There are hiking trails, viewing terraces and picnic areas – in fact, the nature park is an important recreation, picnic, and nature sports area due to its unique climatic features.
Sülüklü Göl Nature Park
Set in the Mudurnu district, Sülüklü Göl Nature Park (Sülüklü Göl Tabiat Parkı) features wetlands and forests, and an astonishing diversity of flora and fauna that make these ecosystems their homes. The lake in the park came about as a result of tectonic movements, and the tops of submerged trees can still be seen in the lake, creating an almost surreal picture.
Black pine, Scotch pine, fir, English oak, durmast oak, acorn oak, poplar, silver poplar, hornbeam, sycamore, linden, maple, alder, wild cherry and ash are among the tree species found in the Natural Park. Animals such as roe deer, wild boars, bears, wolves, foxes and rabbits live in park, as do hawks and tree frogs. Offering visitors, a calm and quiet environment shaded with lush green hues, Sülüklü Göl has a reputation as one of Türkiye’s most scenic routes for hiking, camping and trekking.
Kartalkaya Ski Centre
In recent years, Kartalkaya expanded its popularity with modern ski runs and updated facilities, as well as ski runs amid pine forests. The centre is 38 km southeast of Bolu; its proximity to İstanbul and Ankara makes it a popular destination for residents of those cities. Kartalkaya Ski Centre (Kartalkaya Kayak Merkezi) offers visitors an excellent skiing and winter holiday opportunity with accommodation capacity for more than 1,500 guests.
Museum of Bolu
The Museum of Bolu (Bolu Müzesi) was established in 1981, with the aim of preserving the artifacts around Bolu and presenting these to visitors. The museum features a number of archaeological and ethnographic displays, including extensive exhibitions of items from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, as well as artifacts from the Old Bronze Age to the Neolithic Period.
Rock Houses of Seben
The Seben Rock Houses (Seben Kaya Evleri) are a series of rock-carved homes in the Seben district. Each house is four to five levels, with the levels connected by chimney stairs.
Crosses and Latin inscriptions painted on the walls and niches of rooms in the Seben Rock Houses suggest that these were used from the Early Christian Period to the Middle Byzantine Period.
Travertines of Akkaya
The Akkaya Travertines (Akkaya Travertenleri), 10 km from the centre of Bolu, are natural formations formed by subterranean waters with a temperature of over 20 degrees. The underground mineral waters are rich in calcium and their outflow has carved a natural rock pool where visitors can swim. There is also a fountain, where visitors can drink the natural mineral water, which has a mild taste. The travertines are set amid a lush forest – the icy blue and white colours of the travertines and the water, with a vivid green background, are reminiscent of a painting.
Houses of Göynük
Göynük, an urban site that has preserved its historical, cultural, architectural and natural beauties from the Ottomans to the present, holds the title of a Slow Town (Cittaslow). As a place where traditional values are kept alive, Göynük is a typical Ottoman town built in the valleys, the base and the foot of high hills. Its advantageous location between Anatolia and Istanbul, and the saffron trade of the 14th century, enabled Göynük to develop economically. Göynük’s historical structures, the oldest of which is about 700 years old, include homes, workplaces, baths, tombs and a cemetery, as well as historical plane trees. Many of these buildings are still used for their original functions.
You can observe important examples of Turkish life and the settlement culture of Anatolia in Göynük. Reflecting the traditional Turkish civil architecture of the early 20th century, these types of houses usually feature hipped roofs and are covered with locally produced tiles; they are one or two levels, with a ground floor and interior stairs. In front of the houses are also courtyards called life. The living rooms of some houses have ceilings decorated with various motifs.
Houses of Mudurnu
Mudurnu, declared as an urban protected area and a Slow Town (Cittaslow), has dozens of old Turkish houses bearing the traces of Ottoman civil architecture. These houses, similar to the Göynük Houses in terms of their civil architectural features, reflect the history and culture of the district. They are historical buildings worth seeing. In Mudurnu, where the Ahi culture has existed for centuries, a ritual called Tradesmen Prayer and Bread Throwing is performed every Friday. Mudurnu is also a candidate for the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List with the Akhism (Ahilik) tradition.