Yes, summertime depression is real; a reality that is probably caused by not being able to go to the beach every day. If you are in Istanbul during the summer, it is a good time to sweat off the "summer depression." The time right after sunrise is the best time to gear up and run through the Istanbul's best running routes. Istanbul has many parks, neighborhoods, paths and coastlines to enjoy an early morning run. Let's take a look at these routes that will inspire you to run until you drop:
Located in Sarıyer district, Belgrade Forest is most certainly the best place to inspire you to run. It is a quick getaway from the chaos of the city and quickest way to return to nature in 21st century Istanbul. If you are up for a lovely run, you can explore the 7-kilometer track inside the forest. As you run through the trees, you can also enjoy a nice lake view. For a serene workout, Belgrade Forest should be included among your first choices. As no public transportation is allowed inside the forest, it might be a good idea to drive there. Additionally, keep in mind that there is a small entrance fee.
Suadiye - Fenerbahçe coast
Running by the sea is a good way to clear your mind - and exercise, of course. The running track along the Suadiye, Fenerbahçe coast is 6 kilometers long, thus giving you a good morning - or evening - workout. As you run with a view of the Princes' Islands in the horizon, the plotting scale helps you keep track of the distance you have run. If you are living in the area, Fenerbahçe Park is also a good place to put on your running shoes.
The Kuruçeşme track on the European side of Istanbul is a long track with beautiful cafes giving you the opportunity to relax and unwind. However, as this route is generally quite crowded, it is best to run here in the early mornings. The track actually starts at Ortaköy but due to traffic, it is best to start at Kuruçeşme and run toward Rumelihisarı. The track is roughly 8 kilometers long.
Located in the heart of the European side of Istanbul, Maçka Park gives you the unique opportunity to enjoy running through trees in the middle of the city. Thanks to its location and dense trees, the park is highly suitable for working out in summer. It is possible to take the easy route by entering at the lower end of the park or alternatively, enter the park from the upper entrance for a more strenuous workout. Maçka Park's soft, unpaved path is perfect for anyone looking to exercise in the calm of nature. Additionally, those who want to do step-training can also sweat through the stairs inside the park.
The pearl of the Anatolian side of Istanbul, the Moda coast, is a popular running route for Kadıköy residents. You can start your route from Yoğurtçu Park and follow the 1.2-kilometer route to the end of the coast. However, beware that the Moda coast is a highly crowded venue with people of all ages.
Once a holiday spot for Istanbulites centuries ago, Bakırköy is now a highly populated district of the megacity. If you follow the coast from Zeytinburnu to the end of Bakırköy district, you can run for 8 kilometers straight. Although the view is not as stunning as running alongside the Bosporus, it is still good to get a sense of the city. The coast is quite windy both summer and winter, so you better choose the right workout clothes if you head to Bakırköy coast for a run.
Another famous strait in Istanbul, the Golden Horn, is also a great place to run. Kicking off your run at Unkapanı Bridge and continuing along the water's edge all the way to Balat, then all the way back is a good route. If you really want to spice up up your run and you are keen to explore one of the city's most historic neighborhoods, make your way through the inclining streets of Balat to catch a glimpse of some beautiful, former Greek Orthodox homes, as well as some hidden churches.