Lake Salda: crater lake labeled as the Turkish Maldives

Have you seen them? The photos of Lake Salda with ‘Turkish Maldives’ as a caption? You may have thought the #nofilter was totally out of place when staring those over the top whites and blues in the face. But the truth is that the colors of Salda Gölu (Turkish for Lake Salda) genuinely are over the top compared to what you would typically see at the beach. Imagine that, Turkey, land of turquoise, has a lake with a color that is so electric blue and sand so white, that people started calling it the Turkish Maldives.

Quintessential Turkey, Spectacular Landscapes And Goats

Quintessential Turkey, Spectacular Landscapes And Goats

And, is it like the Maldives? Well… no. But we think that that’s a good thing. After all, you’re in Turkey. And despite its Maldive-like whites and blues, Lake Salda is very much set in Turkey, pine tree forest-backdrops and shepherds and goats included.

Click here to compare the Lake Salda blue with the color of some of the best beaches in Turkey.

If you want to visit Salda Gölü, keep reading, as we will tell you exactly what to expect, when is the best time to visit, how to get there, and where to find the quiet spots.

The Colors Of Nature At Lake Salda

The Colors Of Nature At Lake Salda

The unique ecosystem of Lake Salda

There’s more to Lake Salda than its fabulous looks. Salda Gölü, a crater lake, is one of the largest and deepest enclosed lakes. It has an extremely high concentration of magnesium ions, and it is highly alkaline. The lake is 8 kilometers long and up to 6 kilometers wide, with a total surface of 45 km², and is – at some points – up to 200 meters deep. Lake Salda is known for its extreme conditions and – despite its proximity to a well-known ski-resort – it doesn’t freeze over winter, due to its high mineral content. That is why it is of great value to over-wintering birds, particularly the white-headed duck of which Salda Gölü often holds more than half of the world’s population over winter.

Skiing in Turkey? Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Click here to discover some of Turkey’s most important ski resorts.

The Spectacular Composition Of Nature At Lake Salda

The Spectacular Composition Of Nature At Lake Salda

In short, Lake Salda is unique; not only because of its dazzling appearance but also for its ornithological role, its mineral-rich water, and the presence of hydromagnesite stromatolites, believed to have several health benefits. As a protected area, finding the balance between receiving tourists and maintaining the fragile eco-balance isn’t always easy. The travertines of Pamukkale are an excellent example of how difficult this can be. Scientists believe that large-scale swimming is enough to ruin the lake’s ecosystem permanently.

If you ask us, it is possible to have an enjoyable and eco-friendly visit to Lake Salda. And while many may think swimming or walking in the lake is an essential part of the trip, taking in its natural beauty from the shore is equally rewarding, and you’ll get good karma points for respecting the delicate environment.

The Western Shore Of Lake Salda Near Doğanbaba Beach

The Western Shore Of Lake Salda Near Doğanbaba Beach

Salda Gölü: Instagram hype or bucket list material?

There’s something strange about how a medium like Instagram creates expectations, only to let you down tremendously when you finally visit a place. The thing about Lake Salda is that we had been there before, as a quick stop en route to somewhere else. So, we knew exactly what to expect, and we’re convinced that – after reading this post – you will know what to expect as well. So, is it just like on Instagram?

That depends on the posts you’ve seen. Often, yes, it looks just as magnetic as the Instagram posts. But not everyone shows things the way they are, so, if you’re expecting only white sand and all shades of turquoise, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re hoping to see a dramatic lake set in stunning surroundings, you’re in for a treat, and Lake Salda is your perfect bucket list material!

A Color Explosion At Salda Gölü

A Color Explosion At Salda Gölü

How to get to Lake Salda

Lake Salda is located near Yeşilova in the Burdur province and is well signposted if you’re self-driving. If you’re relying on public transportation, there are minibusses to Yeşilova from Burdur, Antalya, and Denizli. If you want to go to the main public beach after that, you’re a little over 10 km away. A taxi might be your best choice from here.

Click here for the current timetable of all bus lines going to Yeşilova. You can purchase your ticket online from the same website.

Once you reach Salda Gölü, you have several options to explore the lake and its surroundings. Check out where to find the quiet spots or how to get to the public beaches with facilities below.

Nature At Work At Salda Gölü

Nature At Work At Salda Gölü

Where to find Salda Gölü’s quiet spots or public beaches

Lake Salda is of exceptional natural beauty, and, in recent years, authorities are making huge efforts to protect the area accordingly. Large sections of the lakeside are completely untouched, more particularly the northeast side of the lake. The southwest corner is where you’ll find the biggest public beach, including basic facilities and a restaurant. Also, on the southwest side, you’ll find the ‘Tabiat Parkı’ or Nature Park. It is a large, fenced-off area with picnic facilities, a children’s play area, camping spaces, and much more. You’ll need to pay a small fee to enter.

