Looking for a rather flat cycling route towards Cappadocia from Ankara, we picked the road along Tuz Gölü (eng.: Salt lake) rather for the topography and didn’t think of its natural beauty too much.
We ended up positively surprised! The salt lake turned out to be a very worthwhile place to visit while being in the area. Located just about 150km south of Ankara, it is easy enough to reach and could serve as a stop over for those going to Konya, Adana or through Aksaray in direction Cappadocia.
Tuz Gölü is the second largest lake of Turkey but can hardly be described as a lake. It is very, very shallow, only around 40cm deep in most parts but with impressive 1665 km2 one of the largest hyper-saline lakes in the world. It accounts for over 60% of Turkey’s salt production, as the many salt factories along the shore easily suggest. Cycling along that perfectly flat and intensely mirroring surface, the sunlight reflected is almost too bright for the eyes. Going there after a long, dry summer like us, the water is drawn back quite a bit, but still reachable from certain access points.
Right next to the main road, about 20km north of Şereflikoçhisar is a small number of souvenir stalls, simple eateries and tea houses and an access trail leading to the lake. It is an amazing experience to cycle in this white salt desert – or to walk in the completely still water, that leaves salty traces on your feet after drying.
On a personal note: It was a shame, that our camera lens broke in this beautiful area! We would have loved to take sunrise / sunset pictures of the lake. Still, some visual impression pre – camera – accident can be provided: