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Bolu

General Information

"A Nature-Lover’s Paradise"

Hidden behind pines, Bolu is a paradise with its unique nature and climate. With its lakes, plateaus, hot springs, mountains, and forest recreation areas; Bolu is an ideal place for relaxing, camping, hunting and skiing. So not only has it attracted visitors throughout history, it's also a wild animal’s delight. Hundreds of bird, mammal, and reptile species call Bolu their home, or at least their migratory hotel. It's a great place for wildlife watching. No problem in accommodation - There are countless hotels in the city centre and inns in the districts, many of them worth exploring more thoroughly. So leave your suit and tie at home, help Bolu share its secrets with you.

High Season

Bolu has the climate of Black Sea region so expect rain from November through early June. In the summer, the weather is mild and humid. “Kartalkaya” on the mountain Köroğlu is very popular ski center where you can enjoy all types of winter sports in winter. The Lake of Abant is frozen in winter. Too many people come for trekking in spring and fall. Cool evenings in the mountains attract visitors in summer.

Transportation

Regular buses of some principal bus companies from Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir are best means of transport. On the way up to Bolu via Highway E-5, you'll find numerous forest trailheads and picnic areas that make general rest stops on a long journey. Driving to Bolu can be a challenge if you don’t know the region very well. It’s better if you try well-known bus companies. You can rent a car in Bolu to visit the districts.

Local Transportation

You will reach nearest districts Koru, Termal and Abant with regular buses from the city centre of Bolu. However, you have to use taxi for Kartalkaya and Seven Lakes.

History

In ancient times, Anatolian tribes such as Thyns, Mariandyens ve Kaukons lived in the region and afterwards united under the reign of Bithyn. Legendary Macedonian Emperor Alexander, the Great conquered Bolu in B.C 300. During the rule of Roman Empire, it was called " Claudio " honoring the Roman commander who conquered the city. After the partition of Roman Empire, Claudiopolis became a Byzantine city. Around River Hypius, (Today known as Melen Çayı) a new cultural structure was formed. Byzantine Empire ruled over a diversity of folks in the region. Bolu became the first frontier of the early Ottoman Empire in the reign of Orhan Ghazi and it became an important Ottoman city in the 15th century. In the 16th century, an important folk hero emerged. Known as Köroglu, he became famous of his poetry and rebellion against the city governor. His father was blinded by the cruel governor, that’s why he was called Köroglu - son of the blind. He promised to fight against injustice and support poor people against authority. The locals accepted him as an epic hero and respected his memory ever since.There’s a village called and mountain called Köroglu as a tribute to this epic hero. It’s still uncertain whether there was one person, both poet and rebel or two different Köroglu’s, one the rebel, other the poet. Well, the poetry is influential enough, just to feel the ambiguity of past:

“Regards from me to the master of Bolu/ We should climb the mountains/ From neighing of the horses, the sound
of the pike/ We should give sound and call out to the mountains/ The enemy came, formed themselves into lines/ My evil destiny is written in my forehead/The rifle’s invented, bravery died...”

Highlights

Bolu is on the busiest highway and because of that it’s a very frequented place. In the region, you have different choices for accommodation and food. Abant , 55 km far from Bolu Centrum is a wonderful town with its famous lake with lovely lilies and forests . With its flora, extraodrinary sceneric, and estetic values, Abant is one of the most attractive places for a romantic weekend. Snowy mountain of Bolu is where you find legends and grace. The highest peak in Bolu is Çele, 1180 metres above sea. If you go 10 kilometres east from Çele, you find The National Park of Seven Lakes, a meeting point for lovers of nature. Camping grounds, picnic areas and sport activities are special features of Seven Lakes. It is the lakes that make home for hundreds of bird and fish species. Whether you are after an adventure filled vacation or just some holiday fun, just visit Seven Lakes. Seven Lakes invite you to share the majestic beauty of natural rarities. The lakes rest in the shadows of an old growth forest that also blankets the foot of the baronial Çele Peak.

A small artificial lake “Gölcük” is surrounded by hills and forests that shelter elk, mule deer, black bear, squirrels, and a large variety of birds, including humming birds. It’s possible to make a trip with skiff on the lake. There are lots of things to do: fishing, bird watching, bush walks, and bicycling, scenic walks, drives.