Click here for the current price for Lake Salda Nature Park.

Not All Is White And Blue At Lake Salda

Not All Is White And Blue At Lake Salda

How do you know where to go? First, you decide what kind of experience you have in mind. If you’re looking for that untouched setting and reconnecting with nature, your best option is the northeast side of Lake Salda. There’s no need to follow the signs to Salda to reach that area, look out for the sign to Doğanbaba and Doğanbaba Plajı, right after you leave Yeşilova. It’s a small sign, so make sure you don’t miss it. If you do, you’ll get another shot at it once you reach the road to Salda, after which you’ll have to take the southwest route to get to the other side of the lake.

Shepherd And Goats On Their Morning Walk

Shepherd And Goats On Their Morning Walk

If you like the look of Lake Salda, but you also want a few facilities, and you have a beach day in mind, keep following the big signs to Salda Gölü to reach either the public beaches or the Tabiat Parkı on the southwest side of the lake. Beyaz Adalar Plajı (White Islands Beach) is, without a doubt, the most popular choice. We feel that the long stretch of shallow water topping the white sand and the nearby white islands may have something to do with that.

Beyaz Adalar Plajı Is Popular With Swimmers And Beachgoers

Beyaz Adalar Plajı Is Popular With Swimmers And Beachgoers

A little word of warning: At Lake Salda, nature is the keyword. As we’ve previously mentioned, swimming is discouraged, and – apart from at the designated beaches – even forbidden. Should you still decide to swim, know that the lake isn’t just famous for its sparkling colors, but also its large population of (harmless) water snakes. There are four areas where swimming is allowed: Yeşilova beach, Tabiat Parkı, Beyaz Adalar beach, and Doğanbaba beach.

View Towards Beyaz Adalar Plajı

View Towards Beyaz Adalar Plajı

Best time to visit Lake Salda

There are two things to consider. One is how crowded or quiet you like things, and the other is the weather. If you want to avoid the crowds, avoid visiting Lake Salda during the weekends. That’s when locals and tourists alike flock to the lakeshore for their weekend barbecues and picnics. The weather at Lake Salda is quite different from what you would typically experience at a coastal resort. Salda Gölü is located inland, at an altitude of 1.140 m. The area has a terrestrial climate, and temperatures are, in general, much colder than one would expect.

Lake Salda In A Nutshell

Lake Salda In A Nutshell

With an average temperature of 1.8°C in January and 23.2°C in July, winter is probably not the perfect time, as you may also experience snowfall. Ideally, autumn is a good compromise with pleasant temperatures and fewer rainy days than spring. If you have your mind set on swimming, aim for the summer months, as the water temperature at Lake Salda reaches about 6.8°C in April, and 22°C in July, which is still cold! For more Turkish weather statistics, click here.

The North Side Of The Lake Gives A Totally Different View

The North Side Of The Lake Gives A Totally Different View

If you are in the area, there’s no doubt that Lake Salda is worth a stop. And – if you ask us – it also deserves to be on your itinerary if you’re a nature-lover like we are. You’ll appreciate its extraordinary beauty. And now that you’re here check out what else this part of Turkey has to offer. Discover more lakes such as Lake Burdur and its lavender fields, or Lake Eğirdir, one of Turkey’s slow cities.

For more inspiration, check out our touristic map of Turkey and start clicking around.

On The Northeast Side, Heading Towards The 'top' Of The Lake

On The Northeast Side, Heading Towards The ‘top’ Of The Lake

✔️ Have you been to Lake Salda? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the place to your bucket list.
Comment on Facebook
288 Shares
Source: Kazanci, Nilgün & Girgin, Sönmez & Dügel, Muzaffer. 2004 
On the limnology of Salda Lake, a large and deep soda lake in southwestern Turkey

 

Lake Salda Crater Lake Labeled As The Turkish Maldives
Lake Salda Crater Lake Labeled As The Turkish Maldives
Lake Salda Crater Lake Labeled As The Turkish Maldives
Lake Salda Crater Lake Labeled As The Turkish Maldives
Lake Salda Crater Lake Labeled As The Turkish Maldives

You may also like these posts:

You may also like these posts:

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

JOIN THE TRIBE, FOLLOW US

Lake Salda: crater lake labeled as the Turkish Maldives