Ilgaz, the lofty mountains of Anatolia, mesmerize visitors

Published 02.10.2017 19:40
Updated 02.10.2017 19:42
The Ilgaz Mountains are a winter paradise for skiers.
The Ilgaz Mountains are a winter paradise for skiers.

Ilgaz, one of the highest mountain ranges in the western Black Sea region, attracts visitors with its natural beauty, endemic plants and outdoor sports, especially during winter

Located between the provinces of Kastamonu and Çankırı, the high Ilgaz Mountains mesmerize visitors with natural beauties in every season. Having become the subject of songs for their stunning beauty, the mountains continue to host guests year-round. This lofty mountain of Anatolia, blanketed in different colors every season, excites nature lovers with an array of colors that appear in autumn. Home to endemic plant species, the Mount Ilgaz National Park and Hacet Tepe (Hacet Hill), the highest peak of the mountain, situated at 2,587 meters, are among the places that can be visited by nature lovers this autumn.

The Ilgaz Mountains offer visitors the opportunity to experience two different seasons simultaneously thanks to their geographical location situated between two provinces. The mountains are blanketed in black pines, scotch pines and fir trees, with alpine plants at higher elevations. With a varying climate, the Ilgaz Mountains are home to nearly 30 species of wild animals, such as bears, wolves, foxes, deer, roe deer and wild boars.

Alp Arslan, the chairman of the Kastamonu Mountaineering and Nature Sports Specialized Club (KADASK), said that they want to introduce the nature of Kastomonu to the entire world. Implying there are many spots for enjoying nature sports in Kastamonu, Arslan said: "The Ilgaz Mountains feature the highest peak in Kastamonu and the western Black Sea region, on Hacet Hill. The southern slopes of Ilgaz feature a one climate, while the north slopes have a different one. The southern slopes have a mild, moist climate because of the rainfall. However, the climate of the north slopes is totally different."

Harmonious colors of autumnArslan mentioned that sprawling forests can be seen as far up as 2,200 meters in the Ilgaz Mountains, while plants like grass can be observed rather than forests beyond this height. Speaking about the unique beauty of the view from a specific height, Arslan added: "We encounter a perfect view when we climb up trees, mountains and clouds. It isn't possible to find a view like this somewhere else. You can see a view like this on a postcard perhaps, but seeing it with the naked eye is quite an experience. The movement of clouds and the pleasure of the winds here also make you feel enthusiastic."

Arslan said that nature sportsmen who come to Kastamonu enjoy climbing the mountain year-round. However, he added that many wild animals live in the Ilgaz Mountains and the national park.

Noting that the foundation climbs the mountain twice a year, Arslan said: "There are many people who come out of the town during the climb. Our guests are fascinated when they see the view here. The Ilgaz Mountains are surrounded by a great view. It is impossible not to be impressed by the scenery. Especially in autumn, a harmony of colors can be enjoyed in the mountains. However, we do not recommend visiting the mountains without a guide."

Unknown aspects of Ilgaz

Kastamonu Tourism and Hotel Managers Foundation (KASTOD) Chairman Serkan Mütevelli said that Ilgaz shouldn't be considered as an area just for winter tourism. He said that the mountains also offer other opportunities for sports enthusiasts, as well as winter tourism. Mütevelli noted, "Kastamonu is the lung store of Turkey. We are talking about a place offering 12 months of tourism. Although winter is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of 'Ilgaz,' I recommend that visitors come to Ilgaz during other seasons, too. Visitors can experience the changing seasons and the foliage here. Winter tourism is, of course, of high importance for us, but Ilgaz has an unknown side. I want to highlight that the view here is especially beautiful in summer and autumn when photography lovers enjoy coming here."

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