Ilgaz, one of the highest mountains in northern Turkey, attracts visitors every season: Hosting skiers in the winter and people wanting to escape the heat in the summer.
Located in Çankırı Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, Ilgaz is one of the lead winter tourism spots in Turkey. It is of astonishing beauty, to the extent that it is even mentioned in a song: “Ilgaz, you are an almighty mountain of Anadolu / On spring you are a vineyard of that heaven on earth / Your crags reach the skies / Your misty top penetrates the clouds...” As the weather warms up, snow slowly recedes to the mountaintop, and green takes over the landscape. With a height of 2,600 meters (8,500 feet), Ilgaz hosts colorful indigenous flowers, ice-cold streams of freshwater, plateaus and walking trails.
Black pine, Scotch pine fir trees and alpine flowers are found widespread on Mount Ilgaz. The mountain is home to around 30 wild animals, including bears, wolves, deer, roe deer and wild boar.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), nature photographer Cebrail Keleş explained that Ilgaz is an extraordinary place and that the mountain has so many beautiful qualities.
“There are no words or pictures to describe the beauty of the landscape. The area we are in (Yurduntepe Summit) is a winter sports center. Ilgaz is a place to be alone with nature and to cool off, with its indigenous flowers, plateaus and natural beauties, ” Keleş said.
Noting that the area provides many opportunities to its visitors, Keleş said: “You can see many indigenous flowers and – if lucky – native animal species, on the condition that you do not leave behind anything but your footprint. There are mushrooms as well, but be careful not to touch mushrooms you don’t recognize. It’s a type of tourism in which you can only leave behind your footprint and take with you your photographs.”
“It’s 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kastamonu right now, but we are cold on the summit. There is a cold wind blowing. It’s one of the highest peaks in the western Black Sea region of Turkey. We can see far away from here; it's like watching the outside from an airplane,” Keleş added.
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