Lake Çıldır in Kars, which covers some 123 square kilometers, is the second largest lake in eastern Anatolia. The lake freezes completely in the winter, attracting a huge number of local and foreign tourists.
Those who come to Kars aboard the Eastern Express, which is very popular with tourists, enjoy some beautiful moments at Lake Çıldır, located between Kars and Ardahan.
Tourists visiting the lake, located 1,959 meters above sea level, enjoy walking on ice and troika rides.
Local tourists have flocked to the lake in numbers because of the semester holiday.
It often leaves visitors with unforgettable memories, like walking on the ice-covered lake. After they build up their courage, people have fun while walking on the ice.
Bahar Barış Kuru, a tourist from Turkey's westernmost province of Edirne, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that she traveled on the Eastern Express together with three of her friends.
"We enjoyed some magnificent times in Kars with its white snow cover. Lake Çıldır was the best. It was totally frozen over. It is a must-see. Kars is a beautiful city. Everyone should visit this city."
Recalling the troika ride, Kuru said, "Everywhere is covered with ice. We loved this place. Everywhere is covered in white snow, and it is beautiful. We did not feel that cold even though it was minus 15 degrees Celsius. If western Turkey experienced this cold, we would be freezing."
Hayriye Günaydın from Tekirdağ said walking on the ice was really enjoyable.
"We planned to come with the Eastern Express but we could not find tickets. We hope to return with it. We are on Lake Çıldır. It is the second biggest lake in eastern Anatolia after Lake Van. It is beautiful and covered in ice. We will try the troika and we are so excited. We liked this place very much. Everyone should see this place."
Emine Yalın, a math teacher from Edirne, said she was spending her semester holiday in Kars.
"We walked on an ice-covered lake for the first time. We were afraid but excited at the same time. This place is so beautiful. Luckily, the weather is really nice. We will go to Erzurum from here. Our journey will continue like this. I recommend local and foreign tourists to come and visit Lake Çıldır. They should not worry about the weather. It is worth it," she added.
Ozan Karataş, a Troika coachman, said that Lake Çıldır is a must-see place in Turkey.
"Every visitor leaves the city happy. We introduce Lake Çıldır with troikas on the ice-covered lake. We expect everyone to visit the lake. They should see the unique view here. Lake Çıldır has become a top tourist destination, especially in the winter. It has become more popular thanks to the Eastern Express. You can walk on the lake, ride the troika and enjoy ice fishing."