Don’t forget special Bolu dishes in restaurants. It’s a real pleasure to eat in the restaurants of Mengen, Gerede and Mudurnu.

Museum of Bolu, Bolu State Fine Arts Gallery, Akşemsettin (The teacher of Mehmet, the Conqueror) Mausoleum and The Mosque of Yıldırım Bayezid (the 4th Sultan of Ottoman Empire) are some other places worth seeing.

Cuisine

In Turkey, the most famous chefs are always from “Mengen” district of Bolu. That means Bolu is the right place to examine typical Turkish cuisine. Don’t forget to try mantı (Turkish food with meat in little pieces of pastry ) and yaprak dolması (stuffed vine leaves with meat). Yaprak dolması, usually served on a heated dish and garnish with yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic and salt is typical example of Turkish cuisine. Pumpkin dessert is a special dessert with hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts. It is usually served in winter. Restaurants around the lakes serve fresh trout. “Little House Restaurant” famous with hors d’oeuvres and fish, “Berceste Restaurant” famous with grills and meatballs are some of the best choices.

Shopping & Gifts

You can find all kind of shops in city centre, and prices are reasonable. A wide range of handicrafts attracts attention visitors. Along the highway on the stands, it’s possible to see hand made wooden objects (cradles, scoops, tongs, coffers) especially kitchen tools and wooden spoons sold by villagers. These handicrafts explain the life of the peasants in this region.

Outdoor Sports

Most popular activities are:

Especially winter sports in Kartalkaya, skiing, rock climbing, trekking, rafting/white water, mountain biking, bush walking, and paragliding.

30 kilometres away from Bolu, Kartalkaya is one of the biggest winter sports centre in Turkey. There are ski trails for people from every level. Telesieges are free for hotel customers. You can rent skis and you can benefit from skiing lessons if you like.

Lake of Abant is ideal in every season for trekking and paragliding. Just walk around the lake between pines, fir trees to observe the beauty. It is OK if you prefer riding bicycle or horse instead of walking. Sülüklügöl is a popular place for trekking. Lake has formed by a landslide three hundred years ago. Tree-stumps inside the lake and colourful trees around make sceneric views. Gerede and Esentepe are proper for trekking and bush walking. For trekking at every level, you can find guide service from the hotels. Mountain of Ilgaz is another place for climbing and winter sports. Mountain is available for picnic and trekking in summer months.

Rafting is a good alternative on the river of Büyükmelen. Mountains and plateaus between Düzce and Akyazı have good areas for off road driving. You can find convenient areas near Abant National Park especially in the plateau of Örencik for off road driving. With churning lake and stands of giant pine trees, this park provides a stunning landscape of mountains extending into an endless sky.

Yedigoller enjoys a number of native bird species that frequent the region. Bolu’s native birds are of great interest to both the novice and expert bird watcher.

Astounding natural beauty surrounds you, whether you chose mountain biking in the backcountry of the Bolu Mountain or white water rafting down the tumbling Büyükmelen River or rock climbing the base of the giant Köroğlu Mountain or hiking beside cascading mountain waterfalls.

Health

There is no private hospital in the city of Bolu and there is only one public hospital. You will not face with many problems of health, there. In Bolu, you will find the chance to cure the harms of the hectic and stressful lives most people lead nowadays. Be sure, mountains provide youth, health, longevity for human beings. Hot springs help visitors to rebalance body and soul and relax.

Neighbours

Abant, Adapazarı, Akcakoca, Duzce, Eregli

Monthly Average Temperatures: (°C)

January: -3 / 3

February: -2 / 6

March: 2 / 12

April: 5 / 18

May: 8 / 20

June: 11 / 25

July: 13 / 27

August: 15 / 32

September: 10 / 23

October: 9 / 19

November: 3 / 11

December: 0 / 7

Family Travel Tips

First, you must be very careful during transportation. The roads can be very crowded and please do take all of precautions possible when travelling with kids. Use child safety seats in the car. Don’t forget; to get all of the benefits these safety seats offer, the child restraints must be used properly.

Grace of natural beauties such as Yedigöller, Abant , Akkayalar , Kartalkaya , Bolu fascinate families that enjoy sports and wildlife. Natural parks are great places to entertain children. Hotels around Bolu make special discounts for families with children. There is no special childcare in Bolu except in hotels.


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