Abant Lake, Turkey

Lake Locations:

Turkey -

Also known as:  Lake Abant, Abant Golu

One of Turkey’s most scenic lakes, Abant Lake is likely one of the most visited. Part of the 2800-acre Abant Nature Park, this 316-acre lake was formed by a landslide in the distant past. The lake has existed long enough that a breed of endemic trout has evolved, the Abant trout, a subspecies of brown trout. As Abant Lake can be reached by car without major difficulty, it has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in Turkey.

Also known as Lake Abant, this natural lake is nestled in one of the greenest and most heavily forested areas of Turkey, less than three hours from both Istanbul and Ankara. Turkey’s first fish hatchery is located here to propagate the well-known Abant trout. Visitors often come to the ponds to catch fresh trout. Only a few hotels and a couple of campgrounds are located along the shoreline. The scenic lake, set against a backdrop of the surrounding mountains, is the real attraction at Abant Lake.

There are no marinas at Abant Lake, although the hotels sometimes provide small boats and water bikes. No major public swimming beaches or water sports attractions are on display here. Instead, visitors walk the four-mile road around the lake, or rent a horse for the trek. Horse-drawn carriages are also available. Those circling the lake mention how many birds and birdsongs they observe. Picnics along the shore are romantic fare for young couples who often purchase lunch from the variety of food venders near the hotels. The food vendors provide an eclectic mix of food choices, and one can equip a picnic basket to include barbecued sausages, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh breads and wine. The hotels offer more elegant cuisine for luncheons, but excellent food is a feature no matter where you go at Abant Lake.

Restaurants and a few bungalows along the lakefront road make this the perfect spot for a quiet getaway or romantic weekend. Four day-use areas offer piers, restrooms, picnic tables and playgrounds for the children. In one spot along the shore, local residents are allowed to sell hand-crafted wares, fruits and vegetables on specified days. The circular lakeside road may be closed to vehicles in the future, with tour buses being the only motorized conveyances entering the park.

A few tiny villages and villagers’ orchards can be seen near the lake. Some of the villagers act as guides for tours into the wooded Nature Park. Over a thousand acres of the park are open space and settlements. Fourteen hundred acres are preserved as forest with some as restricted areas. Within the forest eco-zone, it is possible to enjoy all four seasons at Lake Abant; the altitude and the many trees produce a riot of flowers in the spring and all of the deep reds and golden yellows of a New England autumn in the fall. Winter often brings snow, and the lake sometimes freezes enough to allow for ice skating.

The plants and trees in the forested areas include European black pines, Scotch pines, larch, beech, ashes, oaks, hornbeam, poplar, junipers, willows, holly, hazels, tamarisks, strawberry trees and common medlar. Also growing are dog-rose, forest rose, bracken, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, mint, nettle, ivy, mare’s tail, and several types of pasture grasses. The park shelters wild boar, fallow deer, roe deer,brown bear, red fox, jackal, and rabbit among other mammals. The birds seem to be ever-present, singing their pleasure at the beautiful woods.

Turkish families are often seen picnicking along the shore. Resort-goers from the Black Sea resorts come to Abant Lake for a quiet day away from the crowds. Workers from Bolu 18 miles to the northeast often take holidays here, renting one of the many guest houses on the road leading to the park or guest lodgings at the small town of Mudurnu 11 miles south. Mudurnu is becoming an Ottoman revival town, with the old houses being restored and re-purposed to attract visitors. There’s a lively bazaar area and several sites of cultural or historic interest. Visitors to the area often visit Abant Lake as a day excursion while staying in one of the hotels in Bolu where they can enjoy sightseeing and cultural activities.

Bolu holds a picturesque 14th century mosque, Bolu State Fine Arts Gallery, and the Museum of Bolu. The Bolu Archeology and Ethnography Museum has artifacts from the Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, including an impressive collection of more than 11,300 ancient and Islamic coins. Long known for its mineral water spas, one of the hotels offers hot mineral water baths directly from the underground springs. Surprisingly, the temperature is just perfect for bathing.

Construction of facilities and infrastructure near Abant Lake is proceeding slowly and carefully to preserve the pristine natural area. Only limited studies appear to have been done on the lake itself, so Abant Lake is still somewhat mysterious. One small stream flows into the lake-the Bespoyraz. Much of the lake’s water appears to come from springs. The out-flowing stream, augmented by water draining from the surrounding hills and forests, becomes the Filyos River by the time it reaches Bolu.

Peaks in this part of Turkey provide ski slopes and resorts during winter, further adding to the year-round attractiveness of a vacation in the Bolu region. Lodgings are plentiful, both at the lake and in nearby areas. If you’re looking for a scenic and quiet respite, Abant Lake is one of the best places in Turkey to find it.

Things to do at Abant Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Ice Skating
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Abant Lake

  • Brown Trout
  • Trout

Abant Lake Photo Gallery

Abant Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 316 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,357 feet

Maximum Depth: 59 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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