Have you ever seen a pink lake?
After two days in Ankara, we stuffed people and bags into the rental car and headed southeast towards Cappadocia. Along the way, we stopped at Tuz Gölü.
The name literally translates to Salt Lake. It’s Turkey’s second largest lake (after Lake Van) and provides over 60% of the country’s salt. It classifies as a mesosaline lake at around 33% salinity. It is also an endorheic lake, which means it’s a closed basin with no outlet other than evaporation. (The Dead Sea is another example of a endorheic salt lake. Yes, I had to Google all of that.)
I’ve passed by this lake many times and was excited to finally see it! We wanted to stop when my mom visited us in November, but it was the wrong time of the year; the weather was cold and the lake was incredibly muddy. From what I see online, the summer months are better.
There is free parking at the site and a museum we did not visit. Instead, we walked past the shops to the free (ücretsiz) “beach” entrance. (Be wary of the vendors. They will try to get you with their cream samples.)
We had a gorgeous blue sky day. I couldn’t get over how PINK the lake was! Seeing the reflection of the clouds in the tinted waters was so very cool.
There was no sand at this beach – just salt crystals and salt balls. It hurt a little to walk on:
Turks are big believers in herbal medicine and natural treatments. We saw many people scrubbing their skin and bathing in the mineral water. See the man is sitting in the clear blue spot? There was a natural spring in that area of the lake:
David’s family visited Great Salt Lake in Utah years ago. Dad said Tuz Gölü was much cleaner and nicer because it was bug-free. We didn’t swim, but waded a bit. The sandbar (saltbar?) went out a ways. Our legs needed a good rinse afterwards.
Chacos: David. Dress shoes: Turks.
If you’re ever traveling from Ankara to Cappadocia, stop by Tuz Gölü! I can’t find an address, but the free entrance is along E90 on the northeast side of the lake. You can’t miss the sign (the first photo in this post). We didn’t see any, but maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the flamingos that hang out there!