With diverse flora and plants found nowhere else in the world, Turkey’s Kazdağı Mountains are like a flower garden of monumental proportions. Thanks to its isolated geographical situation, it offers an ideal habitat for rare species of flowers. This approximately 22 thousand-hectare area, which was declared a national park in 1993, is now a world-class area of exploration with 880 flora species, 80 of which are endemic, and where flora tours are organized.
Call it daydreaming, call it meditation, but for a moment try to be a tiny, red-stemmed, white wall pepper, a member of the wild thyme family and one of the thousands of flowers that attract bugs and butterflies to their petals to produce entire fields of flowers. The white wall pepper is a rare bloom which was mentioned in history-shaping legends and found hundreds of years later, only on that slope, much like the rest of the 32 flowers discovered up until now in the Kazdağı Mountains that want to, cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Ida Mountain has lovely unspoiled villages, some of which were originally Greek. The villages are scattered all over the hills, with many retaining their original character, made of local stone, on narrow cobbled streets, with central wide squares in the heart of the villages.
Hiking here is very popular as the region offers you breathtaking views. For the adventurous hikers, Tahtakuslar and Camlibel on the eastside are good bases to start from, as well as 2 km inland from the hot-spring bath resort of Gure. Some of the best hiking routes are Hawk Valley, Tozlu – Ceyizdere, Yayla – Ayidere, Tahtakuşlar, Tavşanoynağı and the summit, Sarıkız.
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Ilhan Varlik is a freelance, licensed tour guide, providing guiding service with customized individual itineraries and assistance for discerning travellers seeking authentiek outdoor and cultural experiences in Turkey. He designs trips expertly tailored to your interests and personally guides the tour in cooperation with authorized travel agents.